Amyra Dastur hopes for increased Parsi representation in Indian cinema

Source: HT News Service.
Published on: August 18, 2023
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Navroz is a day of gratitude and family for Amyra Dastur, regardless of her location. This year, despite being in Sri Lanka for work, she plans to continue the tradition via a video call.

For actor Amyra Dastur, Navroz is a momentous occasion to joyfully embrace her cultural heritage and partake in the rich tapestry of traditions and rituals that mark the beginning of Parsi New Year (August 16). The actor shares that this time of the year, she tries to wholeheartedly connect with her roots and revel in the unique customs that have been passed down through generations.

Amyra Dastur’s preparation for Navroz

“I like to visit the agyari (fire temple) and just thank god for all that has come my way. We don’t have festivals every day (in Parsi community) and that’s why Navroz is a day to spend with family. At least that’s what I’ve been taught all my life and I find that to be a beautiful principle. It’s a day to give thanks to God and just cherish one’s family,” she shares.

Talking about the preparation and celebrations at home, Dastur tells us, “The front door of our house is decorated with a flower toran and a beautiful white chalk design at the entrance. There is a diya lit, covered in a steel grey urn with our guardian Angel, the Pharohar, imprinted on it. The diya stay lit all day and night until Navroz is over. Mom then says a prayer and put a teeka on my and dad’s forehead and then we move towards lot of good food and card games.”

Amyra missed festivities due to work commitments

Though Dastur often misses Navroz celebrations due to her work commitments, the Made in China actor reveals that it’s her mum who makes sure the family gets together in someway. “It’s a standing tradition that every year mum hosts the whole family for lunch and all the relatives. I’m really proud of mom because she has never missed a year. When I’m on shoot, they FaceTime me and send pictures.”

This year also, the 30-year-old shares that she will be away from home in Sri Lanka for an event. However, the actor says that she has already blocked a time to call the whole family, when they sit for lunch. “My brother has been working in the UK so even he’s going to be on call this year. Mom has been in the kitchen since Monday itself to start prepping the meals. I’ve told her to save me bits from every dish so I can eat it when I get back to Mumbai,” quips Dastur who loves to gorge on delicacies such as Spicy Prawn Patia, Bheja Na cutlet, Brun Pao, Papeta Ni edu (fried eggs on a bed of potatoes seasoned with the best masalas), Pathraani Machchi and her mother’s lethal yet delicious chocolate mouse, which she says will get you “tipsy after a bowl because of the amount of rum she uses”.

Representation of Parsi community in Bollywood

While Parsi community and its celebrations have been a part of Indian films often, Dastur does not feel very content with the representation. “They use a very yesteryear impression of Parsis in films.It’s a funny stereotype as we’re not people who keep eating eggs, sitting at home in our topees (caps). I’m extremely proud of being Parsi and I want to see more Parsis in Indian cinema,” she ends on a hopeful note.

Disclaimer: Except the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service.