Khada Parsi

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Near the southern end of Byculla Road Bridge is the statue of a Parsi standing tall and upright. The statue is therefore also called “Khada Parsi” by locals. It is the statue of Khurshedji Maneckji Shroff, a favorite catering contractor for the British. The statue was installed by his son Maneckji in 1867, who continued the catering business. Rajas and Maharajas were also among his clients. He was twice elected Sheriff of Bombay. He was a great champion of girls’ education and opened a school in his spacious bungalow at Byculla in 1860. But three years later he shifted the school to the Fort area and named it Alexandra Native Girls’ English Institution, which much later became the Alexandra Girls’ High School. Maneckji died at the age of 80 years in 1887.

The Khada Parsi statue is very close to the Y-shaped Byculla flyover, which collapsed while it was being constructed, on October 1, 1980. Footage from the collapse is used in the classic comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, made 2 years later. The statue also features in the flyover inauguration shot and its zoom out.