Each year, in the month of November, the Gujarat Express train from Mumbai makes a special halt for one day at Sanjan station and the locals ponder on the reason and one of them realizes loudly, ‘Aree aaje to Parsi Day che ne etle gaadi ubhi rahi!’… even as Parsis alight from the train with a smile. Indeed, it’s Sanjan Day – a day of gratitude towards our ancestors and for being accepted by the local rulers.
Zarthostis, mainly from Mumbai and Gujarat, come by road and rail, in good numbers to celebrate the occasion. The otherwise quiet and peaceful Sanjan town gets abuzz with the Parsi voice and essence. This year marked the 102nd anniversary of the Sanjan Stumb. The day started with a Jashan ceremony at 9:30 am performed by four mobeds from Udvada and Sanjan. The Humbandagi was led by Er. Kersasp Sidhwa from Udavada.
The main celebratory function started with the introduction of guests on stage by Paricheher Daviervala, the family which organizes the event. Bapsy Rohinton Daviervala, President of the Sanjan Memorial Column local committee welcomed the crowd and the guests on stage, adding that the presence of Parsis on a working day proved the strength of the community’s ethos. She went on to invite some of the BPP trustees, who also addressed the crowd. Col. Kaizad Bhaya, who also shared the dais shared an interesting take on deciding the importance of time vis-à-vis money. He explained the importance of both. He hoped that parents would be able to motivate their children to also be present to celebrate Sanjan Day and to take pride in how Zoroastrians excelled in every sphere.
Paricheher Daviervala thanked the community, especially the donors who helped make the function a possibility each year. She also thanked all the teams and volunteers for contributing towards the success of the function, as also the Sanjan Gram Panchayat for laying paver blocks around the Stumbh and the pathway. Finally, a word of praise for the Western Railways for permitting the stoppages of Gujarat Express and Flying Ranee trains. The function concluded with the rendition of the Parsi Anthem, ‘Chaiye Hume Zarthosti’ and the National Anthem. A specially prepared sumptuous lunch by Kaizad Patel was enjoyed by all present.
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