Letters to the Editor

Outstanding New Year Special Issue!

Hats off to Parsi Times for an outstanding New Year Special issue – you seem to have left the competition far behind on all counts. Your content has been constantly improving and in the New Year Special it was really superb – the Special issue articles celebrated Parsipanu in its true spirit and set a great tone for the New Year. You got it all – struck all the right notes and highlighted relevant issues – right from Baug Culture, to the need for empowering and respecting our Mobeds. The recipes were fabulous – we tried two already and they came out fab! The articles on the Zoroastrian way of life were fabulous, religious articles were great – especially reading the excellent writings of Dasturji Dhalla was soothing to the mind. Cyrus Broacha was an absolute laugh riot as was Ruby’s hilarious story of the three Parsi Bachelors and the article on bikes made one happy! It felt proud reading about Parsee Gym playing at Oval – I hope they return victorious! The issue also celebrated achievers and philanthropists – it basically just encapsulated virtually all aspects of Parsipanu!

Even your regular issues provide ample news and you keep it very, very interesting. Parsi Times has definitely become the top weekend read of the community. Keep up the great work, you guys!

Zarine S. Patel

Editor’s Note:

Dear Readers, we thank all of you for your kind words and encouraging feedback, regarding the New Year Special Issue. Due to space constraints, we are unable to publish all of your mails and letters. Team PT is always grateful for your support, and we stay committed to raising the bar!

Let’s Invoke Victorious Behram Yazad Instead Of Ganpati!

 It’s Ganpati-time in Mumbai, with most Hindu households busy in ordering and establishing the wonderful idol of Ganpati. Along with our Hindu brothers and sisters, as a mark of respect, many Parsis have made a habit of brining Ganpati idols at their homes and regularly going to ‘pagey paro’ at the Ganpati gatherings in various parts of Mumbai, with immense faith and devotion. Many Parsis believe that Ganpati is a powerful God who can remove all obstacles in life and hence praying to him is beneficial. Yes, I agree he is beneficial.

My Zarathushti friends, respecting and appreciating Indian culture is fine, however, there is no need to follow multiple religious paths! Let’s follow the path we are born in. Different religions have different belief systems and we cannot truly worship multiple Gods – remember, that a man cannot serve multiple masters and do justice to all.

Ganesha is worshiped through idols, whereas Ahura Mazda is formless and is only worshiped through Fire. The Hindus are perfectly right in worshipping through a form and idols, as we Parsis are perfectly right in worshipping Ahura Mazda through the formless Fire. Please remember, mixing the two disrupts the spiritual pathways and causes obstacles in the soul’s journey. There is a reason you were chosen by God to be born a Zarthosti, and the same applies for all born in their particular religions. For Zarathushtis, the path of Ahura Mazda and Zarathushtra is the best, while for Hindus the path of worshipping Hindu Gods is the best. Every child undergoing the Navjote enters into an exclusive Divine Relationship with Prophet Zarathushtra, whereby he/she agrees to follow the practices and traditions of the Zarathushtrian faith only and is not to be led astray.

Please introspect – why do we do this? When our own Fire Temples are deserted with low attendance, what is the need to patronize other religions?

It is said Ganesha can remove obstacles, but do you know, that our own Behram Yazad is ‘Verethraghna’, which means ‘Success, Victory’! As explained by Er. Ramiyar Karanjia, Behram Yazad is the Yazada created by Ahura Mazda to protect the followers who live as per the tenets of the Mazdayasni Zarathushti religion. Behram Yazad ensures that those who live righteous lives will have their joys as deep as the vast oceans and their troubles will dissipate. He also protects us when we travel and is also referred to as ‘Panth Yazad’. ‘Behram’ means permanent illumination, which He creates in this universe by dispelling all our difficulties, whether they are related to health, disputes, financial problems, litigations, domestic unrest, employment, debts and any spiritual adversities faced by a Zoroastrian devotee.

The first Atash Behram in India was built by our ancestors to thank Behram Yazad after they were miraculously saved from a sea-storm while traveling by sea from Diu to Sanjan. Behram Yazad is referred to as ‘baro-khareno’ or ‘carrier of divine energy’, and the main function of an Atash Behram is to store and share the divine energy of Ahura Mazda.

