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Hi, everyone! Welcome, again, to purnima_fic. I'm glad to see some new members trickling in. Since one of the basic problems with focusing on characters and actors of South Asian origin is that many don't *know* what shows feature them, I thought it would be prudent to make a list that we can continuously add to!

Bollywood, obviously, speaks for itself, but I would love to get a round-up from popular American, Canadian and British TV shows, canceled or older series, book and movie fandoms, etc.

South Asian TV Characters
Saira Batra, GH: Night Shift (Azita Ghanizada)
Principal Figgins, Glee (Iqbal Theba)
Tom Haverford/Darwish Zubair Ismail Gani, Parks and Recreation (Aziz Ansari)
Kelly Kapoor, The Office (Mindy Kaling)
Divya Katdare, Royal Pains (Reshma Shetty)
Rajesh Koothrappali, The Big Bang Theory (Kunal Nayyar)
Jonathan, 30 Rock (Maulik Pancholy)
Lawrence Kutner, House M.D. (Kal Penn)
Anwar Kharral, Skins (Dev Patel)
Apu and Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon, The Simpsons
Baljeet Patel, Phineas & Ferb
Guru Pathik, Avatar: the Last Airbender
Amita Ramanujan, Numb3rs (Navi Rawat)
Ranjit, How I Met Your Mother (Marshall Manesh)
Neela Rasgotra, ER (Parminder Nagra)
Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife (Archie Panjabi)
Mohinder Suresh, Heroes (Sendhil Ramamurthy)

South Asian Actors in Non-South Asian TV Roles
Naveen Andrews (Sayid Jarrah, Lost)
Rory Cochrane (24, CSI, Empire Records)
Anjali Jay (Djaq, Robin Hood BBC)
Navi Rawat (Theresa, The O.C.)
Rekha Sharma (Tory Foster, Battlestar Galactica)
Sabine Singh (Greenlee, All My Children)
Dilshad Vadsaria (Rebecca Logan, Greek)
Indira Varma (3 lbs, Rome, Torchwood, etc.)

Non-Bollywood Films featuring Significant South Asian Characters
Bend it Like Beckham
Bhaji on the Beach
Bollywood Hero
Brick Lane
Bride and Prejudice
The Guru
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (and sequel)
Mississippi Masala
Monsoon Wedding
The Namesake
Salaam Bombay
Slumdog Millionaire

Books featuring South Asian Characters
Padma and Parvati Patil, JK Rowling's Harry Potter series
Captain Nemo, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne
Nirupam Singh, Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones

I've made my contributions off the top of my head. Please feel free to leave your own in the comments!



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
That guy off heroes. Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy)

If I think of anymore then I'll add, but I love this comm!
Nov. 13th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I forgot Mohinder! LOL. That's what I get for working on the comm early in the mornings! :) Thanks.
Nov. 14th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
a handful off the top of *my* head :D
Dev Patel as Anwar in Skins, Parminder Nagra as Neela Rasgotra in E.R., and then for films, much/most of the casts of any Gurinder Chadha and Mira Nair movies, Kal Penn as Kumar in the Harold and Kumar series, Jimi Mistry as Ramu Gupta in The Guru...ahh, I know there are so many more but I have a terrible memory, haha.
Nov. 14th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re: a handful off the top of *my* head :D
Thanks! You just inspired me to make a separate list for movies featuring South Asians! Figure that'll make it easier! :)
Nov. 15th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
Hi, I just joined this community since I think it's a great idea! :) I hope you'd like to include book characters as well since they could use love too! :)

Padma Patil (Harry Potter)
Parvati Patil (Harry Potter)
Captain Nemo (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea)
Nirupam Singh (Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Witch Week)

Jonathan (30 Rock, actor: Maulik Pancholy)
Guru Pathik (Avatar: the Last Airbender)
Baljeet Patel (Phineas & Ferb)

Mississippi Masala
Nov. 15th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Thank you! And, yes, book character deserve love, too! Added all your suggestions to the list!
Nov. 15th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! And, oh, I just remembered one more character: Principal Figgins from Glee (played by Iqbal Theba). :D
Nov. 15th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)

Nov. 15th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
here from pen's lj, bearing questionable additions
Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford (given name: Darwish Sabir Ismael Gani) on Parks and Recreation!

Navi Rawat played Latina as Theresa Diaz on The OC, and I think she's currently on Flashforward too.

Marshall Manesh is an Iranian actor whose character on How I Met Your Mother, Ranjit, is Bangladeshi (although when he has an outburst in another language, it's Persian).

Iconic, but voiced by a white guy: Apu?
Nov. 15th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Re: here from pen's lj, bearing questionable additions
Thank you! This is great. I forgot about Ranjit and I actually *watch* HIMYM. It does amuse that his outburst are always inexplicably in Persian but as a Bangladeshi/Indian, it would be nice to hear some Bengali on American TV!

Navi Rawat gets around. She's one of those people like Indira Varma who ends up playing a wide range of ethnicities.

Nov. 15th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Kartik (Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
Devi Sukhavati (Contact novel)
Nov. 16th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
There are many in literature, in fact, especially from literature of the Raj. I'll need some time to come up with a comprehensive list, but here's my tuppence for the moment:

- Kip/Kirpal Singh in The English Patient. Played by Naveen Andrews in the film and a character I'll personally LOVE to see ficced. (Michael Ondaatje is not entirely a non-South Asian author, being born in Sri Lanka, but he migrated and seems to mostly get non-South Asian love. The film is entirely Hollywood.)

- Too many people in Rudyard Kipling's writings to list out immediately.

- Dr. Aziz (and other minor characters) in A Passage to India, E. M. Forster.

- The villains in The Sign of Four from the Sherlock Holmes canon, Arthur Conan Doyle.

There are all sorts of other really fun (and quite obscure) people spread out in literature of all times. Even Heathcliff is canonically suspected to be descended from an Indian royal lineage, though that's probably more because gypsies are said to trace their origin back to the Rajasthan area. Hope this tiny list helps though.
Nov. 17th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Thank you! The list is great.

I hope all of this inspires more people to write!
Nov. 17th, 2009 08:53 am (UTC)
Maaaybe Deeba Resham from China Mieville's Un Lun Dun? I feel like she's coded as South Asian but it's never explicitly stated so I am not positive.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
"Resham" means "silk" in Hindi, so it's entirely possible that she's South Asian!
Nov. 17th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
For literature... Just remembered that many of the main characters in Born Confused (by Tanuja Desai Hidier) are South Asian.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
I read that book ages ago! One of the first YA novels I can remember that dealt with growing up Indian-American.
Nov. 20th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
One more for the South Asians in non-South Asian roles list!
Danny Pudi, of Indian and Polish descent, plays Abed Nadir, a Palestinian-American, on Community.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )