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Calcutta’s Hawaiian Summer

Garney Nyss

Garney Nyss was a man of varied talents. He played first division cricket in Bengal for many years. The hockey legend Dhyan Chand was so in awe of his prowess with the stick, he once exclaimed, “What kind of player are you, Nyss? Have you dropped from heaven?” He was such an insightful ornithologist, Salim Ali wanted to co-author a book with him. He was an excellent photographer, and his book Memories is a well-observed record of the India of the 1940s. But between representing his state in hockey for 18 years and making documentary films on Himalayan birds and Mother Teresa, Nyss and his band, the Aloha Boys, made approximately 60 sides of Hawaiian music for HMV in the 1940s.

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Happy Birthday, Bridget Moe

                                    Bridget Moe and Penina Partsch

 Today, Bridget Moe turns 85 in Houston, Texas. Her granddaughter, Penina Partsch, who is pictured alongside her, has spent the last few days waking up early to start cooking, making decorations and editing a slide show about her Nani’s life. And what an eventful life it’s been. Bridget Moe, born Bridget Althea Ensell to an Anglo-Indian family in Calcutta, is the last living link in an unlikely cultural loop that connects India to the South Pacific islands, a connection that has enriched Indian music immensely.

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