Navroze 2023 Celebration at Zoroashtrian Association of Houston Center

By Tehmi Dastoor

HOUSTON: The ZHCC’s 25th Salgirah and Navroze celebration was a grand success on all counts. The proudly paraded gaaras and daglis (traditional Parsi outfits), delicious Parsi cuisine catered mainly by Naushad Mehta, and a local dance band headed by DJ Farrokh Firozgary, all contributed to a memorable gala evening.

However, the icing on the cake undoubtedly was the Parsi naatak,


A typical, farcical Parsi Gujarati/English play; it revolved around a family’s desperate effort to find a bride for their middle aged son.

The play was the brainchild of Jasmine Mistry.  Rather than spend around 10K on out of town entertainment, and in an effort to keep the cost per person to a reasonable figure, she took it upon herself to try her hand at writing a Parsi play.  That gave birth to a naatak that Jasmine created, wrote, produced, and directed.

The chips soon fell into place.  The invitation to participate was extended to the entire community.  Local actors came forward to showcase their talent, local backstage engineers sprung forth to offer their expertise; and before long, a complete naatak took shape.

Characters in the play were fashioned after considering the talents and personalities of the individuals who made a commitment to act. This was a unique concept. With different work schedules and family responsibilities, it was a marathon task to coordinate the practices.  However, the commitment and team spirit shown by the cast and crew of 30 members was truly remarkable. Kudos to Jasmine who embodied in her, all the qualities of good leadership coupled with the patience of a saint!  She was the caring and smiling shepherd who kept the whole flock together.  Ever ready to imbibe ideas from different cast members, the play became a team effort.

The final day was filled with reasonable tension and great anticipation. The common mindset of all was to make the play successful at all costs.

And oh! was it a success!

The cast performed with aplomb before a full house of 375 cheering, laughing, and whistling spectators.  Many were taken back to their days in India and Pakistan, where watching a naatak on Navroze was a welcome tradition.

Jasmine had put her heart and soul into the play and the participants stepped up to her expectations.The camaraderie among the group made it a happy family which one hopes will continue into the future.  The play remains a sweet memory in the minds of those who were part of it and those who watched it.

Jasmine, we the play members, applaud your spirit, and thank you for inviting us to join you in translating your vision into a reality.


CAST MEMBERS: (In alphabetic order of Last Names)

Scheherazade Aresh, Natasha Atashband, Diana Balsara, Persis Behramsha, Tehmi Dastoor, Barjor Dastur, Khursheed Dastur, Khursheed Hormuzdi, Percy Master, Naushad Mehta, Zubin Mistry, Zubin Mory, Afreen Pargaonkar, Bomanshah Sanjana, Nazanin Sarkari, Anita Thakore, and Parynaz Vimadalal.

BACKSTAGE HELP: (In alphabetic order of Last Names)

Percy Behramsha, Noshir Bhathena, Aban Chhor, Edul Chikhliwala, Tanaaz Chikhliwala, Khursheed Dastur, Jamshed Dudha, Yezdi Engineer, Zubin Mistry, Jidina Mory, Khushrav Nariman, Aderbad Tamboli, and a few Sunday School parents and kids.