Sweets and sours
Photo essay: That thundering metropolis called Bombay
by Peyvand Khorsandi 02-Dec-2008
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.