The Parsi Project

Parsi man in UdwadaAs a child, I remember being moved by the story of the Zoroastrians landing on the shores of Gujarat fleeing persecution from their own land, Persia (present-day Iran).

Upon arriving in Sanjan, the dastur or the priest sought refuge from Jadav Rana, the local king. Suspicious of the new people, the king showed him a bowl of milk, filled to the brim signifying that his country was full, that there was no place for anyone new.

The priest calmly added a spoonful of sugar to the milk that dissolved without the milk overflowing, signifying that the Zoroastrians would mingle with his people and sweeten their lives and land without upsetting the local population.

(The story, is narrated in an epic poem Qissa-i-Sanjan.)

Over the decades, the tiny community that is now facing extinction seems to have kept its word.

My attempt with this project is to document the lives of the people in the Zoroastrian community that has made the tapestry of our nation richer by their presence.

This photograph has been shot in the small pilgrimage town of Udvada in southern Gujarat. It is here that the oldest and the holiest fire temple, the Atash Behram is located.

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