What he looks like, says the famous designer Anaita Schroff Adajania and Instagram leaflet with the artist’s pen, which she discreetly shows on her phone to the photographer and screenwriter, who was filmed by director Sunny Tarapurwal. The ladies have curlers in their hair and relax on the balcony overlooking the sea in Anaita’s bustling apartment, Breach Candy, in Mumbai.

While we set up the camera in one of the large rooms and the scents of Russian Pattiche and Dar Ni Pori (who were arranged for this shoot to put Parcy in the mood for a pleasant breeze) mingle with the sea breeze, I see a life-size picture of a happy man standing with his back tao in the legendary BEST bus in Mumbai. Anaita told me it was a mystical piano tuner, Mr. Ratnagar, who filmed Sunny and gave it to director Homi Adajania, Anaita’s husband.

As a working mother, I was very afraid to take responsibility for my work when your children, Suni Tarapurwala, were ill.

Padma Sri Awardi Sunni Tarapurwala, 63 years old, was born and raised in Mumbai, where she lives with her husband and two children. Sunni started her career as a freelance photographer in Mumbai after earning an MFA in film theory and film criticism at the University of New York. She wrote screenplays for the films of Mira Nair, the Oscars nominated Salam Bombay (1988), which earned her the Lillian Gish Award for Women in Film (1988), Mississippi Masala (1991), and Name Actor (2006). In 2008 Sunny debuted with the film Little Zizu (2008), which won the National Award for Best Family Values Film, among many other international awards. Also the pictures from his book Parsis: Zoroastrians of India; The Photographic Journey has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and the most recent publication was Ballet Yeh on Netflix.

Sooni Tarapurwala is the famous screenwriter of Salaam Bombay, The Name and Mississippi Masala. Yeh Ballet on Netflix is its newest production
Prabhat Shetty

Anaita Schroff Adajania has chosen a place for herself as one of the most important voices in Indian fashion today. She worked with Maybelline, then became a stylist for the stars and designed costumes for films like Cocktail (2012), Dhum 2 (2006), Everyone says I’m fine! (2001) and Love Aaj Kal (2009). She is the fashion director of Vogue in India and now runs her own styling company called Style Cell with four or five stylists under her direction styling the big names in Bollywood. Anaita is married to directors Be Cyrus (2005), Cocktail (2012) and Search Fanny (2014), Homi Adajania.


On the set Suni looks sumptuous in a burnt brick red suit. I’ve never worn anything like this before! I usually wear skirts, jeans and tops, she says. My only connection to Bollywood is through Homey!

During my studies in America, I never felt that many of my classmates had become unequal to boys, and that is very valuable! -Suni-Tarapurwala

Anahita adds: Suni’s husband is our dentist, the world famous Firdaus Batiwala, in South Mumbai, and Homi and he are very close. And we live with her picture of the piano setting she clicked on, so she’s a very important part of our lives!

While the camera rolls, Anaita art directs Suni, while Suni discusses the angles with photographer Prabhat Shetty.

I’m very badly dressed. The biggest advantage of this shoot is that I have to dress better and get their help shopping! smiles Suni, looks softly at Anaita posing for the first time. Then the fashion director of Vogue admits that she is also a careless dresser. During the shooting, I felt like we could increase the style for both of us, Anaita says.


Both Suni and Anaita have faced personal and professional challenges during their careers. Anaita, for example, created a career that didn’t exist. The challenge was not to follow a person’s path, but it made it fascinating. I’ve created my own niche and I’ve created an industry, and today one in two people is a stylist or wants to be one! says Anaita.

Anaita Schroff Adajania is Fashion Director at Vogue India and designer of the biggest stars of Bollywood
Prabhat Shetty

Another problem for Anaita is its geographical location. I’m a girl from the south of Bombay, while the whole film industry is concentrated in the north of the city. So I’ve got a few days in the suburbs trying to pack everything I can. I also have to go to Bandra today, and I’m already thinking about how long it will take!

It is strange for Suni to live in India and work for people in America. The challenge was to write scripts for which I was well paid, but which were never finished – it was disappointing. And of course there is the challenge of making films in India where there are no stars! says Suni. Their second director, Yeh Ballet, on Netflix, shows two poor boys overcoming all obstacles and dancing an elite ballet.

