Iranshah Udvada Utsav: 'Damn the tigers, save the Parsis!'

Humour, pride and biz wiz mark the end of the festival

Udvada: Thunderous applause and cheers greeted Ratan Tata on the last day of the Iranshah Udvada Utsav yesterday, where Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely felicitated the industrialist for his contribution to the Parsi community. Ditching his mandatory crisp suit, Tata donned the traditional Dagli and topi (a white kurta-like shirt and a maroon cap) much to the delight of the older audience.

Flanked by industrialist Ratan Tata (extreme left) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley felicitates Dr Cyrus Poonawalla (second from right) on the last day of Iranshah Udvada Utsav yesterday. pic/pti
Flanked by industrialist Ratan Tata (extreme left) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley felicitates Dr Cyrus Poonawalla (second from right) on the last day of Iranshah Udvada Utsav yesterday. Pic/PTI

Keeping it short, he said, "I am truly honoured by so much love and respect showered on me today. Everyone in the community has made me very proud of being a Parsi and I cannot ever forget this honour."

Jaitely regaled the audience with some anecdotes about his Parsi friends. He then added on a touch of seriousness. "The desire to strive for excellence and producing leaders in every field is a distinction that undoubtedly belongs to the community. At a time of such an adverse global economic situation, we need more of you," he said.

Billionaire stud farm owner Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, who funded the festival in honour of his late wife Villoo, choked up as he remembered her immense interest in developing Udvada. He donated Rs 1.50 crore for the fest.

"I am keeping her flame alive through this festival," he said. Thanking the Prime Minister, who, Poonwala said, conceived the idea of developing Udvada as a heritage town, he promised that the festival would be held every alternate year.

Actor Boman Irani, who was felicitated on Saturday for his contribution to the community, kept the audience in splits. "Damn the tigers, save the Parsis man!" he said, in typical aapro Boman style.

It was this business and Bollywood mix that proved to be a compelling cocktail, as Udvada signed off in style.

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