India, no doubt, has been a land replete with talent and savants. But, the good thing about knowledge and arts is that they know no bounds. Like Lord Krishna, one of the most worshipped Indian deities says, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, the entire world is one big family, there are more celebrities of Indian descent in the western world than you think there are. And, some of them have lately been on the top of entertainment news for the great talent they possess and the fans they have earned. So, here are 5 world famous celebrities that you may not have guessed possess Indian roots.
One of the most acclaimed music sensations of the decade and the self-proclaimed queen of hip-hop Nicki Minaj has surprisingly Indian roots. She is actually of Afro-Trinidadian as well as Indian descent. This star who has given us massive numbers like “Super Base” and “Anaconda” has been quite a bombshell of the music industry.
Still in her 30’s this singer, songwriter, actor, wrapper, composer, and musician has quite some achievements to her credit including breaking the records by the veteran singer Aretha Franklin, and movies like Despicable Me 2, Pitch Perfect, The Hangover II and Ice Age: Continental Drift.
This is the best shocker of all, and I am sure you would have never guessed it. This septuagenarian has so many lineages mingled into one that is so hard to even remember.
He is part Gujarati (Indian), part Khoja, part Ismaili Muslim, part German and part Russian, though he was raised in England. He is best known for his memorable performance in the 1982 flick Gandhi. He also has to his credit numerous awards like an Oscar, a Grammy, two Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He has also delivered commendable performances in Schindler’s List, Hugo and Shutter Island.
(Psst…his real name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji)
“I don’t know why I didn’t come”, but we do know where this celeb came from. She is daughter of the world famous sitar maestro Pundit Ravi Shankar. She grew up in the care of his mother in Texas and reunited with her legendary musician of a father only when she was 18.
She is a famous singer, songwriter, composer, Jazz pianist, musician, and actor and even has her name associated with great movies like Love Actually, Trainwreck and Ted.
This guy, who rose to fame with the famous comedy series Kumar and Harold Go to White Castle has done some great work, not only as an actor but also as a part of the President’s office (a civil servant) during Obama’s tenure. Originally named as Kalpen Suresh Modi, a Gujarati by descent, he was raised in New Jersey and shares his birthday with me.
He has also starred in some noteworthy movies like The Namesake, and Superman Returns.
This great guy has been tickling our ribs for quite some years now. His is a decent that is half Polish and half Indian – Polish on the mother’s side and Indian on the father’s.
He is best remembered for his naively comic role in the CNBC sitcom Community (the character of Abed Nader). Daniel Mark Pudi is also a runner who had appeared in dozens of TV commercials to begin with before he became a part of any celebrity news.
Adieu, till we meet again with another great list.