Della Tower, Jimmy Mistry’s landmark building hosted over a thousand people of the Mumbai city’s Zoroastrian community including Head Priests, Priests, religious scholars, trustees of the Parsi Punchayet, actors, business people, cricketers & other community members who had all gathered together to be part of a very auspicious ceremony – the Enthronement of the Dadgah Saheb at Della Tower.
Ten years back, Della Tower was built, an edifice designed by Jimmy Mistry, Chairman Della Group. Creating this Persian inspired masterpiece established Jimmy as a doyen of the Parsi Irani community and a designer extraordinaire.
Since the building was built, Jimmy had provisioned for a Dadgah Saheb (a Parsi Temple) which was enthroned last evening at the hands of Vada Dasturji Dr Firoze Kotwal, Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor and Vada Dasturji Cyrus Noshiwan Dastur, the distinguished head priests of our community. The Dadgah Saheb is Jimmy’s humble and honest contribution to the youth of a new age Parsi and Irani community & designed with his signature touch, he hopes it will be a place of worship that anyone from the community can enjoy.
Along with the Vada Dasturjis, several learned religious scholars from our community like Dr Ervad Ramiyar Karanjia & Dr Ervad Parvez Bajan were present. Also part of this special evening were Chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet Yezdi Desai & his wife Anahita, as well as the Trustees of the BPP – Arnavaz Mistry, Armaity Tirandaz & Trustee Zarir Bhatena’s wife who represented her husband, as he couldn’t be there. Trustees of the Rustam Faramna Agiary were also present. Other guests included the actor Boman Irani & his wife Zenobia, actor Nauheed Cyrusi, Boman Irani the builder, Percy Chowdhry, celebrated cricketer Farokh Engineer, fitness expert, Mickey Mehta, Roshni & Parvez Damania, Anahita & Gary Lawyer, Dr Byramjee, Hoshi Sinor & more. The core team of Mobeds (Priests) from the Parsi Resource Group PRG Kaizad Karkaria , Meher Dastur, Cyrus Dastur, Jamshed Panthaky & the Dadachanji Brothers.
With the support of all the key members of our community, this Dadgah Saheb has been inaugurated today; with input having been taken from all the above while it was being built. Speaking at the inauguration, Dr Ervad Ramiyar Karanjia said, “This is indeed a very historic occasion. What we are going to witness is the establishment of a Dadgah Saheb in a building. Just yesterday in this place where the Dadgah Saheb would be housed which is the Kebla, a Vandidgard ritual was performed & the sacred fire of the Vandidgard ritual & the sacred fire of the Farishta ritual will be housed in the Dadgah Saheb. The residents of Della Tower are most fortunate to have a Dadgah Saheb right in the building, giving them the opportunity to go there on their way out, maybe when they get back, anytime. Being open to all members of the community, everyone is encouraged to visit the Dadgah Saheb to seek blessings & be part of this.”
The entire area was beautifully decorated with flowers & garlands & to mark the occasion, Della Tower was lit up on the outside by special coloured lights to create a perfect celebratory ambience. Guests were treated to chilled glasses of falooda, tea cakes & platters of delicious cut fruit
Jimmy hopes to carry on this display of our rich heritage through an Exhibition Center he is currently working on. To be located in the Della Tower lobby, this Exhibition Center is being designed with the community youth in mind & so a lot of audio visual aids will be used to interest them to learn more about their culture and heritage.
“I wanted to create a place where the youth of our community would feel comfortable coming into even if they have forgotten their prayers, or just wanted to spend a few minutes in prayer. Most people don’t know a lot about our history, how we came to India, what happened after that. A lot of this is undocumented or can only been seen in relics. I wish to create a space with modern audio visuals that will attract the youth & tell them more about the religion they belong to. I want the youth to come here & enjoy the Exhibiton Center, the sculptures on the building, pray at the Dadgah & feel proud to be a Parsi’, said Jimmy Mistry at the inauguration.
Ever since Della Tower was built, it has not been celebrated as a symbol of Zoroastrian architecture in India or abroad. Placing the Dadgah Saheb in the building is an auspicious mark of the 10th Anniversary of this unique building which is a marvellous display of Persian architecture with research & inspiration from early Iranian heritage such as Persepolis and Sousa.
“Unfortunately some people in the community tried to create a negative campaign against this event thinking that they could malign me before the upcoming Bombay Parsi Punchayet elections. But they do not realize that I have no intention of standing for elections. This Dadgah Saheb has been built here as a symbol of unity for the community, with the hope that Zoroastrians from far & wide will come to pray at the holy fire. With this event, we kickstart the activities of our Parsi Resource Group”, says Jimmy.