Double Feature – Pasagarde & Petit School Centenary

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Date(s) - 06/12/2013
8:00 pm

Zarathushti Heritage and Cultural Center

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December 6, 2013 – Double Feature

“Recreating Pasagarde” documentary and Centenary of Avan Bai Framji Petit Girls’ High School

P1090066 - Copy


As moderator, Jangoo Mistry of the ZAH Library Committee, remarked in his introduction:





Today we are going to screen two separate documentaries.  Though both are very diverse in nature, both are very interesting in their own way.

The first comes to us as a package of DVD and companion book, “Recreating Pasargadae”.  As many of us know, Pasargadae was the site of an entirely new capital that Cyrus the Great built as a memorial to his victory over his grandfather Astyages, the last king of Media.  In fact, some of you may even have seen Astayages in action in Shahnaz Sidhwa’s play a couple of weeks back.  Hailed as one of the greatest and most exceptional capitals on earth, Pasargadae is now unfortunately, more than 2,500 years later, crumbling ruins.  But now, through archaeological work of more than a hundred years, satellite and computer-generated images, the city has come back to life.  We can now visualize for the first time Pasargadae as it once was.

The attractive glossy book through transparent overlays and colorful pictures transforms the present-day ruins to the landscape, buildings and gardens that Pasargadae once was.  The gardens, with their flowers, reflecting pools with running water, and rows of trees were referred to as Pairidaiza in Persian.  This word was borrowed into Greek and Latin and became the word we still use today: “Paradise”.



You will love the DVD “Recreating Pasargadae”, Cyrus the Great’s Paradise, and I urge you to check out this magnificent volume from our library as well.

The second documentary is a 10-minute video celebrating the centenary of Avan Bai Framji Petit Girls’ High School.  It’s a wonderful tribute to Hamabai, Avabai and the Petit family.  Narrated by the famous Bollywood actor Boman Irani, the beautiful video will touch your hearts, and remind us again of the incredible philanthropy of the Parsees, and the Petit family in particular.  I know it brought a lump in my throat watching it.  Who among us does not have vivid and fond memories of our school days and often relive those times in our minds?  Luckily, we have three alumni of this school with us today, who attended the school.  They will give us their stories and experiences at the school, its history etc. after we view the video, which I’m sure we’ll all listen to with interest.  If there is anyone else here today, who is also an alumnus of this school or had any contact with it, please share with us your memories of those days and the school.

Of course, as always, we’ll have time for questions and discussions on both of these documentaries.”

After the screening of the two documentaries, before the floor was opened up to discussions and people’s observations, the three alumni of the Bai Avabai Petit High School were introduced by Jangoo Mistry.  The alumni were  Persis Buchia, Aban Chhor, and  Naju Amalsari.