SHERNAAZ ENGINEER's blog on the Parsi community

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rustom Tirandaz, R.I.P.

The late Rustom Tirandaz, on the day he won the BPP election (October 2008), elated and determined to forge ahead...

On Republic Day (January 26), when one was at the lovely, lively annual concert of the Activity High School at Peddar Road, vivaciously put together by Principal Perin Bagli and her talented young students, in the crowd there was a lovable lion-in-winter, with his snowy beard and benign smile, Rustom Tirandaz, enjoying the foot-tapping dances with wife Armaity.

The next morning (January 27), he was summoned to a destination so far away that we’ve lost him forever. Rustomji surely had no idea on that Monday evening that these were the last few hours of his life – and neither did we, because we put off the urge to walk across during intermission to say hello, keeping it for another time. Alas!

However, it was a fitting tribute to his spunk and indefatigable spirit that the end came swiftly and suddenly, with no suffering. And he went, quite literally, on his feet…

He was a good man, with much goodwill – which was amply demonstrated at the recent Parsi Punchayet elections, when his surprise victory was greeted with joy.

Being a politician, and a former Mumbai Corporator, he had the propensity to be able to work the crowd with much gusto at any public gathering. He could make fiery speeches at the drop of a hat, full of wit and bravado, endangered by his ability to repeatedly put his foot into his mouth! But his gregarious disposition, easy accessibility, and genuine enthusiasm to do his best for the community won him much admiration.

It is a huge loss to the BPP to be bereft of its Vice-Chairman. A fearless voice against the lobby that is furiously working to debilitate and dishonour the august Punchayet, poor Rustom Tirandaz had, in recent weeks, been bearing the brunt of their enormous ire. Yet every time they whimpered, he roared; and often when they simpered, he snored – too bored to be bothered!

Perhaps, he wasn’t always right in the manner in which he expressed himself. Perhaps, his no-holds-barred bluntness was a slap in the face of those too Machiavellian for the community’s good. However, he was not someone who would cause the community pain – for personal gain.

His death is not just sudden and untimely, but an irreversible blow to the community that had come to count upon as a friend in need. We needed him at this juncture, as a BPP veteran, to help Chairman Dinshaw Mehta steer the course through choppy waters. Our little boat has lost a mighty oarsman.

Let us pray for his family – his gentle wife, who has had to endure so much on account of his passion for public life and the consequences thereof, his children, his brother Diniar Tirandaz, and other family members and close friends, who will feel his absence like gaping void in the gut.

As for the rest of the Parsi and Zoroastrian Irani community, let us learn what we can from his life and continue his good work, diligently and determinedly, without fear or favour, but with ample fervour, in the best interests of the faith. May the person who eventually steps into his shoes at the BPP be attuned to his ethos of service before self – and be as impassioned a champion for the community, with the tenacity to hold firm against disruptive forces.

Rustomji, we’ll miss you. And if we flounder, do holler down at us from heaven…



Thank you for this wonderful write-up about this wonderful man. I knew him in my school days but since immigrating to Canada in 1967 I must have seen him once. The last time was in November 2008 when he was celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary. My condolences go out to Armaity and his entire family. He went in peace like we all would like to go but left them devastated to cope with his absence. RUSTOM MAY YOUR SOULD REST IN PEACE. I expect to read much more about him in the days to come.

Rostam said...

Rustom Tirandaz from all accounts was a good human being....I watched him at the meetings preceding the recent BPP elections....he seemed a decent person...may his soul rest in peace.

Rostam Chami