2nd Baj of Vada Dasturji Meherji Kekobad Meherjirana

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Roj Dae-pa-Adar Mah Sherevar, 1381 Yz.

Today is the second death anniversary of Vada Dasturji Meherji Dastur Kekobad Meherjirana, the 16th Meherjirana.

To mark this solemn day, appropriate ceremonies were performed at his house in Navsari, at the Navsari Bhagarsath Atash Behram, at the Ustad Saheb Behramshah N. Shroff Daremeher at Mumbai and at the Mahella Patel Agiary in Mumbai.

It is now two years since the death of Dasturji, but I still remember vividly his silent personality and the superhuman efforts he made in indexing the various Khshnoom literature, thereby making it easy for students like me to locate any article on any topic. To mark this day, I have upploaded on to the Ilm-e-Khshnoom Skydrive, his monumental index of the Parsi Avaz newspaper which was published from 1947 to 1974. This clearly made index has hundreds of entries on various subjects which appeared in this paper and provides a valuable resource for any researcher.

I am also uploading here, some rare photographs of Dasturji Meherji through various phases of his life. These photographs, many extremely rare and valuable, have been handed over to me by Dasturji’s wife Meherbanu. I have finished scanning these and will shortly dedicate a separate website for these photographs and other documents relating to his life.

Here is a photograph of Dasturji Meherji on the day of his Navar. He stands besides a chair, which marks the Dasturi of his illustrious forefathers. On the chair is a photograph of the first Dasturji Meherjirana.

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Here is another photograph showing a very young Dasturji Meherji.

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Here is a photograph of the Vadi Daremeher, the second oldest Daremeher in India, after the Iranshah. This is the sacred place where over 10,000 boys of the Bhagarsath and other Anjumans passed through their Navar and Maratab ceremonies. Only those children who passed through these hallowed portals had their names entered in the Great Register of the Bhagarsath Anjuman and only they were authorised to perform ceremonies within the jurisdiction of the Bhagarsath Anjuman.

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An extremely rare photograph of the original Sanad, or grant of land signed by the Emperor Akbar, given to the first Dasturji Meherjirana in appreciation of the valuable services which the great Dastur provided in the court of Akbar.

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This exceedingly rare photograph shows an assembly being addressed by Vada Dasturji Kekobad (the 15th Meherjirana). I am putting this online to show the spiritual calibre and nature of the priests on the dias. Where have they all gone?

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Another very rare and possibly one of the first photographs shows a huge gathering of Mobed Sahebs at the Vadi Daremeher felicitating some important members of the community. Observe the faces and dress of these Mobeds.

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This photograph shows the old ancestral house of Dasturji Meherji’s biological parents – Osti Dhunmai and Ervad Peshotan Meherjirana in Navsari.

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This rare certificate was handed by King Edward to Vada Dasturji Dorabji Mahiarji (the 14th Meherjirana) as a mark of respect to the leader of the Parsi community.

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Vada Dasturji Meherji was extremely fond of Indian classical music as well as ghazals. Here is a photograph of Dasturji with the noted Parsi ghazal singer Pinaaz Masani.

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A photograph of Dasturji Meherji’s wedding ceremony, being conducted by Dasturji Kekhushru Kutar and Dasturji Kaikhushru Jamasp Asa.

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Another photograph of Dasturji at a wedding with other Dasturjis of that time. A very young Dasturji Firoze Kotwal is seen second from right.

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Two photographs showing Dasturji interacting with JRD Tata on his visit to the Tata ancestral house in Navsari’s Dasturwad.

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May Vada Dasturji Meherji Dastur Kekobad’s Ruvan progress through the regions of Chinvat and attain Anushehi at the earliest. May his Farohar guide our feeble efforts at Frashogard.com to carry forward his legacy of chronicling the vast Khshnoom literature.

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

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Comments

  1. Siroosh Yazdani  January 24, 2012

    The pictures were simply mind-blowing and amazing Mubed. Especially the one of Dusturji at a wedding-he similes so adorably! Also seeing Dusturjis Kotwal and Jamaspasa in their youth is a true delight. Thank you so much for this article.

  2. Rémi  January 25, 2012

    Ervad Hathiram:
    Priests on the photograph of the 15th Meherjirana wear two kinds of hats (sorry I don’t know the accurate word): a high black one or a flatter white one. Is there a religious explanation for such different shapes and colours? Are they related to the mobed/ervad/dastur status?

  3. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  January 25, 2012

    @Remi
    The gentleman wearing the black headgear, called Pagdi is a Behdin (non-priest). The other gentlemen wearing white turbans (also called Pagdi) are priests. Only a priest may wear a white turban. There are different styles of tying the white turban due to which the clan and village of the priest can be easily recognized.

  4. Delnavaz  January 25, 2012

    I loved the pics, especially the one showing a huge gathering of Mobed Sahibs at the
    Vadi Daremeher.
    thanks for sharing the photos

  5. Shirin J Mistry  January 26, 2012

    Thanks for sharing such precious and revealing photographs. If you ever put them all on internet, I certainly hope to be included in their distribution.
    I too wonder where all our old stalwarts have gone and left us to the vagaries of deformists and ignorant co-religionists! Makes me wish once more we were born atleast a hundred years ago when being a Parsi meant keeping one’s word and being a Zoroastrian was a sacred trust!
    Keep up the good work Er Marzban.
    ShirinMAI!

  6. Ruby Percy Sanjana  February 1, 2012

    Ervadji Saheb,
    Thank you Thank you Thank you………..for painstakingly uploading this monumental literature and these beautiful pictures.
    You are indeed a truly blessed man to possess such beautifully captured memories.
    Pl continue to share more such memories in future.

    Tandarosti,
    Ruby

  7. Karl Sahukar  May 22, 2012

    Great pictures! We need to compile these from various sources, as a legacy for our children, of the times gone by.
    The Vadi Daremeher seems to be an amazing place, steeped in Parsi history! If those walls could speak, I wonder what rich tales it would tell!

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