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New York's entertainment bible toasts Bollywood

By Jyotirmoy Datta, IANS

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The bible of entertainment seekers here, Time Out New York (TONY), has brought out a 14-page special section heralding the storming of Broadway by Bollywood.

The March 28-April 1 issue is a salute, Mumbai style, to the contribution South Asians are making in such non-traditional fields as theatre, music, art, dance parties, restaurants, fashion and alternative medicine.

Titled "Salaam New York!" the section plunges into the waves that South Asians are making in the art and entertainment world of New York with the words: "As Andrew Lloyd Weber's Bollywood-style production storms Broadway, TONY surveys the desi musicians, writers and artists who are spicing up New York's art and culture."

Tanuja Desai Didier, author of the novel "Born Confused" and whose album "When We Were Twins" - original songs based on the book - is out now, acted as consulting editor for the issue.

Didier writes in her introduction: "This week, Broadway will fill with swirling saris and the soaring sounds of Bollywood revelry as the extravagant musical 'Bombay Dreams' begins previews.

"Meanwhile from downtown underground to the mega clubs, dance floors will pulsate with high-energy bhangra - straight up with a hip hop twist. Elsewhere, Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi will likely waltz arm in arm into a fundraiser while the paparazzi bulbs plop.

"And over in the Meatpacking District, hungry hordes will be turned away from the Vindaloo-hot Spice Market, Jean-George Vongerichten's new culinary tribute to Indian flavour. Like a multi-armed deity, South Asian culture is touching and moulding every aspect of life in NYC."

The change in the cityscape is best summed up by author and UN Undersecretary General Shashi Tharoor.

Says Tharoor: "When I first came to this country in 1975, Manhattan had one Indian restaurant. Today there are hundreds, with a dozen as good as anything you could find in India. If you'd told me 25 years ago that the day would come when you could buy the video of a Bollywood movie on Lexington Avenue or watch an India-Pakistan cricket match live in a Queens theatre, I'd have asked what you were smoking."

That day has arrived, and TONY joins a media chorus recognising the advent of the South Asians!


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