SHERNAAZ ENGINEER's blog on the Parsi community

Monday, September 28, 2015

Navsari na Padshah ne Naman!

In the increasingly messy melee of the oncoming BPP elections, with anonymous messages circulating on Whatsapp and the Net, and rivalries at fever pitch, not enough note has been taken of a truly auspicious, momentous and historic occasion – the 250th Salgreh of the Navsari Atash Behram on October 3, 2015!

To our mind, this Atash Behram is perhaps the only edifice we have that comes close to a cathedral – so majestic and resplendent is its makaan that houses the Holy Fire, and so mystical and magical are the images of our revered saints that have appeared on its marbled walls!

The Atash Behram has put out an appeal (carried in our Jame this week on Page 17), which fervently pleads for funds. In our humble opinion, it is the duty of every Parsi to send whatever sum they can afford to. Such occasions come but rarely and if we don’t help maintain our own religious places of worship then who will?

After all, what did we come to India for but to uphold and preserve our religion and race? Generations of our ancestors put the faith first and this is what has sustained the community.

The BPP was set up to protect the Doongerwadi lands in perpetuity and ensure that Dokhmenashini is not threatened. Our Agiaries and religious institutions are on covenanted lands meant exclusively for the use of Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians and all this was done by our forefathers to ensure that the faith and community stay secure.

Today, it has become fashionable to shrug off religious responsibility. Many aspiring BPP Trustees are glibly saying religion is a “personal” issue to justify their ‘sitting-on-the-fence’ attitude towards ensuring the sanctity of our time-honoured practices and faith.
Yes, religion is a deeply personal quest– but as co-religionists our responsibility towards both religious observance and adherence is collective.

As the Navsari Atash Behram's Padshah Saheb celebrates 250 years of enthronement and efficacious glory, may the flame of faith be reignited in us – especially those who aspire to lead our flock. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Beware, chameleons are everywhere

 Appearances are deceptive – yet, this is a lesson almost none of us is willing to learn. We continue to get totally taken in by superficially impressive people!
Reports have been raging over the past few days, detailing Page 3 prima donna Indrani Mukerjea’s alleged crime – murdering her own daughter in cold blood.
It’s a case so grisly that it completely defies belief. However, there’s so much to be learnt from this sordid story.
To what depths of evil malevolence can a human being descend? How far will you let your ambition take you? Will greed for wealth and glamour make you disown your own children and lie to your spouse that they are your siblings? Does creating a fake world of showmanship matter more than being true to your soul?
There are countless Indranis everywhere. Outwardly chic and glamorous people, who are so desperate to take speedy shortcuts to name and fame that they’re willing to lead deceptive lives full of lies and falsehood. What they project is not who they are.
They hide their humble background, almost ashamed of their past, in a bid to create a flashy future at any cost. Nothing is sacred – not their parents, nor their spouse or friends. They use and abuse people as stepping stones, only to pelt them out of their path once their usefulness is over.
They think they’re smart – and more often than not succeed in outsmarting other simple folk who just cannot match their cunning, crafty ways. But divine justice has a way of catching up.
Sadly, this often happens too late in day when they have left a trail of havoc and devastation behind them.
This is why it is so crucial to be able to look through false appearances and make wise decisions about who to trust.
On a different but not entirely unrelated note, it’s equally important to be able to correctly judge people who are to assume public office and pole-vault into positions of leadership.
We’re soon going to be in the throes of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet election. Several candidates will exuberantly fling themselves into the fray, expecting us to lap up their well-crafted campaigns – but it’s up to us make the attempt to look through their facade, read between the lines and sharpen our own judgmental abilities. The wellbeing of the community will depend upon this.
Let’s work together to ensure we make the right choice – although it appears as though there may not be too much of a choice!
Send us your suggestions, questions and comments regarding the forthcoming elections. Our Facebook Page (Jam-e-Jamshed) is a beehive of activity and interactivity and much of the feedback is an eye-opener.
In the coming weeks, Jam-e-Jamshed will endeavour to be your voice. We will articulate your vision, concerns and aspirations for a clean, progressive and professionally-run Punchayet.

Do write to us and suggest the way ahead.