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Friday, 12 March 2004
The holy town of Udwada with its quaint houses, dotled with.......
narrow lanes- a sleepy little village that that most sacredly houses oue sanctum santorium Holy Fire ( Iranshah) resplendid with all its piousness , virginity and solemnity. Zoros from all over crowd the village to very special occasions or to pay homage to the dear departed and also to keep the zoro faith prospering.
Nestled in the lush green orchards of chickoos and mangoes-the intruding Arabian Sea is crossing its limits at the shoreline threatening the very existence of this unique hamlet.
For Udwada nothing has changed. The same winding streets-the same old houses reshaped & refurbished-but values are the same. Winter mornings are the coldest and one can suddenly wake at the knock of the door 'who could it be?'none othr than a stentorian caller "puff, Doodh na Puff'. A delicacy to be relished in Udwada alone. You have to be Udwada to witness & experience this feeling. Udwada bags the credit of still Maintaining four hotelsall in the vicinity of pious Iranshahserving authentic/ethnic Zoroastrian dishes laced with savoury fringes like 'Aleti-Paleti'. WZO houses it's office in Udwada under whose patronage most welfare activities are launched.

Maneck Todiwala who backs the mek group of hotels & catering services, is ace in hospitality and Parsee fanfare. Maneck remembers with admiration and fondness how Rustom Bharda , his godfather and founder of this hotel,shared with him the intricacies of the business. The Mek hotel has a very unique structure of the cuisine, by feasible packages. The Mek is optional to non zoros also. The only place in Udwada where one can find a Cyber terminal, a 24X7 service provider. Atleast a reason to hangout more than the scheduled trip.

Rustomji Bharda Dormitory, also managed by the Mek group, the basic place for people whowould only want to get refreshed in a giffy. Ala Carte menu is supported here too. It is facilitated by 24X7 in-out service. The dorm is close by our Iranshah, afew minutes walk.

Sodawaterwala Dharmshala, a part of the Mek group, has its own flock of visitors and temporary occupants, rather a fast moving cycle of Zoros.

Manek also organises round-trips, caters to varios events and ceremonies all over the country. His normal assignments include the Sanjan day at Sanjan, Gambhar at Daman Dar-E-Meher, He has catered recently for the FOZYA. His other contract include, Agnee Bakers, the Irani duo of Dahanu, had their ctering for their children's navjote. The junglewaasi gambhar takes place at interiors of Sanjan, mek hsts his caterings there too.

" I have gained much after I took over at Udwada ". , "Got business from newer fronts and various pockets", he added.
Maneck truely is a man of substance, pioneered this business, worked under Late Mr. Bharda.

The online room reservation service is available now.

Posted by nc3/zorogujarat at 5:51 AM
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Tuesday, 24 February 2004
3rd WZYC Poona- The Gujarat Perspective
From the land of knowledge and prosperity emerged this tiny dynamic and illustrious community which mapped industrial growth , education and academic upsurge., social, cultural and community welfare in the comity of religious domains. Gujarat parsees austere , philantrophic and progressive have headed industrial growth ,trade & commerce. But they pride themselves in excelling the art of horticulture farming and pioneering all those remote and obsolete fields where angels fear to tread.
Gujarat Parsees are great enterpreneurs always eager to take challenge and take odds in their strides. Rituals , dogmas and traditions still dominate their life and thinking, but contrary to the belief, Parsees of Gujarat have great leadership qualities, whenever exegencies demand, they pitched in help, encouragement, resources and talents.

Great staltwarts, writers, poets, industralists, business tycoons have contributed lavishly to the growth and progress of Gujarat, unfortunately, their temperament and composure compel them to live a life of austerity and remain unacclaimed. Yes, it has been observed and noted within all intellectual circles, that Gujarat Zoros are in the back waters, this is a myth, if that is to be a challenge what about Kavi Khabardar- there are many upcoming budding poets from Navsari who have scripted their success, nationally, but have gone unnoticed in their home grounds. So friends, the purpose of hosting this website is to aquaint the Parsees of Gujarat who, though having propensities & potential shy away from publicity. They have done remarkable work at personal & public level, but do not wait to be photographed. At this juncture, my aim is to familiarize the youth representing Gujarat on international scenario. A lot of effort has been initiated by the community leaders to create interaction between the youth, which can have a direct impact upon the mainstream of Parsi life. But whether these conventions, seminars have made a dent into the existing barriers is a point to be noted, the community is confronted with manifold problems which if not nipped in the bud , it might thwart & effect the community at large.
The Gujarat Perspective deals with providing an overview of Zoroastrians of Gujarat , devout as they are and will be, as pillars of nation building.
Our idea is to conglomerate their ideas , contributions and potentials, reflected through
Opinion Polls and interviews’ presentation..

Participants declined mixed reaction like Urvaksh Ghadiali from Surat, quipped “ that it was Ok. This was third of it’s kind he had attended, the firtst two he had witnessed were in UK. YouthMeet was a sweeping succeess”. Excerpts from certain quarters maintain that P.M Tony Blair figured at the meet and it wasb an eventful evening- will be eternally stored down the memory lane. Honourable Mr. Malcolm Deboo who is at the panel of WZO- Uk, had made relentless contribution during the Pune event. A smashing success tough. The event started with a bang positive in approach- initiated with the Jashan ceremony- consecreted by the Holy Fire-supported by large number of mobeds and navars- it was truly “ Rekindling The Spirit” . Awakeing the religion awareness inculcating a strong sense of belonging and pride amongst the youth”. The registration process was very flexible and cool. Nestled in the Slvan surrounding and lush green valley of the Sahyadri, the Nagarwala School Complex housed the delegates the service was excellent and the youth from all age groups represented the event without any reservations.the event any reservations.
The events and the features were staged at the Taj-Blue Diamond, Pune, Where we used to breakfast, was organised with a multicuisine branch.
Cradled in the poolside area of the Taj, it was stunning and our learned scholar Khojeste Mistree was nostalgic about our ancient relics, Zoroastrianism, the adent of the Parsis, the adventurous spirit and indomitable fervour to salvage the “ Ahura Mazda” was all too amazing> He brilliantly depicted our heroic approach- the combat with sassanians- the inimaitable stule of Khojeste Mistree has to be experienced to be enjoyed.
A scholar Philosopher and Thinker as he can be rightly called , he further unravelled the truths of ancient Iran.He reiterated that there were no connections, genetically or racially betwween the kinds of Tazakisrtan asthey only claim to be Zoros there are no strong evidences or proofs which can supporty such beliefs. They do not frequent Atash Behrams or Dokhmas. No fire is worshipped by them.
Mr. Mistree added in more hilarious but satirical tones. Please do not dilute or otherwise whom will you share your non-veg joges with, since history says its only the descendents of Zoroaster who are genetically disposed to have an inborn penchant for such savoury and corny jokes.
Mrs; Mistee complimented by showing some slide shows in the Russet room.
The pistures clearly indicated Iranis who somewhat followed the fire, where fire was inspirational in their daily life- but unfortunatelyno dasturji was heading it, amidst such red tapism and religious fanaticism,a woman donning green salwar used to maintain the fire in a segregated environment.
Dashing ypung Porus Debara hailing from Agra, had very clear distinctive and authentic knowledge of history of Zoroatriansim. He is an active member of FOZYA and actively involves himself in community projects.
One gentleman whose origin was Uzbekistan could not unvolve himself in exchange of ideas as it was not feasible-he could notcommunicate of common interest. A slide show was staged depicting film showing chromosomes and the theory that bears the link with Parsis- misbeliefs misconceotions that were directed towards the genetic disposition of Parsis was eliminated as the slide detailed (featured) no convincing proof that indicated that Parsees had a weak cell structure.
An eminnent lady advocate Armaity Khushnoomshahi, so slickly dealt with the Utopian topic of spurting divorce rates (alarmingly high). Studies revealed startling facts and the community needed to harness all energies to dessimate and prevent such demographical damage.And all this for what ?? Ego!!. Reminds one Shakespeare’s plays ‘as you like it’
The committee expressed deep concern over erratic behaviour of such responsible and deeply committed people of its comminity- and intends to set marriage counsellors to take care of sensitive and conflagerating issues that emanate from incompatibility which could stalk furtherdamage to the community’s fragile existence.
Surprisingly Firdous Mehta, Fezana USA, claimed showing the sensus that from 5000 Zoros, way 10 years back, and presently above 18000 Zoros in Usa.And only 2-3% had opted to go in for interfaith rekationships. Indeed hats off to the US parsis and thanks to the various Zoro organisations for their laudable work to hold the community together in such diverse circumstances.

