I wonder.

Some days ago, I browsed through a used-book shop, and borrowed an A. J. Cronin novel with tattered edges and yellowed pages. Written on a torn-off sheet in neat blue-ball-pen cursive, this note slipped out:


Date of Birth: October 28, 1959.

Educational qualification: Passed S.S.C.

Experience: Working in Fariyas Hotel as Front Office Receptionist since September, 1977.

Languages known: English, Hindi, Gujrati, Russian, Arbic, German, Arabic. At present learning Japanese and French.

Additional Qualification: Courses taken in public speaking and elocution. 

The book I’d borrowed was The Keys to the Kingdom. And it opened the door to another life.

Who was Merzban Majoo? Stereotypes conjure up a fair Zoroastrian destined to inherit the small but prosperous family business some day. But he’d had to start working before his eighteenth birthday – he may have ended up a cantankerous old man in a Parsi Panchayat flat. .

He must turn fifty-three this year.

Picture him composing this short resume – a slow day at the front desk. The lull post-lunch. Bored Majoo, reading a book under the table. Wondering when he’ll get out of this place. Idly listing his bio-data, just for fun. Or maybe not.

Maybe the ambitious young receptionist was eventually admitted to serve at that temple of Parsi hospitality – the Taj. Or maybe he still mans the counter of a disreputable little establishment in South Mumbai, O Khodai-ing his fate through the years.

Did he remain a proud Parsi bachelor? Or did he send his daughters to Avabai Petit and marry them off at the Colaba Agiary? Did the booklover (he’d careful inscribed his name on the first page) build an enviable library? Or did some calamity force him to sell all his books, like he did this one?

Out of the same sepia pages, enclosed in an envelope addressed to ‘Dear Majoo & Friends’, fell a black card paper with embossed silver text:

The only logical explanation for you having this

card between your fingers is that we consider

you someone special and would like you to

prove it by coming for our party.


Lily Villa, Opp. Macronell’s Roof Garden, St. Andrew’s Road, Bandra.

On the 11th Feb, ’89 from 8 p.m.



Could Merzban make the time? Did he attend the party? Was it an unforgettable evening?

I think not. The envelope was unopened. Twenty-three years later, I opened it.

I do not know anything about Merzban, Fariyas Hotel, Husain or Samira. But if I ever find myself in front of Lily Villa at St. Andrews Road, I’ll be sure to knock.

 * * *


23 thoughts on “WHO IS MERZBAN MAJOO?

  1. I never thought this would happen..what are the chances that i am a regular follower of your blog. where did you buy this book from? i sold this book to a second hand dealer near andheri station.. i humbly request you can you please sell that book to me.. i have great memories attached.. i still cant believe this. what are the chances. we should meet.

    -Merzban Majoo

          • I guess somebody was trolling you, anyways that was an impulsive reaction comment, as an internet user, i have come to treat the written word with scrutiny, i guess this is an emotional-human post and i shouldn’t be bringing this up, but call it the perils of the modern world or rinshikijikatomey, one just cant trust anything blindly today, i would rather grow up in a world that was more believing and humane, but its just how things are. 🙂

  2. Beautiful Mrigank… Did you manage to get in touch with him? Did you give him that book..? (The writer in me has launched on a story based on this in my head, just BTW)

    There is something surreal and happy about reading stuff like this.. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this in the most amazing language… 🙂

    • 🙂 Still waiting for him to mail me. He probably won’t, but I dug him up on the Net, and he definitely exists.
      Do share the story when you write it.

  3. HI
    This matches my fathers resume with the exception of his date of birth being 1969
    And yes my father thinks it is amazing how that note is still there throughout the years that have passed
    I just searched my father’s name is google and came across that article.
    He married a Hindu girl my gorgeous mother known as Geeta Majoo and this was starting of a new love life, the first met as my mother the sales manager and he was the G.M of the company but there love made him the Vice president on the day of Engagement. the were known as the love birds of the company.
    for information you can contact us on – 8130162674
    It refreshed me me by reading your article

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