A historically rewarding thriller – The New Indian Express

Express press service

granted that The Mazda Wizards is a great thriller. That said, you find yourself thrust deep into the history of the Parsis, a community of achievers whose community nonetheless teetered dangerously on the brink of extinction. Only a hundred thousand remain of those who became our permanent guests, having fled the persecution of the Umayyads of Iran and moored their boats on the coast of Gujarat as early as 720 CE, chanting Humarta, Hukhta, Hvarshta: good thoughts , good words, good deeds.

What unfolds is the story of the Zoroastrians, who form the backbone of this thriller. A little at a time, we discover one of the oldest religions in the world and its followers who have suffered many atrocities, genocides and persecutions, through the ages. After reading the book, one wonders if they suffered more than many other races and communities. Unfortunately, there are very few left to tell us the story.

The Parsis: pale as parchment, mad as loons and noses as hooks, but devoutly civilized, perfectly lawful and still abiding by the spirit of the first contract they entered into in India, as refugees. Never eyeing political power and content to help their adopted country. Don’t you find it strange that we know so little about this great religion? Is it because Parsis treat their faith as a private matter? They did not care to tell the world their story of continued persecution and subsequent holocaust. Over the centuries they have been with us, they have contributed immensely to our progress.

My job as a critic has me walking on broken glass as I try to reveal as little of a thriller’s story as possible. Here’s a skeletal idea: our hero is holding a relic as old as the Zoroastrians. He has no idea this will end up attracting the attention of spy agencies around the world. As a hard-working scientist, he created a wonder drug, so a pharmaceutical company is after him. They don’t want to be left behind, and joining this hunt are others who are after him. Of course, there is Ayatollah’s Iran pulling the strings before our hero is rescued by Mossad and RAW.

It’s a roller coaster ride for the reader through unpredictable twists and turns that have now marked the author’s work. The preparation to understand the meaning of the Zoroastrian teachings and the horrors faced by the Parsi community. It is in Gujarat that they finally find a peaceful settlement and success.

With all the qualities of a great storyteller, Sanghi takes us through the hell they face in Iran. It sounds oddly familiar. The lessons of history must be learned by civil societies, otherwise they risk being crushed by crude brutal forces, as happened in medieval times. This book enriches our knowledge of the history and beliefs of the Parsi community. Certainly, they deserve to be there for the good of humanity. A great cocktail of a thriller that also has lessons for the present day – history has a habit of repeating itself, especially when nothing is learned from it.

READ | Interview: Commonalities between religious beliefs have always fascinated me, says Ashwin Sanghi

Certainly, The Wizards of Mazda is a great thriller. That said, you find yourself thrust deep into the history of the Parsis, a community of achievers whose community nonetheless teetered dangerously on the brink of extinction. Only a hundred thousand remain of those who became our permanent guests, having fled the persecution of the Umayyads of Iran and moored their boats on the coast of Gujarat as early as 720 CE, chanting Humarta, Hukhta, Hvarshta: good thoughts , good words, good deeds. What unfolds is the story of the Zoroastrians, who form the backbone of this thriller. A little at a time, we discover one of the oldest religions in the world and its followers who have suffered many atrocities, genocides and persecutions, through the ages. After reading the book, one wonders if they suffered more than many other races and communities. Unfortunately, there are very few left to tell us the story. The Parsis: pale as parchment, mad as loons and noses as hooks, but devoutly civilized, perfectly lawful and still abiding by the spirit of the first contract they entered into in India, as refugees. Never eyeing political power and content to help their adopted country. Don’t you find it strange that we know so little about this great religion? Is it because Parsis treat their faith as a private matter? They did not care to tell the world their story of continued persecution and subsequent holocaust. During the centuries that they have spent with us, they have contributed immensely to our progress. My job as a critic has me walking on broken glass as I try to reveal as little of a thriller’s story as possible. Here’s a skeletal idea: our hero is holding a relic as old as the Zoroastrians. He has no idea this will end up attracting the attention of spy agencies around the world. As a hard-working scientist, he created a wonder drug, so a pharmaceutical company is after him. They don’t want to be left behind, and joining this hunt are others who are after him. Of course, there is Ayatollah’s Iran pulling the strings before our hero is rescued by Mossad and RAW. It’s a roller coaster ride for the reader through unpredictable twists and turns that have now marked the author’s work. The preparation to understand the meaning of the Zoroastrian teachings and the horrors faced by the Parsi community. It is in Gujarat that they finally find a peaceful settlement and success. With all the qualities of a great storyteller, Sanghi takes us through the hell they face in Iran. It sounds oddly familiar. The lessons of history must be learned by civil societies, otherwise they risk being crushed by crude brutal forces, as happened in medieval times. This book enriches our knowledge of the history and beliefs of the Parsi community. Certainly, they deserve to be there for the good of humanity. A great cocktail of a thriller that also has lessons for the present day – history has a habit of repeating itself, especially when nothing is learned from it. READ | Interview: Commonalities between religious beliefs have always fascinated me, says Ashwin Sanghi

Brian L. Hartfield