Sunday, December 25, 2005

Shalom Namaste

Sorry I've been out of the loop (my parents are over and I haven't had much inclination to blog)...

...and this isn't going to be a full-fledged post either, but I couldn't resist putting this up:

The community was in a sense pioneering when it comes to the Bombay film industry with several superstars of the silent era hailing from Jewish households," said Manohar Iyer of Keep Alive, a group striving to collate and highlight achievements of vintage Bollywood artistes.
Actress Firoza Begum alias Susan Solomon, a Bene Israel, starred in a succession of Hindi and Marathi films like "Bewafa Qatil", "Prem Veer" and "Circus Girl" in the 1920s and 1930s.
Ruby Meyers (1907-1983), more famous by her screen name Sulochana (senior), was another Bene Israel, who was introduced into the world of films by Ardeshir B. Irani, the father of Indian talkies.
The Pune-born actress starred in movies like "Typist Girl" (1926) and "Wildcat of Bombay" (1927) and was one of the highest paid actresses of her time drawing a salary of Rs.5,000.

I might add that much of Bombay's pre-1948 Jewish population was the result of migration (primarily from Iraq), and after the post-1948 expulsion of Jews from numerous Arab countries India had one of the largest concentrations of people who spoke Judeo-Arabic, a dialect with an evocative history, yet one that is (like far too many others) on the brink of extinction...

Those who know me know that this moment calls for a repetitive plug. For an omnibus site on Indian Jews, check this out.

I'm writing this from upstate New York, and it's Christmas-- which means that it's time to go watch Bluffmaster! again...

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