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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

05 December, 2007

Janet Fine

We were saddened to learn, through her friend, David Raphael Israel, of the passing of Janet Fine, on the 24th November, 2007.

Here is part of David's note:
Janet showed rare independence in her life. She made her living mainly as a working journalist, covering (among other things) the film industry. She also launched a small publishing venture, focusing on old-world Indian erotic literature. She had played a role in helping organize a "Festival of India" series of concerts in the U.S. in 1986, at venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC), involving performers such as Ravi Shankar and the Dagar Brothers. I'm just mentioning a few strands of activities that come to mind. I have not seen any proper obituary for Janet, but would like to know if one has been published.
For those who knew Ms Fine, a New York Times obituary also has a guest book which you can sign.



Anonymous Delia said...

I cannot believe that Janet Fine is dead. She was a longtime friend though we did not often share the same time zone, or the same opinons. If anyone has any information as to hear cause of death, please let us know.

08 December, 2007 15:42  
Blogger David Raphael Israel said...

Hi Delia --

If I'm not mistaken, the proximate cause of Janet's death amounted to liver failure -- a consequential side-effect of (successful) chemotherapy treatment. Or that's as much as I've pieced together.

I understand a memorial service was held for her in Manhattan last Sunday (December 9th). I have not as yet heard a report on the event.

I have had -- and continue to have -- a sense that Janet is alive and well, more so than just prior to her demise. :-) Yet she had remained spirited and feisty and thoughtful even amid what (in hindsight) must have been a difficult struggle in her late days.

Warm best,
David [in Bhopal, India]

12 December, 2007 23:26  
Anonymous jay said...

david/ delia

my wife and i were pretty close friends of janet from her egypt days ( we are still in cairo, 8 years now). my wife anju used to moonlight for her for some assorted magazines, at janet's request when she was away. she was home a few months back, from india, on route to new york, carrying for us all sorts of indian magazines and some pickles from india as she usually does. she did look extremely frail, and shared with us her horror stories of being misdiagnosed in bby and having some serious water retention problems with her lungs. we accidently found she had died last week when we finally found a tenant to sublet her appt here in cairo. the building people told us she has passed away last week, and reason told was she had cancer which she had been treating over last years ( hence the hair loss i now gather). But the eternal optimist she is, she had never even mentioned this to us once. Sad though, we never took up her offer to meet in bombay, knowing that we will do so once we return to india from cairo. It was not to be.
if you do have any phone number of her family in US, pls let me have it > I can be contacted at

23 December, 2007 19:19  
Blogger Nelofar Currimbhoy said...

I had been emailing Janet for the past year and there was silenece,which was not like her having always replied with the day.I met Janet when she walked into our Shahnaz Herbal office to meet my father who she knew fondly, and was devastated to hear that we had lost him to a sudden heart attack. But instead of him I sat behind the table and we made an instant spiritual connection.Today I was searching the net to see if Janet had moved away to the U.S. perhaps changed her email and it seems surreal ..the feeling that she has gone so far. If I could have found her on email and I could have said something to her it would be this, " Thank you Janet for being here, thank you for the happiness you brought, my eyes will always hold your memeory, and you will always live on in the hearts of all those whose lives you touched. You were a great girl Janet and I am so happy you came into my life and my dads. Nelofar Currimbhoy

18 March, 2009 09:02  
Blogger Rakesh Mathur said...

Janet was a great motivational force to me in Europe and New York.

I always enjoyed and benefitted from her company in various parts of the world. I had the privilege to know her in the early 70s when she had just arrived in Bombay to learn Bharatanatyam. I photographed her in Oberoi Sheraton for Dharmayug magazine. Since then we became good friends.

I am looking forward to attending her forthcoming COHO which would pay homage to Janet Fine on Saturday 19th 2009 at three arts venues in Mumbai.

15 September, 2009 19:48  
Anonymous Pamela said...

I am shocked and saddened to find these postings.......Janet had been trying to get me to come to India and travel with her to Egypt for years and finally I emailed her to make a plan but didn't hear anything back.....which was completely not like Janet.....I emailed several times and then tried to call her cell which was disconnected. I figured that she had changed her number and would be in touch. I know her Mom had passed away in Florida so I couldn't try there.

I didn't hear from her last year in September as we always exchanged birthday wishes and love and that was completely out of character.....(our bdays are a few days apart) and then the massacre in Mumbai and I thought the worst....maybe that's why and then I found that some friends of the family were going to India this weekend.....I gave them all of her information there....I just heard on the news that they were saying something about the massacre again and I thought on a whim I'll just google her......and then I found this.........

It seems impossible, even with her small stature, that someone of Janet's energy and unique spirit and zest and fight could be gone. I looked up to her for being so different. She was my neighbor in NYC and we went on adventures not only in NY, CA and FL but she was so supportive of my career and such a original......There are so many wild stories to tell and so many adventures. But now, I have to make myself take this in.

I guess in my heart I knew something was terribly wrong.......we had never gone this long without communicating.......And although there were big lull where we dealt with life......Oh my goodness! Please anyone who is a friend of hers or knows more please please contact me.... Pamela Dubin

16 November, 2009 03:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't heard from her in a long time...years news...N-Y numbers and emails are no more...I start presence anywhere from Janet....Film festivals, venues, places we had coffee in N-Y when I would visit...I feel so sad tonight...I wish I would of kept in touch with her...Even though we did not see each other everyday day, there was a special bond between us...A connection that I will cheris forever...Wherever you are...I just want you to know that you brought joy, happiness and tremendous energy in my life! You thought me to be myself, I will always think of you, you're with me in my heart.
Love, your friend

26 January, 2010 08:44  
Anonymous facebook said...

Janet Fine was a wonderful friend thur a mutual friend and Galley owner Elias Lifshitz I just heard of her death about 6 weeks ago and am very saddened as she was a kindred spirit. I am trying to find another mutual friend Mr Modi the youngest of 5 brothers of New Delhi-he was the influence which inspired Janet Fine to explore her India living passions, by offering her quarters for a time in a wing of his home. She also had invited me to come to India, as they love blondes, so funny to read that.I would like to express joy of life to the friends of Janet as she lived each and every day to it's max. Blessings- Chriss cts tvl nyc

01 March, 2011 01:38  
Blogger Ahmed said...

Hello everyone, I am Ahmed Said, an Egyptian sculptor and a friend of Janet. Today October 22 2011 i decided to e-mail Janet to check how is she doing.
But i got an automatic e-mail saying (Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address
:) after making a research on the internet i found out she passed away.
We were very good friends in Cairo until i moved to the US by her help.
I am sad for you Janet.
You were strange, Crazy , friendly and funny.
Maybe we'll meet again.
Did our friend Jose Nazar know about you?
Goodbye Janititta

23 October, 2011 23:48  
Anonymous said...

We can see that Janet is still alive and vibrant in the spirit she has shared with us, I know she illuminated paths for me both in NYC and in India, the latter to a really great extent. I can see I am not alone - I read the same in what many have written here. Simon Grome

04 May, 2012 05:34  

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