Parsi talent

Everlasting Flame International Programme, is a three part exhibition and related programmes at the National Museum, the NGMA, and the IGNCA, and the Parzor Film Festival at the India International Centre. The two-month-long festival recalls the history of Zoroastrian culture and its spread across the world.

Celebrated actor Boman Irani was in the Capital last Sunday to discuss his film Ferrari Ki Sawari, screened a day earlier as part of the Festival at the IIC. The 2012 comedy is the story of a Parsi family of three — Behram Deboo, played by Boman, his son Rusi and young grandson, a bright star in cricket. Rusi’s modest means and scrupulous honesty get in the way of realising his one dream of seeing his son play for India one day.

Agreeing to the film dragging a little towards the end, he added, “I’d go a step further. Today I will say what I couldn’t have said then, that the film did not realise its goal. It was not about the boy going to Lords to learn cricket. It was about honesty. To my mind, Rusi should have either gone to the police station and own up to stealing Sachin’s Ferrari, even though only for a few hours, or to Sachin himself, to own up and hand over the key, regardless of how innocent or desperate his deed was; not raise money come what may, and send his son to Lords at whatever cost.

“So I insisted on the lines, ‘So what if I can’t go to the Lords Camp, Papa, like Sachin I can learn all my cricket right here; he didn’t have to go to Lords!’. It’s another thing then for friends to raise the money and send him after all.”

Discussion over, he went in to change to come on stage to surprise the audience with his unbelievable singing, anecdotes and narrations. A resonant voice, he sings with great feeling and involvement, giving it his all — and what a lot that is. Beginning with the vintage number My Way, made famous by the legendary Frank Sinatra in the 60s, Boman continued with Give Me Some Sunshine of the Three Idiots fame with equal élan. By now the audience was swaying and singing along, clapping to the beats as well, astonishment never ceasing at the actor’s unflinching voice quality, his control and modulation. It is anybody’s guess why he should be an actor and not a singer. This was Parsi talent at its best, doing the community and everybody else proud.

Admirable it was to know that soon after landing he had been to the National Museum to see the exhibition Threads of Continuity: Zoroastrian Life and Culture, practised in the sun all afternoon, attended a press conference at 4.30 and was now at his best, singing and chatting, looking as carefree and happy as a lark!
We Are The World was the last song he rendered, peppered by some stylistic vocal mimicry — emulating by turns Michael Jackson, Dianna Ross, and Ray Charles. To the exhilerated suggestions of “Become a singer!” came his considered reply, “No; this much is alright.”

Published on The Statesman