OK first off, a lot of people don’t know who or what a Parsi is – well it’s a small tribe of eccentric and instantly recognisable people to be found in Mumbai, Pune and parts of Gujarat. About half the roads in Mumbai seem to be named after this bunch of people who follow the Zoroastrian faith and have almost universally over-large noses. So as a Parsi myself (you happen to be reading the words of a person belonging to an endangered species, I’ll have you know) and being married to another of the same tribe for over 12 years, I would urge females of all hues, ages and body types to find a Parsi guy to date. Here are just some reasons a Parsi Guy makes a great boy friend
1. The Parsi Boy is well brought up
Seriously, it is unlikely that you will find a young man who is as well brought up – the average Parsi chap has been taught to respect women, to help out around the house and perhaps be a dab hand in the kitchen as well. Probably because most Parsi women are a force of nature, Parsi males grow up with bewilderingly opinionated, single-minded and argumentative females. The guys have little choice but to learn to live in harmony with women, and pick up some respect along the way.
2. You don’t have to worry about his bike/car breaking down
If you’ve read the classifieds in Mumbai for old vehicles, there are those that command a premium – Parsi owned vehicles. Loving care is lavished on a vehicle regardless of its vintage. Regular servicing and maintenance and always keeping it spick and span means that any Parsi vehicle will always look younger than it is. So rest assured he will be driving you around in a nice car and no excuses for not showing up on time for a date.
3. You can be assured of an amazing meal any time you drop in at his place
Turn up on a Sunday afternoon at you are reasonably assured of a slap up meal of dhansak, kebab and beer. And if you have a special request of marghi na farcha (type of fried chicken) or Patra ni machhi (chutney fish steamed in banana leaves), Sali boti or aleti paleti (mixed organ meat) the mother will probably be so delighted that you know about Parsi cuisine that she’ll throw in the akuri and the lagan nu custard for good measure!
4. Your education of swear words will expand exponentially
Meet a few of the boyfriend’s uncles or his Parsi Colony friends and you will be amazed at the variety and sheer diversity that exists in swear words. The mother and sister swear words are strung together in a sentence almost conversationally; you would think that Kaka or Mama is actually being affectionate!
5. If you don’t drink, you will soon
No Parsi birthday, anniversary, marriage or navjote (a religious initiation ceremony that every Parsi undergoes between 5 and 11 years of age) is complete without the mandatory ‘Cheers’. If you decline a drink at a Parsi gathering, you will be asked solicitously if you’re sick or in mourning. That Parsi boyfriend will probably clean a cocktail glass better and make a Bloody Mary than anyone you know. So drink up now – resistance is futile.
6. You can discuss rock & roll with his dad
If you like oldies from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, his dad will probably whip out his miraculously unscratched LPs and regale you with a blast from the past on a record player that looks as though it lives its life in bubble wrap. If you tell him that your tastes run more to Deep Purple he will probably lecture you about not listening to enough Doors and how Queen is a gap in your musical education. The man will then proceed to urge you to call him by his first name.
7. If you decide to marry him, your folks can retire rich
It isn’t just that there is no tradition of dowry amongst Parsis. There is also the fact that you will have a registered marriage and save a bomb on the wedding festivities. If the Parsi family does decide to have a reception, you can wear what you like and no one will notice. No looks at what the bride is wearing; they’re not really bothered about the floral decoration. Mostly the guests will be bothered about Godiwala nu bhonu kevu hatu – how was Godiwala’s (famous Parsi caterer) food and how was the booze. Some may pay attention to the band or DJ –did they or did they not play the Birdie Dance. Otherwise it’s all about the food; only about the food.
8. If you marry him, you will be related to Adi Godrej and Ratan Tata
It is believed that all Parsis are related – there’s just about a lakh of us and we’re all the same ethnicity so we all must all be related. If you marry a Parsi you are reasonably sure to suddenly become related to some very illustrated personages. So find a Parsi to date quickly! If you can find one that is… remember we’re endangered. Just one caution though, if you’re vegetarian, may I urge you to look elsewhere?
And lastly girls think of the priceless beautiful gara sarees that you will inherit from you mother-in-law. Now that’s a cinch.
By – Reena Daruwalla