A Parsi, sometimes spelled Parsee, is a member of the close-knit Zoroastrian community based in the Indian subcontinent. Parsis are descended from Persian Zoroastrians who emigrated to the Indian subcontinent over 1,000 years ago to escape religious persecution after the Islamic conquest (courtesy wikipedia).

Parsis first arrived in India at Sanjan, on the coast of Gujarat in the year 755 AD. Since then, we have merged into the fabric of the country, and are as Indian as you can get today.

While Parsi characters have provided comic relief in many a Bollywood film, thanks to the general perception (and reality) of Parsis being good natured, fun-loving, and always young-at-heart, Parsis have over the years contributed greatly to the Indian subcontinent in almost every area you can choose to mention. Starting with the man who’s considered the father of Indian Industry, Jamsetji Tata; to others like banker Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala; freedom fighters like Phirozeshah Mehta, Bhikaji Cama, and Dadabhai Naorojilegendary filmmaker Sohrab Modi; nuclear scientist Homi J Bhabha; the champion of the 1971 Indo-Pak war Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw; screenwriter and author Sooni Taraporewala; authors Bapsi Sidhwa, Bachi J Karkaria, Firdaus Kanga and Rohington Mistry; legal luminaries like Soli Sorabjee and Fali S Nariman; actor Boman Irani; captains of Indian Industry including Ratan Tata and Adi Godrej to name a few; and the recently retired Chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Fali Major… the list is endless!