Archive | 9:36 am

You Bring Out the Parsi in Me

27 Sep

Another identity, another take on Sandra Cisneros’ You Bring Out the Mexican in Me.


You bring out the Parsi in me.

The choy-foodna-ni-choy and

dhandar patio in me.

The smell of lobaan, eau-de-cologne

and all things from the sea in me.


You’re the one who

draws out my Gujarati, the

dhus-pus bolni and O mora khodae in me.

The tori sasoo kanda khai and

insistence on preservation in me.

Cling to the garas,

dry-clean those kors,

lovingly wipe Granny’s pearls in me.


You bring out the Parsi in me.

The Sunday kavaabs and aapro Zubin

in me.

The Bachi Karkaria and Sam Bahadur in me.


scarves and frocks and

gout no dukhavo,

the refugee from Iran in me.


Take me to Udwada,

Where food and worship blend.

The doodh-na-puff and din no kalmo and

orgasm-worthy kharia in me.

The nasal chants of the dastoorjis in me,

The love of antiques, heritage anything and spiffy vintage cars in me.

And half a dozen boomlas for breakfast,

jara limboo aapjo ji.


Only you, only yours.

Love me the way lagan-nu-bhonu does,

all four glorious courses of sit-down perfection,

post fox-trots and cha-chas with Dinsa and Dorab.

Caress me like the kusti skims my waist,

the sadra white from Ala bleach

and an obsessive mother’s scrubbing.


You bring out the Parsi in me.

The saaf-safai and chappal pehro in me.


love of pegs and bawdy jokes

and koyla nataks on Navroze in me.

Whip out your fingers

Play tuj-khalloo-peejun-savak

Speak esmem-tesmem to me

Marere mua, what will the ghatas know?

Aapri rani su sojji majheni!


You bring out the Parsi in me.

The BPP politics, orthodox-reformist wars, the

silently dying breed in me.

The visits to Doongerwadi get frequenter.

A community is passing on.

The parjaats are eyeing our land.

Aapri colonies, aapri ketli jameen,

pun aapra Hindoos are always docile in me.


Run to Sai Baba

and Mahim Church

and whoever listens to the

South Bombay bred-missionary schooled-elocution-trained-haw, you don’t read Chaucer-English accent

in me.

Life membership at the NCPA is mandatory.

They give you a free form with your birth certificate at

The Parsee General.


You bring out the Parsi in me.

The pale skin, green-veined thighs and khar-khar laughter in me.

The majha masti, the salaamati, the

khushali na jashan in me.

(Only if malido follows).


Love me, hold me, say

I’m special.

Call your friendly neighborhood Parsi now.

Soon to be extinct but

never down-and-out,

grab your slice of history

before she walks off

for another helping of



Jamva chalo ji!