SHERNAAZ ENGINEER's blog on the Parsi community

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla Bereaved

Late Villoo Poonawalla with Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla at the Mahalakshmi Race Course in Mumbai earlier this year
Villoo Poonawalla, wife of Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla and mother of Adar, passed away on June 8, leaving an irreplaceable void in the Poonawalla family. She is also mourned by daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Cyrus, as well as other family members and friends.
Villoo Poonawalla was a low profile and graceful lady, preferring to live out of the spotlight. However, she was the backbone of her family and lived up to the proverb: Behind every successful man, there is a woman.
Gracious and graceful, she was often spotted at the Race Course, sharing her husband’s passion for racing. At the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multimillion, held this year at the Mahalakshmi Race Course on February 28, she was, as every year, the hostess with the mostess!
However, her life was not merely all glitz and glamour. Deeply religious, she was a proud and practicing Parsi till the very end. In a recent (albeit rare) interview, Dr. Poonawalla had confessed, “My wife, Villoo, comes from a priestly Athornan family (nee Panthaky) and is a devout Parsi – very religious. She prays for several hours every day.”
Perhaps, Dr. Poonawalla’s stupendous success was wrought, in some measure, by the power of her prayers.
At the all-Parsi youth meet held in Pune last month, it is said that it was at her insistence that her son, Adar, came forward with a generous sponsorship to enable the event organisors meet the expenses.
One wishes eternal behesht for her soul. May her love for our community and our religion be a legacy that forever guides the Poonawalla family, so that the virtues of philanthropy, compassion and community service continue to perpetuate her memory. R.I.P.
* This article appeared in the Jam-e-Jamshed dated Sunday, June 13, 2010. To subscribe to the Jame email: