- Often portrayed as chilled and intelligent, there’s more to Parsi community than their accent and looks. Bollywood has often made films around them. Parsis in India is one of the most successful minority groups in the world. Their contribution to the Indian cinema is invaluable with their persuasive talent. Not to forget their wacky sense of humour. Here’s a 10 prominent Parsis in Bollywood that portrays the versatility of the community.
Many of us might know him as the hijacker from Sonam Kapoor starer Neerja. But theatre-lovers recognise him as a hot property. In 2015, for his contribution to Indian theatre, he has been listed in Forbes India 30 under 30. He was recently seen in Raabta and will be next seen in Sanjay Leela Bansali’s next in a negative role. He has also performed on stage in Rajat Kapoor’s ‘What is Done, is Done’ and Kalki Koechlin’s ‘The Living Room’.
Boman Irani is the man who proves it is never too late to achieve your dreams. He made his Bollywood debut with Pooja Bhatt and Rahul Bose starer ‘Everybody says I am fine’. He was 41 then. He is not just an actor but an ace photographer, good singer, and a voice artist. With his characters and performances, he has proved his versatility. Apart from Don, Jolly LLB, Lage Raho Munnabhai, he was also seen in off-beat movies like Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara, Ferrari Ki Sawaari, and Khosla Ka Ghosla.
Daisy Irani – Honey Irani
Daisy Irani was a popular Bollywood and Kollywood child artist in the 1950s and 60s. Some of her remembered movies are Quedi No. 9211, Musafir, Naya Daur, Bhai Bhai, and Soorat Aur Seerat. She usually played the role of a little boy with curly hair. Her younger sister Honey Irani followed her footsteps and is popular for her roles in Seeta Aur Geeta and Kati Patang. Honey quit Bollywood and married writer Javed Akhtar. Honey and Javed had two children Zoya and Farhar Akhtar before the marriage ended.
Son of Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, Farhan began his career in Bollywood as an assistant director in Lamhe and Himalay Putra. He made his directorial debut with critically acclaimed Dil Chahta Hai in 2001. He made his acting debut with ‘Rock On’ in 2008 and was later seen in Luck By Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do, Shaadi Ke Side Effects and Rock On 2, among others.
Ace choreographer Shiamak Davar, popular for bringing contemporary jazz and western forms of dance to India. He began his career as a choreographer with the film Dil To Pagal Hai and won the President’s National Award for the same. He went on to choreograph in films such as Taal, Bunty Aur Babli, Dhoom 2, Taare Zameen Par, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Jagga Jasoos.
Farah Khan – Sajid Khan
The siblings are half Parsis born to a Parsi mother Maneka Irani. Farah has directed various hits, choreographed more than 100 songs and acted in Shirin Farhad Ki Nikal Padi. Her brother and film maker Sajid Khan started his career as a TV show host and has directed movies like Heyy Baby (2007) and Housefull series, among others. Farah and Sajid are maternal cousins to Farhan and Zoya Akhtar.
Kurush was first noticed in the movie Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa as Shah Rukh Khan’s loyal friend. He claimed fame through his character as Dr Rustom Pavri in Munnabhai MBBS, where he plays Sanjay Dutt’s key to enter the medical college. He was also seen in Jhankaar Beats, Page 3, Kyun Ki, Taxi No 9211, Chupke Se, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, and Dhamaal, among others. He is popular for playing Parsi-oriented characters.
Born to a Parsi father and a Maharashtrian mother, Aruna was among the eight siblings and entered Bollywood to fend for her family. She made her debut as a child artist in the movie Ganga Jamuna (1961) and has nailed every kind of roles be it Amitabh Bachchan’s leading lady in Bombay to Goa to seductive vamp in Caravan to Govinda’s mother in Raja Babu.