Sooni Taraporevala's Famous Still Captures the Essence of the Parsi Community in India

Sooni Taraporevala is a photographer, screenwriter and film-maker, and has written the screenplay for films like Salaam Bombay! and Mississippi Masala.

February 08, 2019 Updated 11:13 IST
2019-01-31T11:46:38+05:30
Sooni Taraporevala's Famous Still Captures the Essence of the Parsi Community in India The Man in the Sola Hat, Bombay, 1985, by Sooni Taraporevala, archival pigment print, 40 × 60 in (Image Courtesy: Chemould Prescott Road and Sooni Taraporevala)

Sooni Taraporevala is a photographer, screenwriter and film-maker, and has written the screenplay for films like Salaam Bombay! and Mississippi Masala. She also wrote and directed her first feature film Little Zizou in 2008, which won a National Award, among others.

From her ongoing series on the Parsi community, this is the famous shot of a man in a sola topi gazing out at the sea. A project that had started 42 years ago for the photographer “nostalgically and personally”, grew into a photographic study of the Parsis that went beyond her immediate family. 

Boman Desai, in his review of her book of photographs PARSIS: The Zoroastrians of India; A Photographic Journey, while discussing this image, suggested that “it could also be symbolic: a Bombay Zarathushti gazing at his Irani homeland across the sea”.

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