UNKNOWN DASTUR KAIKOBAD MAHYAR AN INHERITED PARSEE PRIEST – SO PRESENT AT COURTS OF AKBAR, JAHANGEER AND PRINCE KHURRAM.
Some things are saved by chance. We hear of Zoroastrians contact with Mughal Court but there is little that is specific. By chance two poems in verse, one a petition to Emperor Jahangeer, and the other in praise of Prince Khurram, later Shah Jahan, survived the ages. Mostly in Parsee private records, the Persian texts were translated into English, and published as a book, by another Parsee gentleman, namely Dr Jivanji Jamshedji Modi, in 1930.
It looks that Dastur Kaikobad owed money to the Mughal court and was imprisoned. Because of his ailing health, he wrote verses one as a petition, and the other as a laudatory poem. This is around 1617 AD. It is a soul wrenching appeal to save his nephew, who went into prison in his alternative imprisonment. Wrapped in elegant language, the appeal made sense. And it seems that Dastur Kaikobad was released by the Emperor. For he was a free man, when he died a year or two afterwards. It is a rare mention from a rare book itself, and it is to put this on record for research purposes. The original is in the archives of the museum.
The Parsees are sweet people and as proclaimed by the first Parsee in this region, that they would be like sugar in a cup of milk. They will not take space but they will add sweetness to the region. And they did. We have known many Parsees in our life, and we dedicate this extract to Lady Parveen Yara, who was a senior, at our school in Lahore.
So much is lost in history and often cannot be regained. But at times some things survive and with help of learned scholars come to light. And then are lost again. Such is the personality of a Parsee priest, namely Dastur Kaikobad Mahyar, who was present at the courts of Emperor Akbar and Emperor Jahangeer. Not much is known about him but part of his writing around 1617 is preserved in some rare manuscripts and Parsee sources.