It was only in the 1980s, with women storming the workplaces in larger numbers than ever before, that the handbag became such an important accessory for Indian women. Grandma's potli was okay for a powder compact, keys and a hanky, but it could not suffice for a tiffin box, a pen or few, and most of all: a wallet. The financially independent Indian woman had arrived. To her, the handbag—in those days a strictly utilitarian, Made in India item—symbolised what the pantsuit did to her power-woman sisters in the West.
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