SHERNAAZ ENGINEER's blog on the Parsi community

Saturday, August 20, 2016

What lies ahead…

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We are officially into 1386 Y.Z. and there’s a whole new Shahenshahi year to look forward to.

August 22, being Khordad Saal, marks the finale of our longish festivities, with the last round of rib tickling nataks bringing on the laughs, followed by some hearty feasting because which Parsi will let go of a good meal on a good day – or any day, for that matter!

The spirit of fellowship is best fostered when the community celebrates together. Seeing auditoriums full of Parsis laughing in unison at the same old gags, year in and year out, reminds us that there’s more that holds the community together than we are prepared to give credit for.

Sordid squabbles and cacophonous clash of ideologies may take centre stage regularly, but our shared bonhomie cannot be entirely discounted on account of our discord. We are as capable of getting together and having a good time, as we are of getting on each other’s nerves! The former is so much more endearing, you’ll agree. 

Festivals have a way of smoothing out the rough edges. They make you realize the importance of living harmoniously because, in the end, it is the happy times that make for happy memories. Life is constantly passing us by and needless negativity is such a waste of time.

If only we could practice the oft pronounced “Live and Let Live” motto, it could save us a lot of trouble. But we are constantly in varying states of agitation, neither living peacefully ourselves, nor allowing others do so!

That’s why we need New Year, Khordad Saal and other festivals to loosen the noose of the various controversies that throttle our collective joy.

While it is not feasible, nor desirable, to always agree on everything, it’s also necessary to have some reprieve from constant community kaklaat and conflict!

The past two weeks have brought much-needed relief. May we be optimistic enough to assume that in the New Year the tide will finally turn? Or is this simply the calm before yet another storm? The coming days will tell!

·         (This column first appeared in the Jam-e-Jamshed dated August 21, 2016)

Gratitude for the year gone by, And for the year that is to come...

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Pateti is knock, knock, knocking at our door and the New Year is waiting to be let in like a gust of fresh air! And all we can think of right now, is how profoundly grateful we are.

This seems to be a time of sweeping changes all around us. Brexit has taken its toll on Britain – and who knows whether Donald will Trump the hopeful Hillary in the November US elections?

Change may or may not always be a good thing, but it is inevitable and one has to take it in one’s stride. Life seldom comes with a lifetime guarantee for anything! And that is precisely why we are so grateful for all the blessings we have, because you just can’t take anything for granted.

Our families that nurture and sustain us through life’s ups and downs, through celebrations and altercations, and days rough and tough, holding our best interests paramount and prodding us to push ahead, they deserve our unqualified thanks.
Their support is the springboard for our success.

And then there are countless others who contribute to our well-being. Close friends who never let us down, colleagues at work who pitch in enthusiastically, seniors who inspire us and youngsters who amaze us!

So many people, in so many different ways, impact our lives and contribute positively that it is easy to overlook the few who irritate us and grate upon our nerves.

When you sit down to reflect, there’s so much you need to be grateful for. Good health, for instance, which is priceless. Good food, for another, that is such a delightful part of our Parsi heritage – ah, patra-nu-bhonu! Not to forget good humour, another aspect of our irrepressible Parsipanu.

Then there is good and righteous living that comes with good thoughts, good words and good deeds – ingrained in every Parsi since birth.

Being born into the glorious and radiant faith of Asho Zarathustra is something we are inordinately grateful for. Which of us would wish to be born anything but Parsi? 

And so, we can go on and on, and on, about all the things that we are grateful for – and we would still be leaving a lot of things out, because the list is so spectacularly staggering. Life is beautiful and it is a unique and very precious gift.

So, whatever the New Year may bring us, and wherever it may take us, may we always be hopeful, cheerful and, above all else, grateful, because gratitude is the best attitude.

Your glass may appear half empty – but it is actually half full! Let’s raise our glasses then, and say Cheers to the New Year. Chalo everybody, Bottoms Up!

* This column appeared in the Jame dated August 14, 2016