For Sale, Parsi Owned!

The Bawajis love for their bikes is perhaps more legendary than Romeo and Juliet’s! It is impossible to have an issue dedicated to the theme of our Parsi culture, without an article on this endearing aspect of the epic romance of Parsis and their bikes. Bike connoisseur Kerfegar Eduljee shares…

The title of this article is the standard beginning for any classified put up by Zoroastrians. By now, it’s taken for granted that Parsi-owned and used vehicles (and likewise, white goods and furniture) sell for a premium in the pre-owned market.

Over the years, I have seen and known many Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians who cherish their prized possessions, be it two wheels or four. When in college, I would clean my brother’s classic 1956 Triumph Tiger 100 for nearly four hours! Twenty-five plus years into motorcycling has given me the privilege to come across many equally ardent Parsi aficionados… from bawajis who completely dismantle their motorcycles during the rains, to bawajis smearing white grease on their prized possessions during the monsoon onslaught. Can’t blame them, as the humidity and our proximity to the coastline plays havoc on the lustre of the paint and ruins the chrome on the vehicles. Then there is the ever familiar sight that we all have grown up with – a Parsi uncle cleaning his beauty, in his choicest home wear, which proudly shouts out – I am a Parsi! Oh yeah, I almost forgot the kind who move their motorcycles into their ground floor living room – much against the wishes of their second love.

Just like the endangered Tasmanian Devil, we also work hard to preserve and protect the vintage and the classics, the likes of a BSA Goldstar, Norton Dominator, BMW R69S… to the Chevrolet Impala, Buick 8 and Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. Say what you may, this is how we preserve for posterity and ensure that we don’t just leave a legacy, but also an ever-burning passion. Needless to say, our generations benefit and enjoy the well-kept classic’s character and charm for years to come.

Norton Dominator

But hey, our clan doesn’t just polish and clean, we are known to be enthusiastic riders too – so many bawas and even bawis have traversed our country from Kanyakumari to Khardung-La (K2K) at 18,380 ft. (the highest motor-able road in the world). And as three is a crowd, some brave-hearts have preferred going solo too! And taking it a step further, there have been Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians who have done trans-country expeditions to Europe and the Gulf successfully! Many different motorcycles have been used on rides such as these. I have known of a Parsi gentleman astride a humble Jawa 250 successfully reaching the land of the Eiffel, to a Kawasaki KB100 completing its journey to the Gulf. Domestically, the K2K has been done since decades on motorcycles like the BSA Shooting Star to a Lambretta 150 scooter. If ever the wanderlust in you awakens, I suggest you gift yourself the only production Indian motorcycle built to do something similar with relative ease – get yourself the Royal Enfield Himalayan and explore the Himalayas and beyond!

We are also known for our interest and prowess in restoration of vehicles of all kind – from Raleigh bicycles, Rudge motorcycles to Rover cars. Give an enthusiast Zoroastrian a junk vehicle and he will restore it to its near-original, glorious beauty…. maybe in an even better condition than when it left the showroom! What I make of this trait is that it’s more than just a blind passion for wheeled transportation – it’s the urge to create, use and preserve. It’s our creative juices that drive us to deliver, not to please anyone – but ourselves. Dare I say a sense of satisfaction, in its truest form?

Just like me, I’m sure many bikers are waiting for the wet spell to ease off, to ride/drive and unleash their beauties on the road again. I can say with borderline certainty, that as we speak, there is that Parsi gentleman in his garage right now, polishing his car for that special New Year drive to the Agiary!

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a heartfelt Happy New 1387 YZ and Three Cheers to our Parsipanu!!


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