The difference between Parsis the book and Parsis the photography exhibition is that the first drew attention to the Zoroastrian community, while the second will direct the eye to the art of taking pictures.

Ratan Modi, a photographer with Modi Studio is part of a tribute section called ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ She says about Modi, ‘He is an old and very dear friend. He died last year.’

“My book said everything I had to say about the Parsis," Taraporevala says. “I don’t want the show to say anything. I want it to be a visual experience, I want people to go in there and look at photos."

Nawaz Kapadia, the daughter of an old friend of Taraporevala’s father, with an American friend, in India from the US, 2010.
Nawaz Kapadia, the daughter of an old friend of Taraporevala’s father, with an American friend, in India from the US, 2010.

The 56-year-old writer and film-maker, whose 2009 movie, the comedy Little Zizou, also held up a mirror to her people, started shooting in the mid-1980s. The city that Taraporevala has boxed into her camera for over three decades has changed only in two respects, she says. “There was much less traffic in those days and only two kinds of cars, Fiats and Ambassadors."

Jazz musician Goody Seervai was ‘an institution at navjotes and functions’. Taraporevla says —’I have grown up with his accordion music so much that I put the music in my movie’.

It took six months of poring over boxes and boxes of transparencies and choosing the ones to digitally scan and convert into prints. “I hate decision making, and selection is all about making decisions," Taraporevala says. “For the book, I chose photos that featured only Parsis in the frame, while for the show I have shown Parsis along with others. My primary thing, of course, is good photographs."

A Parsi priest at Nana Chowk, part of a set of four photographs that follow the character throught the streets.

It’s also the first time the pictures will be on sale—priced at between 18,000 and 1 lakh.

Parsis will be on at Gallery Chemould, Queens Mansion, Fort, Mumbai, from 6 March-6 April.

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