Book Review

Photo Collection Tells Stories of Parsis in India
By Jennifer Ludden | NPR (National Public Radio) | December 12, 2004


You may know Sooni Taraporevala as the screenwriter for Salaam Bombay or Mississippi Masala. But her latest project is a book of portraits and essays: Parsis: The Ancient Zoroastrians of India.

“We gave up a lot of our Persian culture when we came here, but the only thing we did not give up was our religion.”

You may know the work of Sooni Taraporevala from the big screen -- she wrote the screenplays for the films Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala, each of which won awards. When she's not writing, Taraporevala can often be found with a camera in hand, taking photographs that have won her new acclaim.

Her latest project is a collection of images of a religious community on the brink of extinction, taken over the course of 20 years. Parsis: The Ancient Zoroastrians of India combines Taraporevala's portraits with essays and interviews to give a modern view of Zoroastrianism, the 3,000-year-old religion stemming from the days of the Persian empire.

Taraporevala's family has long practiced the religion, having left Persia (now Iran) for more religious freedom in India centuries ago. NPR's Jennifer Ludden talks with Taraporevala about the book and its subjects.

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NPR (National Public Radio) | December 12, 2004

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