Community Opinion: Parsi Baugs – Yea Or Nay?

Razvin Namdarian

Well before the advent of the concept of ‘gated communities’, we had Parsi baugs – enclaves where our community thrives. Within their walls, our children grow up quite literally speaking the same language and seniors find a safe sanctuary. At the same time, when networking and being a global citizen is gaining traction, there is much to be said for living in a cosmopolitan society amongst people from different ethnic cultures, a microcosm of this vibrant country. We asked community members from different walks of life for their opinion on: ‘Would you rather live in a Parsi baug or a cosmopolitan society?’

Kamalrukh Gotlaseth (CA and Artist): My family and I have been living very comfortably in a cosmopolitan society. Here, we are exposed to a cultural mix which is required in today’s world. Our kids learn to get along with people from different communities. Besides, it’s a real advantage to live in a new construction which has facilities like lifts and adequate water storage. I know of many senior citizens in Parsi baugs who face inconveniences of mobility as they live on upper floors of old buildings with no lifts.


Farah Siganporia (Educator): Living in a baug is a beautiful experience – we are closer to our community and can reach out to others in times of need. The baug provides strong support structure and security. Also, the aesthetic beauty of a baug cannot be replicated and its spiritual aspects are beyond measure. I feel baug residents are positive and confident because of community support. The heart is… where the baug is!



Coomi Sethna (Chef): I prefer living in a cosmopolitan society as I love the vibrancy that different cultures have to offer. It also gives us the opportunity to enjoy different, colourful festivities and the delicious and authentic dishes during different festival.




Jinelle Dalal (School Captain, DPYA School): In a Parsi Baug, everyone is made to feel welcome. Everyone knows each other and you never see an unfriendly face. We have great parties and feasts and get to celebrate all Parsi festivals as a community. Living in a baug, you never feel alone – it’s like one big happy family!




Dr. Sanaeya Patel (Gynaecologist): While a baug offers a number of fabulous advantages, I would rather stay in a cosmopolitan society as I am a private person and sometimes the intrusiveness can get a bit much. There’s always this pressure of not wanting to be gossiped about! Sometimes, it seems like everyone is into everyone’s business! Oftentimes, you are given unsolicited advice! So, for peeps like me, it’s preferable to stay in a cosmopolitan building.



Hoshang Velati (Professor – Hotel Management & Proprietor of a Catering Org.): I live in and would always prefer to live a Parsi baug because we share a common platform of interests, camaraderie, peace and serenity. Baugs encourage budding couples! Often, even our relatives live in the same baug and what better than to share neighbourhoods with relatives! Long live our Tokhum Kyani!




Behram Hakhamaneshy (Student, St. Mary’s School): I love staying in a Parsi baug as it’s more secure and it’s like one big family where we come together and celebrate our joys and sorrows. The kind of open spaces we have for gardens and grounds where we can play games like football, cricket and volleyball, is not available elsewhere in crowded cities.




Meherzad Motafaram, Product Manager (Technology): Many prefer living in a Parsi Baugs as these offer the opportunity to reside in upscale areas of cities like Mumbai, with very reasonable monthly outgoings. However, the dream hits reality when it comes to acquiring a home! The process involves a combination of luck, networking, and high initial costs, serving as a deterrent for many young, well-employed Zoroastrians.



Ashish Desai, Dentist: Baugs help us keep our ‘Parsipanu’. Parsi baugs are always preferred for community camaraderie and the common platform shared by our brethren with regard to food, language and entertainment. Not to forget our beautiful bawis and dashing bawas!




Beji & Hutoxi Deboo (Senior Citizens): We have experienced both, living a cosmopolitan set up and a Parsi baug. Both have their plus and minus points. For us, it’s more important to have good neighbours rather than focusing on what community they belong to. As senior citizens, we look for facilities that make life more convenient, like lifts in the building, peaceful environs, proximity to medical facilities, availability of household help, etc.

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