Dr. Homi Dhalla emminent historian and religious exponent had done commendable work to preseve to preserve and promote the relics of Sanjan- the archeological expidition of the caves of Bahrot- his efforts to reinslate the relics which are of great value aesthetically and nationally. He was honoured and appreciated for his extensive services to the community’s heritage. Comprehensive research and studies have been forged ahead under the auspices of Dr. Dhalla and the Central Govt. of India.. Mr. Dhalla is a great upholder of ideals of Zoroastrianism, its origins, preachings and appplication in daily life. It is worth mentioning here that the excavation of Bahrot caves has received immense support and boost from the Govt. of India. The project is now a joint venture between the gOvt. and the community. Dr. Dhalla and other esteemed volunteers are assisted by the local authorities for furthuring the project . sustained aid has been sanctioned towards the culmination of this project.

An ethnic costume evening was celebrated and the young maidens donned the equisite Gara plain Chinon sarees with brocaded embroidery laced with beads and sequins. Whereas the Cupid wore the traditional Dagli, at J.J Agiary. This was specifically co-sponsored by honourable Dr. Grant. The youth extended their gratitude to him.
The visit to the Poonawala stud farm was a lifetime experience. Youth watched in wonderment as the mares jostled with their trainers while our mares were just undecided whether the grass was greener on the other side or not, which means was it really orth it to decide on a soulmate and call it a day or not.
The frozen an discotheque was truly studded with bonfires with a lot of fun and frolic, it was folowed by a short film on the eventful life and history of the illustrious Poonawalas. They have been truly philantrophic and form the backbone of the economic progress of Poona, their contribution to industrial sector id noteworthy.
Mr. Dinshaw Tamboly’s remarkable service to the community is commendable. He corroborated the revelations of Dr. Dhalla and was extremely positive towards the future of the community.
Dara Irani quipps Urvaksh, was an interesting person heading the P.P.P. poona.and also being an astute and distinguished advocate.
According to the delegates he bags all the credit for the hosting the 3rd Zoroastrian Youth Congress in Poona, which according to them was extremely successful and result oriented. More such meets which could break the barriers between youth would be welcome.
Sarosh palkhiwala, Chair, FOZYA, was also instrumental in providing best amenities for the youth delegates. His unflencting support and philanthrophy was un matched. He left no stone unturned to make our stay comfortable and memorable.
Burjor Antia Of BPP, was lauded and honoured.We feel ourselves greatly indebted to all these ilustrious great leaders who behold the religion, its principles,teachings, preachings.
Hon. Malcolm Deboo who headed WZO UK, made an alarming and impressive lecture on a survey which confirmed the Parsee population dwindling. He expressed deep concern and started many balls rolling. The underlying causes are manifold. One being housing which ofcourse the Parsi Panchayet could handle but the rest such as late marriages, divorce, limiting families to 1 or 2 offsprings was more a problem at individual level and could best be tackled by the youth themselves. There is a glaring lack of cohesion , within the community’s youth. Empowered with knowledge education and an analytical mind I do not think the youth would fall back in doing things in the right perspective.The overall atmosphere was congenial and positive.
To add to the list of prominent promising persons who rendered their self less services by way of time; we had the honour of having with us a very progressive couple who hailed from Vietnam. He was quoted as saying that initially it was an uphill task settling there, but as Parsees are great pioneers and trendsetters and entrepreneurs it took them very little time to adjust. He even offered young talent to follow him to Vietnam.
“We need to be more openminded about ourselves. Our ideas, ideologies and need to interact more- We ought to be open with problems bugging us or else we live in an illusive world of surrealistic pleasures or we are down to earth both are extremes….
