Somy Ali: From Bollywood Starlet to Florida Women’s Rights Champion (NYT Blogs)
Today she runs a non-profit organization in Florida that rescues women from domestic violence, but in another life, Somy Ali was just a girl with a Bollywood crush — and a girl on a mission.
And so, in 1992, at the startlingly young age of 15, she moved from Miami to Mumbai with one goal: to marry Bollywood megastar Salman Khan. “At 15, you have a license to be stupid,” recalls Ms. Ali. “I had a crush, and I thought in order to meet him, I’d have to join films. So I did.”
She makes it look just that simple. Despite having moved to Florida from Pakistan at a young age, Ms. Ali somehow persuaded her father to send her to India under the pretext of wanting to experience the culture. She had celebrated photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha shoot her portfolio, and was approached by Dharmendra’s agent in a hotel lobby, asking to screen-test her for a project designed to launch his son Bobby Deol. To call what happened next serendipity would be an understatement — Ms. Ali says Salman Khan himself randomly chanced upon her photographs at a modeling agency, and he called her, offering her a role in his next film.
Read the complete piece HERE.