The Refurbished Main Bangli At Doongerwadi
Yesterday on 16th November, Mah Tir, Ardibehest Roj for once it was a happy occasion at Doongerwadi. The newly repaired and restored Main Pavilion, where Non Parsi mourners sit during our prayers was inaugurated.
The project of repairing and restoring this huge structure was undertaken by Dr. Rashneh Pardiwalla and executed through her organisation - The Centre for Environmental Research and Education. Not only did Rashneh lead the project but she and her two illustrious brothers - Cyrus Pardiwalla and Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwalla further funded the entire cost of repairs and renovations in honour of their parents Mr. Noshir and late Dr. Roda Pardiwalla.
A small but impressive inauguration function was organised at the main Pavilion at 10:30 am in presence of some eminent members and past Donors of Doongerwadi. A jashan was performed at the Pavilion followed by a short inauguration ceremony.
BPP Trustee Anahita Desai spoke on the vision of BPP for Doongerwadi and acknowledged contributions of all the Donors to the repairs and renovations of the various Bunglis, dokhmas and other structures at Doongerwadi.
Dr Rashneh spoke at the event on the Pavilion restoration process. Barely a few months ago it was in a run-down state. The roof was leaking, the beams of the roof had developed fissures, the pillars supporting the structure had wide cracks, the plaster on the walls had been broken and the paint had thoroughly peeled off. It required immediate repairs.
Dr. Rashneh Pardiwalla was at that time working on her reforestation project at Doongerwadi. Incidentally, for those of you who may not know, Dr. Rashneh Pardiwalla is a qualified ecologist from Edinburgh University and to her credit, has planted more than 10,000 native trees at Doongerwadi, in the last few years.
Rashneh approached her father Noshir and her 2 brothers - Cyrus and Dinshaw. Cyrus the eldest brother is a finance professional operating from US and Dinshaw is an eminent orthopedic surgeon of Mumbai. Immediately, the family decided to redo, repair and restore this heritage structure at Doongerwadi and restore it back to its pristine glory not only at a huge cost but with love, care, passion but also through hands-on personal supervision of the work by Dr. Rashneh Pardiwalla.
After all permissions were procured, a labour of nearly 6 months has gone into the restoration work. Dr. Rashneh was there at the site personally guiding and supervising the repairs and renovations with an efficient team of architects and contractors, come rain, sunshine or any challenge. Her team consisted of Conservation Architect - Kirtida Unwalla, Project Architect Purvi Doshi and Contractor Sachin Vishwakarma.
The roof is totally new now, the pillars have been made stronger, the walls thoroughly replastered and painted, the chandeliers specially designed to match the serenity and ambience of our last holy resting place. It is something to be seen to be believed.
Rashneh in her speech explained that the family thereafter appointed a special stain glass painter from Singapore - Swati Chandgarkar who along with Rashneh read up on very many of our Zoroastrian literature, religious scripts, interviewed several historians and scholars to be then able to depict the 3 glass paintings displayed on the ventilation of this Pavilion. The first picture depicts 2 Ervad sahebs deeply engaged in performing obsequies, the second picture depicting the path to our spiritually important 'Chinvat Pull' and last depicting the concept of 'Heaven'.
All of this love of labour has indeed ended up adding a sense of serenity to the already tranquil ambience of our Doongerwadi.
Mrs. Tirandaz, Chairperson delivered a vote of thanks to the Pardiwalla family and to all other donors who have in the past contributed to repairs and renovations of the Doongerwadi.
On behalf of all our Zoroastrian-Parsi-Irani Humdins , we take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to Rashneh, her father Noshir, her brothers Cyrus and Dinshaw and other members of their family for being so thoughtful and contributing so generously to the renovation and restoring of the glory of our pristine Doongerwadi.
Certainly their mother Dr. Roda must be smiling with great pride at the contribution in her memory that her family has made.
Thank you Pardiwalla family.
Bombay Parsi Panchayet