…and the Naatak entertained us this weekend!

October 15, 2019

(In Gujrati, “Naatak” = “play”)

Mix Breed”, based on a Parsi family who have to face “intermarriage” issues, is a light portrayal of the real-world issues our Community is facing.   With double meanings and inflections, the cast (90% of whom learnt Gujrati “on the job”!) entertained the Gujrati speaking communities of Karachi.

The Script was written by Mrs Huzan Wadia, who has successfully acted & directed it in Mumbai; and selflessly extended the script on a gratis basis to Natalia Karanjia in Karachi, this play being the latter’s directorial debut.  Yay to Natalia!

This is what Karachi, and Pakistan, lacks- ENTERTAINMENT.  We have food & drink and ………… hmmmmm.  Play and theatre is picking up in Pakistan but to a very restricted market.  The mainstream citizens do not get to enjoy theatre on a regular basis- whether drama, comedy, musical.  Our cast explained to me the ‘power’ of theatre – they get their rush when the crowd reacts with them- it’s a powerful, intoxicating feeling; there are no second chances for a mistake; and when you make a mistake, you have to think on your feet and keep going.

In the 2000 decade our media was opened – creating a new source of employment – for budding theatre artists, actors, directors, writers, film makers, etc.  It’s a growth market but we have to create more facilities for this talent to be nurtured, taught, portrayed – AND WITH IT allowing us citizens to enjoy these productions and enriching our lives.  Kudos to the NAPAs, Arts Councils and other such facilities – but we need more!

(The naatak was sponsored by the 109 year-old Young Mazdyasnian Zoroastrian Association (YMZA) and the Karachi Parsi Anjuman- however it is not meant to be any endorsement or official or unofficial stance of the Anjuman, the YMZA or any individual thereof)

“The School of Hard Knocks”!

May 14, 2019

Persistence- Calvin Coolidge.jpeg

The attached Quote by the late President of USA aptly describes the resolve & determination my grandfather & family have shown over the last seven decades.

Over these decades, we have faced – and continue to do so – political problems, pressures & interferences; hotel politics; community politics; family crisis; business pressures; sports politics; monetary problems.  Is it because we are minorities?

My late grandfather, Dinshaw B Avari, was an orphan in Mumbai.  Himself learning under a lantern, my grandfather gave tuitions to pay his way through college, obtaining a B.Com from Bombay University.  He started his career in the Sun Life Assurance Co of Canada and in 1929 was sent to Karachi to open the Company’s office.  From this eventually led to the purchase of the Bristol Hotel in Karachi and the start of our family’s hospitality career.  When Beach Luxury Hotel opened in 1948, the property was requisitioned.  In Lahore in the 1950/60s, a new “scheme” by the Governor then, requisitioned our property for so-called public use.  Our Avari Towers Hotel in Karachi, absolutely ready for operations, remained closed for two years due to “competitor” politics…I can go on and on.

However, Calvin Coolidge’s Quote stands tall on our Office wall, as we have weathered the tides & onslaught against us…and survived…and grown … due to the persistence of my grandfather & father!

In the face of these challenges my grandfather used to quote “More things are wrought by prayers, than by man alone”.  There is no substitute for persistence and hard work … and Prayers and faith in God help you overcome such challenges and tribulations.

… and no school can ever teach you this!