Sweets and sours

Photo essay: That thundering metropolis called Bombay

by Peyvand Khorsandi
One of the highlights of my last trip to Bombay, in March, was of meeting a 90-year-old Parsi woman who spoke Persian and was a keen follower of Obama v Clinton (she wanted Hillary to win). She was born in India to parents who had moved there from Iran, and had all the poise of a princess. Her grandson Jahangir I met in Goa and he had promised to have me greeted at Bombay airport with a driver bearing a fine selection of Parsi foods. I thought he was joking, people say this sort of thing after a few drinks, but Jahangir who was a large guy in every way was dismayed. When he later learned that on arrival I had boarded a cab not thinking there would actually be a driver and Parsi feast waiting for me he was disappointed. "It's shitty man," he said, when I called him the next day, "You made me look silly in front of the driver."

I begged him for a second chance and we met at the Wellington, a colonial club that was, a noticeboard inside said, to host a Navroj event on 21 March. We shared a few drinks and then, some days later, he invited me to his family home where a festival of Parsi food was laid before us. Amazingly the flavours had remained distinct from Indian food despite the centuries – all sweets and sours – and in true Parsi style, it kept coming.

What has this got to do with these photos? Absolutely nothing except that they are both from that thundering metropolis called Bombay.


Peyvand jan

by Souri on

Speechless !! Thanks for sharing those great photos which reflect the real India.


Iran - India

by Iran ram (not verified) on

Iran India to very old culture and invading too all but now the hart of this to garit civilazition {Ariana}[afgan]is being occupied by an enemy called islam wich is supported by s-arbia-specially pakestan i hoop same day we {Iran India}teak control of our be loved occupied land. Harry Ram India


thank you...

by kfravon on

loved each and every one of these photos Peyvand. thanks for sharing-



by ahvazi on

either way its a great city and overall India is a fascinating country. Its diversity is amazing. One of my favorite memories of the Parsis in India are their restaurants, they always had the picture of Zartosht, kheyli baa haal bood.

Peyvand thank you for sharing.

Marjan Zahed Kindersley

Lovely, Peyvand

by Marjan Zahed Kindersley on

Thanks for the pictures. I spent 3 months out there quite a few years ago. It's like a litmus.....


All very heartbreaking. My friends are OK.... Would love to go back soon.


To Anonymous22. Oh tiddles and fiddlesticks. How else could one get Bomby-belly?


Beautiful photos Peyvand! I wish you would add your own story

by gol-dust on

about the Parsis and your overall impression about india! I am glad you call it by bambai instead of the indian's pushing down in our throat of mumbai! Real confusing! Loved the way you capture your subjects' emotions! I enjoy your writings and I wish you would more of that! When were these photos taken? jon


Nice pics

by Anonymous22 (not verified) on

But it's called Mumbai. I wish you brits would get over it and call it by its proper name.

Shirin Vazin


by Shirin Vazin on

I love India! 

Thanks for sharing.