RUSTAM-FARAMNA of AGIYARI at PARSI COLONY, DADAR, B'bay.
Rustam, was a poor youth, who had lost his father, when he was very
young, and was staying with his ailing mother, in Pandey Chawl, at
Karelwadi, Thakurwad, Mumbai. Due to poverty he was not properly
educated. He was dark skinned, thin and very tall, and had a very
shrill voice. Finding employment was a problem for him, due to all
Ultimately, he approached one Dadi,Thoothi, who had formed a
drama company to stage dramas, to employ him as an actor.
During that period, cinemas showing silent films had not yet entered
Mumbai, hence, staged dramas were the attractions for entertainment.
During those days, female roles on stage were performed by male
actors. Due to his shrill voice, he was suitable for female roles, but
his tall stature was a handicap. Nevertheless, as his luck would have
it, this handicap turned out to be an asset for the drama company,
because the audience automatically started laughing and clapping
the moment he entered the stage.
During those days, Parsis were performing dramas in Hindi and Urdu
besides Gujarati, hence their dramatic societies performed in other
parts of the country too. Native Rajas, Maharajas, Nawabs were their
main patrons. Once, the Maharaja of Jaipur, invited Dadi Thoothi's
drama company to perform in his palace at Jaipur.
Now it so happened that, Rustamfaramna, besides being an actor,
also served as a "Babarchi" to feed his co-actors. He was an expert at
preparing Parsi dishes like 'Dhan-shak", "Curry-chaval", "Khichri-patio".
Once, Rustamfaramna made bold enough to offer his dish to the
Maharaja and his Indian and Foreign guests who had gathered to watch
a drama of his company. All of them relished the Parsi dishes so much
that it turned turned Rustamfaramna's fortune.
When his drama company prepared to leave Jaipur, to take up some other
assignment, the Maharaja of Jaipur, ordered Rustamfaramna not to leave,
because he wanted to appoint him as a cook in his Royal Guest-House.
All the Indian and Foreign guests of the Maharaja relished the food of
the guest-house so much, that the Maharaja, started sending Rustam-
faramna to his royal guesthouse at Agra too, because most often, the
guests who visited Jaipur, never failed to visit Agra too, to see the Taj,
and other Mughal monuments at Agra and Fatehpur-sikri.
In the good old days,Rustamfaramna's co-actors used to tease him, by
calling him Rustam-Curry-chaval. Now with his changed fortune, he felt
proud of the title awarded to him by his old colleagues.
Gradually, the Maharaja of Jaipur, helped Rustam-faramna, in financing
opening of his independent Hotel Savoy at Agra., which catered to the
rich in European style, with his favorite Parsee dishes. Then onwards,
he moved from rags to riches. He gathered wealth, but unfortunately
had no heir to hand it over.
Thus, the Dadar Parsee Colony, became fortunate enough to have
Its present Rustam-Faramna Agiyari, in 1930.