I believe the local is global. Like Mira Nair, and with her, I have explored the world, writing about street children in Bombay, Afro-Americans in Mississippi, AIDS patients in Tennessee. After twenty years of international travel, I finally came home and wrote a story that takes place in my own backyard.

Little Zizou is set in contemporary Bombay, amongst my community, the Parsis; unique, eccentric and heading towards extinction. My perspective is affectionate, humorous, but also critical.

Parsis are followers of the world’s first monotheistic prophet Zarathushtra who was born more than 3000 years ago in Iran. With the Arab invasion of Iran, a group of Zoroastrians fled to save their religion. They sailed away and landed in India 900 years ago. These strangers were called “Parsis” (from ‘Pars’ – Persia). Today there are only 70,000 Parsis left in India, 250,000 Zoroastrians around the world.

While the setting of Little Zizou is very particular, its underlying theme is meant to reflect what is happening to communities around the world. We live in crazy times. The “modern” 21st century has paradoxically brought religions onto centre-stage and we find ourselves in an increasingly tribal world where differences are sharply drawn between “us” and “them”. Little Zizou examines this serious phenomenon lightheartedly.

The story is also a fantasy and a wish fulfillment – that true faith and love can triumph over intolerance and hatred.

I believe that our world, which grows increasingly mad and dangerous, can only be saved by love. And a little bit of laughter.