Children start ballet when they are four or six years old, but these boys started very late and only started listening to classical music in the beginning. The film shows how talent can be found everywhere. You just have to notice it and maintain it, she says.

The challenge [when I started as a fashion designer] was that there was no way for others to go. I created my own niche and I created an industry! -anita Schroff Adajania

Sunny grew up surrounded by working women. Her mother was a teacher and her grandmother made bags and embroidered saris at home, while her aunt sewed clothes. It was never unusual to be a working mother, but most of the time I was afraid to take responsibility for my work when my children were sick, said Sunny, mother of Inae, 22, and Jahana, 24.

Anaita’s not the kind of person who can’t work, she says. She also believes that it is very important for her sons Zein, 7, and Zrekh, 11, to see their mother and father at work. We don’t have a normal family life in the sense that my husband doesn’t have a day job, she explains. He worked hard for a year and cooled off for two years. We have some kind of rule that when I travel, he’s free. But like Sunny said, fear is always linked to your child getting sick.

Partial competence

Sunnis and Anaita have a very strong cultural bond – their roots are deep. We come from a tradition where, like many of my classmates, I have never felt I have become unequal to boys, and that is a very precious thing. The women of Parsi were the first to become lawyers and educators, Sunny said.

To Anaita: Top, starch label; jeans, Zara; bracelets, Dana Levi, Kai, Tajani; shoes, Sam Edelman; On Suni: Top, Starch De Label; Jeans, Zara; Shoes, Zara
Prabhat Shetty

A good sense of humour is an integral part of the culture, the ladies agree. In fact, Sooney wrote a joke book about Parcy Bol with a crowd called Parcy Bol.

We’re not easily offended. We’re happy when we’re laughed at and people laugh at us. Parsis is very free in her thoughts and expressions! says Anaita.

This is a cultural trait that Suni would like to pass on to her children. Oh, and the food too! I also grew up near a fire temple and went there to get my children back, Sunny said.

Although Anaita never really studied Parcy’s pedagogy, she knew she was a liberal. There weren’t many rules, except that you always had to be friendly with people, be a good person and have a good time. I feel a very strong alliance with the people of my church. I love their peculiarities and I can see them from miles away! Anaita laughs. For me, it’s the way they dress. If you go to Parcy Colony, you’ll see women with deep-necked dresses. It’s that the bigger they get, the more little girls wear them, and I like that. There’s also the shamelessness of the way Parcy’s women dress. At Parcy’s wedding you will see the smallest blouses that can be worn regardless of age, shape or size, which is quite liberating. For me, the sleeves are a burden because I grew up never wearing them! Anaita laughs. She never felt offended when she was called bavi at school and university, Anaita said, adding that Suni usually preceded it by madness! and she burst out laughing.

They are now talking about food, which is an integral part of the culture. It’s an excellent kitchen that hasn’t been used yet, Anaita says. I grew up in a middle-class family where Parcy’s food was the most important thing and I miss her terribly. Homi doesn’t like it, so only Zen and I eat it.

There we have the guts to interfere with the way Parcy’s women dress. At the wedding you will see the smallest blouses being worn, regardless of age, shape and size! ” -anita Schroff Adajania

She goes on to say: We ate as usual: Dhansak, Palau gave, Patra no Machi, Shrimp Pathi, and we count the fried English parsi dishes! Anaita wins Sooni, who says: And the pudding we call d-free pudding, and our vegetarian dishes are always meat-based. We’ve got a Bindi with meat!

Sunny mainly eats the food she ate as a child because her grandmother taught her how to cook. But because the cook is a Goan, they also eat a lot of Goan fish curry with rice!

We have a great dish called rainbow rice – it consists of several layers of cooked rice: Shrimp green, kimarote, saffron yellow, etc., says Anaita. It takes all day to prepare and is served in a glass dish to show the diapers. He’s decadent. You should sleep after dinner.

We also have a chop and a Kahriya badge, that’s Bava’s trail. The sauce is thicker, and we make it with black peas, Sooney adds. Now she notices the makeup when she looks at her phone. I’m not gonna take these cosmetics off, Sunny. I have to show this to my father and Firdaus.

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From 29. March 2020


 cover story sweatshirt,cover story pink lace dress