Say it like the bawas

It was all laughs and some pretend gaffes at the launch of Parsi Bol-2, an anthology of unique Gujarati-Persian-Urdu mix of phrases and words used by the Zoroastrian community in India.

Its writers, Sooni Taraporevala and Meher Marfatia were welcoming guests into the Fort bookstore, Kitab Khana last evening. There was a buzz when chief guest and actor Boman Irani arrived in a sharp black suit.

“Yeah, there are some non-Parsis in the cheap seats,” he said jocularly and there was a titter all around. Irani opened to the chapter, Sarcasm and Insults, saying his wife, Zenobia, practices these on him. He then chose the choicest of phrases, some risque, asking the non-Parsis if they knew their meaning. When they stumbled, he said, “That is why it’s important to have such a book.” He ended on a serious note, though, “It is important to keep this lingo alive and it will be very sad if we allow it to die.”

After that, it was vintage Boman, as he added as postscript, “There’s a suggestion for another book on Parsi gaalis…that one will be so thick and expensive.” To that, Taraporevala quipped, “My dad, Rusi, will write that because nobody dare arrest an 85-year-old man!”

Parsi visitors were still trickling in as we walked out, the store a-cackle with talk about ‘Mehr na dikra ne Jamshed ni dikri nu chakkar,’ Dina Hotel Mahableshwar’s spiraling tariff and good ol’ baug gossip.

Published on Mid-day