To invoke Behram Yazad, one can pray the ‘Behram Yasht’ from the Avesta. Behram Yasht is the invocation of Behram Yazad and Ama Yazad. It has characteristics of a larger Yasht. It is very popular among Zoroastrians. It has 22 kardas with common introductions and refrains. It starts with these words, “Verethraghnem ahura-dhaatem yazamaide. Peresat zarathushtro ahurem mazdam, ahura mazda mainyo spenishta daatare gaethanaam astvaitinām ashaa­­um, ko asti mainyavanaam yazatanaam zyotemo? Aat mraot ahuro mazdaao, verethraghno ahuradhaato, spitama Zarathushtra … vohu khvareno mazda-dhaatem, barat khareno mazdadhaatem baeshazem uta amemcha.” Translated this means, “We venerate Behram Yazad created by Ahura. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda, “Oh Ahura Mazda spirit most beneficent, creator of the material world. O holy one! Who is the best helper in times of trouble, among spiritual Yazatas? Then Ahura Mazda replied, Victorious Behram Yazad, created by me, Oh Spitama Zarathushtra, who gives higher energy, divine energy, health and courage to those who remember him.”

Friends, this time Let’s invoke the Victorious Behram Yazad, obtain the blessings of Ahura Mazda and practice the faith in which you are born, while continuing to respect all other faiths. Remember, ‘Respect All, Follow One.’ Atha Jamyat, Yatha Afrinami!

 Yashan Jokhi

Re: Mr. Mehta’s Rebuttal On PLIH

Though my raking on the same subject, has caused – ad nauseum – a sickening feeling to Mr. Mehta, it has made the community aware of the tremendous losses we suffered. Mr. Mehta admits that since the last thirty years the hospital is having no utility, no income and is in a dilapidated condition. As the BPP Chairman claiming himself to be the owner, did he then made any effort to revive the institution? It was the Managing Committee, who were concerned for the institution, that made sincere efforts and ultimately struck a deal with Krimsons, not only to revive the dilapidated hospital but to generate regular income for the community, without the hazards of running the hospital.

All the cost including the legal expenses were borne by the buyers. If things had gone smoothly, there would have been a grand Nuero-Musculoskeletal state-of-the-art hospital, the first of its kind in Asia, for redressal of pain and suffering for orthopedic and neurological ailments. Besides the other benefits offered, it was a great feeling that the institution so close to our hearts, was to be reborn with greater glory serving not only a small community but tending to all communities. Like the Tata Memorial and JJ Hospital, it was to be a lasting memorial from the Zoroastrian community. As a senior trustee and Chairman, he should have lauded the efforts of the managing committee and heartily assisted them in getting the deal get through. If he found any loopholes, they could have been plugged.

Imagine how much time and efforts the members of the Managing Committee took to strike such a deal. All their efforts went in vain by one man’s deliberate effort to get the deal cancelled. All formalities were in line; there was no fraud as alleged. The members of the managing committee are men of honor and distinction. They all are knowledgeable and competent having strong heads and compassionate hearts.
Members of the managing committee include eminent persons like Mr. Minoo Shroff, Dr. Rustom Soonawala, Mr. Dinshaw Tamboli, Mr. Noshir Dadrewala and others. Mr. Sam Jijina, a senior partner of renowned Mulla and Mulla law firm, and a member of the managing committee finalized the agreement. Can we doubt his knowledge or integrity?

Mr. Mehta has very limited knowledge of law, but we have the best legal brains in the community. If in doubt, Mr. Mehta with his connections could have taken their guidance to iron out the creases in the agreement. But his aim was to see the deal gets cancelled. Absolving all other members as innocent and gullible, Mr. Mehta puts the blame solely on one biggest Fixer without naming him! Does he want to scare him, or is he scared of him? Those who live in glass houses, will hurt themselves by throwing stones at others. With serious allegations of nepotism, fraud, misappropriation of funds, etc. he has no moral authority to question others.

The better deal with Breach Candy if it ever existed, could have been brought before the managing committee to assess the offer on merit. Even today no one is aware of the terms and conditions offered by them. The negotiations with Krimsons started five years back. What was he doing then when he had better offers in hand? By blaming others and passing the buck, things are not going to change. Though the present board of trustees have been trying to restore the PLIH they have as yet not been successful.

Mr. Mehta himself did not get the deal cancelled, but with long delays, hostility, bickering and infighting among the trustees the buyers got frustrated, lost interest and backed out. What is the situation today? Pay three and a half crores and let the dilapidated structure rot further or worse still, face encroachment and lose the property for good. Which Is a better option, Mr. Mehta?

Now should we thank Mr. Mehta, that he has ultimately found the best plan for the revival of PLIH where the Doctors and others will pay for the cost of construction of two floors against getting one floor on rentals. Thus, the hospital building remains within the community and BPP will get 50% area free of cost. A brilliant plan! But will there be any takers? What will be the estimated cost of construction and how much will be the rentals? Can the doctors afford to pay? Perhaps Mr. Mehta himself may book some floors, or better still, bear the cost of construction of the entire building and offer the rooms on rentals and get 50% area for himself, free of cost. That might be a profitable bargain for him and perhaps compensate for the losses he caused by getting the Krimson deal cancelled.

Piroja Jokhi


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