Gujarat gave Bollywood first woman composer

You may not have heard of Khorshed Minocher-Homji better known as Saraswati Devi. But this Parsi woman, originally from south Gujarat, was the first woman music composer in Indian cinema. She was also among the first music directors to introduce playback singing and the first one to use title music. Very few women composers made a mark in Bollywood after her.

Trained in classical music, she was first spotted by Himanshu Roy, founder of Bombay Talkies. Khorshed started composing for Roy’s banner while her sister Manek took to acting. But, the film company being a public venture, had four board members from the Parsi community who had reservations about Khorshed’s choice of profession.

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Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney

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