Whaaaaat! Watch and be amazed.
Who is this Tajik Jimmy from Russia?
The rise of Mr. Allaberiyev, widely known as Tajik Jimmy, a migrant worker in a provincial Russian stockroom who delivers astonishing renditions of Bollywood musical numbers, is one more testament to the strange power of the Internet. A little more than a year after one of his performances was filmed by a co-worker with a cellphone and posted online, Mr. Allaberiyev cannot walk through a crowd in the Russian capital without being stopped by fans.nyt
I once had an older Vietnamese colleague sing me a Bollywood song, a remnant from her childhood of being raised in Vietnam before she escaped. I was stunned that Bollywood had reached so far in such a restrictive country. Seems like Bollywood to Russia took a similar path.
For an impoverished boy growing up on a Tajik collective farm, there was no greater pleasure than Bollywood films, which were approved by the Communist Party as a politically safe diversion. Mr. Allaberiyev’s family understood that he had a gift; by the age of 7 or 8, he could commit songs to memory and repeat them with eerie accuracy, after watching a movie twice.
When the Soviet collapse cast Tajikistan into poverty and civil war, he joined the great river of young men who left home in search of work…HE sang as he watched 1,700 sheep and fed cows for a wealthy Uzbek trader…nyt
Now, how to bring Tajik Jimmy to the Boston meetup….