Actor Akshay Kumar has been given a Faravahar – one of the symbols of the ancient religion of Zoroastriansm – by the Parsi community of New York. Akshay, who was in the US on a vacation with his family last week, tweeted a photograph in which he can be seen holding a Faravahar in his hand.
(The Faravahar is one of the best-known symbols of Zoroastrianism, the state religion of ancient Iran. This religious-cultural symbol was adapted by the Pahlavi dynasty to represent the Iranian nation. The winged disc has a long history in the art and culture of the ancient Near and Middle East.)
“Blessed to receive this Faravahar from the Zoroastrian community in New York and New Jersey! Thank you for your wishes for ‘Rustom’,” Akshay captioned the image.
The upcoming Akshay-starrer “Rustom” is inspired by a true event that occurred in 1959. It revolves around a navy officer who shoots his wife’s lover. Commander KM Nanavati was the officer who shot and killed his wife Sylvia’s lover Prem Ahuja.
The Nanavati case became a historical one in the annals of Indian judiciary for several reasons: it led to the abolishing of the jury system in India, created friction between two communities (the Parsis, to which group Nanavati belonged; and the Sindhis — Ahuja was one, as was his sister Mamie Ahuja, who was involved in the court battles after Prem’s death), and the role the media (notably the newspaper Blitz run by Russi Karanjia) played in shaping public perception of the case.
Nanavati was released from prison after serving only three years; he was pardoned by Mamie Ahuja (played by Esha Gupta in Rustom) and the efforts of a number of people . Nanavati later settled in Canada with Sylvia and their three children, and passed away in 2003.
The story of Sylvia Nanavati inspired the song ‘Sylvia’ in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet. The Nanavati story also inspired a host of other re-tellings — both in print and on screen.
While posting for a photograph in which he can be seen holding his daughter Nitara in his arms, Akshay wrote: “Like all good things, this holiday too comes to an end! Bidding goodbye to New York with the little one, until next time.”
Directed by Tinu Suresh Desai, “Rustom”, which also stars Ileana D’Cruz and Esha Gupta, is scheduled for release on August 12. – CINEWS