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The Fire Temple at the End of the Lane

If in the secular world we sometimes appear to ourselves and others as good material for a Parsi joke, in matters that have to do with religion we are solemn and dignified. This is a side that no non-Parsi sees. 'What Masonic-like rites go on within the fire temple walls?' I am often asked. Nothing startling or bizarre occurs in fire temples. Rather, agiaries are dark, cool, and tranquil places that preserve their quiet even in the middle of the busiest, most crowded, city streets.

As Zoroastrians, we are never required to attend the agiary. There are no congregational services, no particular day such as Sunday marked out for prayer. A visit to the fire temple is a personal act of devotion which may be undertaken whenever one wishes.

On the day I am to fly to America for the first time, I take time off from the panic of packing to visit Soonaiji Agiary at the end of my lane...

The fire temple's pet dog. Soonaiji Agiary, Bombay 2000

The fire temple's pet dog. Soonaiji Agiary, Bombay 2000.

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Chapter 2: Faith and the Faithful
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