It was amazing says….. Young maidens who flew across the world sees to grace the occasion with their presence were quite conservative puritanicalwell breed and conventional, controversy to the general opinion. The western culture had not dtermined their dres code values or ideologies.
Bpp Chairman Minoo Shroff, was felicitated for his sustained efforts to solve the communoty’s problems for his unparelleled services to rthe community and his dep commitment to social and community welfare. One of the most path breaking revelations made by him were the mobeds disregard for their work-which entails half baked attempts at chanting prayers at solomn occasions.Their role and duties were well defined and it was imperativethat they function within the parameters stipulated to them. The yuoth were still very reserved and had prefixed ideas quoted……..
It is unfortunate that a handful of religious scholars , reformists, thinkers, and social workers cannot make sizable change in the attitudes and approach of the youth.
The “ change” and adaptability should be at grass root level ‘Nurture and Nature’ are not too apart. It is clearly indicated that if any change has to come through the attitudes of the young minds of girls and boys, the onus of this lies on the parents. Our first and foremost concern should be to prserve and propogate Parsi Culture and Heritage, acquaint the common man with Shah Nameh’s teachings. Planning visits to places of ancient relics where the faith originated , will be a part of awareness programme………
Omposing laws putting constraints on mixed marriage-initiating their offsprings into Zoro main stream wont really make an impact but making a world wide eduaction and information program and awarebess drive for integration and rapport building will definitely Rekindle the spirits says………..
Every Parsi Panchayet ina satellite town or city must involve the youth and all older generations to organise cultural programmes highlighting origins and haracteristics of Zoros as chivalrous charishmatic sons of the soil, hardworking and devout.
Religious classes should be startedin all B & C towns, where not only prayers but history of Iranian Empire battles with Sassanian rulers-Greeks etc.. should be taught.The austerity and spirituality of the Zoro religion should be fostered at a young age.
Co-operation of parents , teachers, society , anjumans and social workersis needed maintains……
With the influence of Globalization and national integration program small minority community whose representation is miniscule can stand risk of cultural loss, Identify loss
Earlier Parsee settlements were predominantly in mohallas in vicinity of the agiari where Zoros congregated in large numbers again with the pressures of job , work shortage of space. Zoro is forced to live in cosmopolitan complexes where non zoroastrian influence is maximum. It is most likely thatas time lapses the younger generation gets transferred to the more challenging features of cosmopolitan society forgeting zoro rituals and traditions.
There are some grave discrepancies which need immediate attention such aas dwindling birth rate .Many factors contribute to this, being the tendency of couples to limit their families to one or two issues in order to afford luxurous life.Is this not being a mercenery.Growing number of seperates have spelt disaster for young bubbling couples who at the threashold of their career have to battle through legal hassles demanding custody of their child, making settlements,etc..which can devastate potential couples who otherwiase would be a very consistent and composite part of the society.says…….
However, the most critical problem which has assumed greater dimensions in the last 3 decades is is Zoro youth deciding to be a confirmed celebate.
Why? The common argument is that they don’t get their like minded partner. Again there is a certain degree of selflessness, to enjoy life better being single. These issues need to sorted out.
A little curb on ego, a slight adjustment of favourates and a negligible amount of compromise will work wonders and save the community from being extinct which is already on the brink of annihilation

We are glad to have this opportunity to thank the editors and text composers, esp Dr. Faramroze M. Chyella, for the work inputted, to bring out this issue as a homepage.
Our special thanks to the Patalwala family of Surat, India , for extending their undue support & encouragement towards initialization of this project.

Posted by nc3/zorogujarat at 5:00 AM
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