Waking up with Pheroza Godrej

SUNDAY SOFTWARE: Each week, Malavika Sangghvi gives the lowdown and high points of Sunday. Books, art, interior, history and nature make up Pheroza's Sundays

Latest News
Waking up with Pheroza Godrej



Sunday Software

Each week, Malavika Sangghvi gives the lowdown and high points of Sunday

As president of the National Society of the Friends of the Trees for the past five years, and as one of the three vice-presidents of the 122-year-old Bombay Natural History Society, it is only fitting that most Sundays find the multifaceted and graceful Pheroza J Godrej under the famous Madras Thorn tree at the Terrace Garden above the Godrej corporate office in South Mumbai.

"For this beautiful garden I have to thank my in laws and Soli Godrej for planting these three beautiful trees - the almond, the gulmohar and the Madras Thorn almost 40 years ago," says the wife of Jamshyd Godrej, a scion of one of India's leading industrial families - the Godrejs.

A typical day for Pheroza could include a tree-planting program in the morning; an educational activity in the afternoon at The Godrej Group's Udayachal School in Vikhroli -  one of the more renowned schools in Mumbai; and an exhibition opening in the evening at Cymroza Art Gallery which she founded in 1971 .

But on Sundays, she takes a rest, and spends the day with her sea-faring husband and two children Raika and Navroze and close friends. "From October to April we go sailing on Sundays," she says. "Typically we set sail at 7.30 am and return around the same time in the evening. But during the monsoons we don't sail, and then Sundays are usually spent either at the Willingdon Club or the Bombay Gym, with the family, and perhaps later - my daughter takes me to a movie. I also try and catch up with my reading. I have about 30 books which I'm trying to find the time to start - including Amitav Ghosh's "The Hungry Tide" and an earlier Dan Brown," says this prolific author who has many scholastic and respected titles to her credit.

Twenty years ago her desire for research correlating history, travel, painting and lithography saw her embark upon a career in co-writing "Scenic Splendors: India through the Printed Image" and in co-editing "A Pageant of Prints", "Under the Indian Sun" and "Bombay to Mumbai -  Changing Perspectives.

Many books and papers followed but perhaps her crowning glory was co-editing "A Zoroastrian Tapestry - Art, Religion and Culture" published by Mapin Publishers, in 2002 - considered one of the definitive books on the subject and stocked at prestigious libraries the world over.

Currently Pheroza is collaborating with Ms. Pauline Rohatgi, Mr Graham Parlett and Ms Shirley Imray on a catalogue of British Art in India, collection from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. But, writing about art and related matters is only one of the hats that Pheroza wears. As a member of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation she espouses the cause of Western classical music in India.

As a member of Museum Society of Bombay of which she is the honorary secretary or as member of the regional chapter of the INTACH, and as president of the Maharashtra United Nations Association, she liberally gives of her time and energy to worthwhile causes. One of her passions is as Trustee of the Impact India Foundation, whose mission is to make India polio and blindness-free.

Pheroza's most recent foray, a year old, is into the realm of fabrics in the form of a textile furnishing boutique, India-Weaves. Passionately she exclaims, "I needed to reassure myself that I had it in me to plunge into something new and interior décor has always fascinated me. I am enjoying the challenge thoroughly!"

Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.

Live tv