Via Tamina Davar
Screenwriter and photographer Sooni Taraporevala has launched a much awaited second edition of her popular book “Parsis – the Zoroastrians of India”. Taraporevala is known for her work on movies such as Such A Long Journey, My Own Country and Salaam Bombay, all graphically rich features. She is currently working with director Mira Nair on an adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s book, The Namesake.
“A twenty-four year labor of love, PARSIS is the first visual documentation of India’s Parsi community, followers of the world‚s first prophet Zarathustra, and the oldest monotheistic religion, Zoroastrianism. Professional photographer and award-winning screenwriter Taraporevala offers a rare insider’s view of how the Parsis, whose ancestors sailed from Persia to India over 1,000 years ago to save their religion from persecution, survive today as a religious and ethnic minority of India.
UNESCO recently celebrated 3,000 years of Zoroastrianism, once the religion of the Persian Empires. Greatly influencing other major religions, Zoroastrianism‚s followers once numbered in the millions. Today Zoroastrians worldwide – including Parsis – are thought to be on the verge of extinction. Yet the community has produced many leaders and artists, include world-renowned conductor Zubin Mehta; the late rock legend Freddy Mercury; and award-winning author Rohinton Mistry, who are documented in the book. The first edition, published in 2000 in India, sold out within several months. Taraporevala’s photographs – and written essays and interviews – offer a vivid window into this community of intense contradictions and continuing endurance.”