A Tribute To Cyrus Mistry
– Shapoorji Pallonji Group –
It was with utmost sadness that we had to announce the sudden and untimely demise of our beloved Mr. Cyrus Pallonji Mistry. Deeply loved by his family, he was a friend to countless many.
CPM, as he was fondly known, was committed to a journey of lifelong learning across multiple disciplines. Despite his success, he always kept a low profile, away from the limelight.
Cyrus Mistry was deeply committed to the Zoroastrian principles of righteousness, honesty, and ethical dealings with all. He was known for his transparency and integrity in all his business dealings.
His entrepreneurial mindset helped the Shapoorji Pallonji Group achieve many milestones over the past two decades. He envisioned and oversaw, the evolution of the Group into an end-to-end business group, spanning design & engineering, construction and asset development.
He will always be remembered as one who was extremely humble, approachable to all, and someone who always lent a helping hand to the less fortunate.
We will all miss him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
‘Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta’! Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds!
A Beautiful Person Gone Too Soon
– Vada Dasturji of Iranshah, Udvada – Khurshed Dastoor –
“Fairness”, as Mitch Albom says, “does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young.”
Journalists and friends say that I may have been one of the last people who met Cyrus before he passed on to the other side. I cannot fathom what to make of this banter, it seems so inconsequential when the shock wears off and you face the reality of never meeting Cyrus again. Nonetheless, I only wish I had a magic wand or some mantra that could help bring Cyrus back, for as the Amul Caption so rightly phrased, ‘He still had miles to go!’
I have known the Shapoorji Pallonji family for a while now and shared a close association which has been special with each of them. Over time, as a sense of familiarity and comfort set in, I grew to admire and learn much from our valued acquaintances.
Cyrus came across as a ‘man of a few words’ and a private person. But I was privileged as he would open-up to me, sharing the challenges he was ready to face on the personal front, as also, as a leading industrialist.
A devout religionist, Cyrus followed in his father’s footsteps, and was a zealous Donor. The restoration of the Iranshah Atashbehram at Udvada was personally overseen by him, with keen interest and an eye for detail. He saw to it, in person, literally, that not a stone was left unturned.
Ever since his tragic accident, not a moment has passed where I do not find myself steeped in thought and remorse, on the why’s of losing him so soon. He possessed the sensitivity, the compassion, the gentleness, the deep, loving concern and a uniquely insightful understanding of life itself, which only very few who have faced struggle and loss, but have found their way out of the depths, have been able to master.
This is who Cyrus Mistry was to me: A Beautiful Person. And beautiful people just don’t happen… when they do, they sadly leave us all behind too soon!
Farewell, my dear, dear friend, Cyrus Shapoorjii Mistry! You have joined the league of the legends. Your legacy will live on as another ‘Cyrus The Great’!
The River Becomes The Ocean… Adieu Cyrus Pallonji Mistry
– Noshir H. Dadrawala –
During the afternoon of Sunday, 4th September, 2022, while devotees across Maharashtra and Mumbai were bidding farewell (on the fifth day of the ten days Ganesh utsav or festival) to Ganpati or Ganesha – the Divine Vignaharta (remover of obstacles) at sea shores and rivers, a human Vignaharta bid farewell to all of us, near the river Surya, in Palghar district of Maharashtra. It was all too sudden and plunged many, including this writer, into a state of shock.
They say the only certainty in life is death and the only uncertainty about death, is the date and time! 4th September, 2022, was Bahram Roj of the holy month of Fravardin and Cyrus Mistry paid his respects at the holy Iranshah Atash Bahram in Udwada earlier in the day. He was wearing a white shirt, black trousers and a traditional skull cap to cover his head in respect. No bodyguards or lackeys accompanied him. He entered Udvada gaam and the Atash Bahram quietly and left quietly.
The scion of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, that had only very recently contributed munificiently for the restoration of the building that houses the sacrosanct Iranshah Fire, disliked fuss and fanfare. He exuded khandani understated elegance and grace. After lunch he took off for Mumbai with the Pandole family and around 3:15 pm, he (along with his good friend, Jehangir Dinshaw Pandole) was gone from this world – as was his signature style – quietly and without warning.
I had met Cyrus Mistry only once in 2016, at his office at the Pallonji Centre in Colaba. He spent a good one hour of his time with me over a cup of tea. He shared with me his vision of philanthropy and wanted to know more about obstacles and gaps in the philanthropy eco-system. He left a lasting impression on me.
The first thing that I noticed about him was his soulful eyes which exuded genuine pathos and compassion. They say that the eyes are windows of the soul and behind those eyes, I could see a gentle and humane soul.
He was a gentleman to the core. After the meeting he personally saw me off with utmost courtesy and respect. When I told one of his friends about his humility, I was told that on a recent holiday, Cyrus insisted on picking up not only his own but also his friend’s bags from the conveyor belt and also pushed the luggage trolley all the way to the exit point. That is how unassuming and down-to-earth he was.
Philanthropy ran in his blood. But, philanthropy is not just about giving of one’s wealth. He also gave his time and his talent to various causes. He was truly charitable in his thought, his word and in his deeds. He was very devoted to his parents, his siblings, wife and children. He was truly a family man. To his friends, he was a light-house.
Though his demeanour was gentle, he stood firm on matters concerning corporate governance, even if it cost him the Chairmanship at a large corporate conglomerate. Cyrus was a rare human Vignaharta who touched thousands of lives with compassion, fairness and humility. Destiny seems to have marked September 4, 2022, as the visarjan or the bidding adieu of this amazing vignaharta! However, while everyone bid farewell to this great man, they also felt grateful that he graced our lives, even if for a short time.
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry was a good man. The loss of a good man is always unfortunate. However, as we bid farewell, let us also express our gratitude that a great man like him lived like an ordinary man among us and taught us so much and gave us so much. He has given up his material body, but his essence will linger in our memory for long.
It is believed that immersing the clay idol in the ocean is symbolic of leaving the material body, and the spirit becoming one with the ocean (of Divinity). And similarly, the river that flowed in our midst and brought prosperity to so many across India and the world, has now merged into and become the ocean.