Navroze is a day for families, ours and others from the colony, to get together and celebrate. The countdown to Navroze is crazy. We clean the house and put up special decorations. We make designs using chalk powder, similar to rangoli, outside our homes. This is done to welcome the new season.
On the day of Navroze, we wake up early, have a bath, wear our new clothes and visit the fire temple. Although there is one nearby at Andheri West, we like to visit the fire temple at Malcolm Baug, Jogeshwari. But if it’s an emergency, the Andheri temple is most convenient.
Food is an important aspect of Navroze. In our family, my mother prepares either ravo (the Parsi variant of kheer) or sweet sev for breakfast. Although these sound light on the tummy, they are rich delicacies—my mother usually adds loads of dry fruits and other ingredients in them. The feast and festivities continue through the day. Dhansak is usually served at lunchtime along with other varieties of food churned out for family and friends.
Our house is never empty during Navroze. As part of the tradition, we, as a family, stand at the entrance of our home to welcome guests. It may sound tiring, but it’s a lot of fun and at the end of the day, even though we get exhausted, no one is seen complaining.
There are a number of places in Andheri that are frequented by Parsis. I am usually seen at Merwans in Andheri West, which is famous for its baked products. I am a big fan of the chocolate rum balls, but Merwans usually has a special menu for Navroz. Other interesting places are Ahura Bakery and Mazda Wines, located on either side of the Ardeshir Patel Daremeher (commonly known as Patel Agiary) in Andheri West. I love my culture and enjoy this time of the year immensely, with my family and friends.