LONG LIVE THE PARSIS !
'Dying ? Who's dying ?' he asked, outraged. 'I'm not. And I have extensions of myself - two sons and one daughter. So have you. Dying ? What are you talking about ?'
But Fali, we are dying', I tried to explain. 'Read this article :'The death rates are higher than birth rates. What can you say to that ?'
Fali belongs to the old, 'never-say-die' brigade. There was no way I could convince him about the gravity of the situation.
'The whole world worries about us; most of our customs and rituals are being documented for preservation.' I pressed on.
'What preservation ? Fali growled. 'I am here, jivto jagto ! Are you scared, or what, by what these idiots are saying ? Heh, heh, heh', he chortled. 'Nothing can wipe us out !' Fali put the thing in perfect perspective.
'I don't believe these rubbishy statistics. If the Lord intended to die out, our little boat would have been gulped down by the ocean when we fled Iran. But he did not. We were just a HANDFUL that landed here on the sands of Sanjan and see how many we are today. More than a lakh all over the world.' (this is the most important I think we should work on this paragraph, how did we multiply when we were only a few)
'He wanted us to do something and look what we have produced : gems .......a JRD, a Palkhivala, a Fali Nariman, a Sam Manekshaw, a Pirojshaw Godrej, not to talk of the Udvadias, the Sunawalas, the Godiwallas and Zubin. We have brains and business acumen.'
'And 'Quality'. We don't produce children by the dozen, but what we leave behind is quality stuff. It is nature's law that good things are rare, like us. We have always been a minuscule community. Now if you want to sit and cry, cry ! But I don't think we are doomed. If they want to document us, let them ! We have yet much to do and much to give!'
I watched him, bedazzled, as he put on his bushcoat to leave and planted a Parsi kiss on cheek. I raised a hand in quiet salutation and felt proud of the blood that flowed through my veins. He was like a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded room. I sat transfixed for a while. His attitude was convincing and contagious.
Probably it is this attitude that has kept us going. Numbers don't count. It is all a matter of attitude !
WE R THE BEST, HIP HIP HURRAY TO ALL THE PARSEES ON MOTHER EARTH.
WITH LOVE AND REGARDS TO ONE AND ALL.