- Login | Register
- Current Issue
- Most Read
- Previous Issues
Anuradha Roy, in the Telegraph, has an utterly charming story about the amazing Homai Vyarawalla:
In July this year, it was reported that India’s first professional woman photographer, Homai Vyarawalla, 96 years old, had decided to swap her 55-year-old Fiat for a Nano. She paid up, and was promised that the very first Nano out of the factory would be hers. However, the car company overshot its delivery date, upon which Mrs Vyarawalla cancelled her order. (To add insult to injury, she announced that a second-hand Maruti would do just fine instead.) In August, on Parsi New Year’s Day, Tata officials came personally to deliver her car and beg forgiveness.
After all that, by September she was considering selling the new car. She explained that she was tired of the media attention. Also, she didn’t like the car’s colour any more. She wanted to sell because she did not like driving a red car.
Read the full story (it also has some wonderful bits about correspondence between publishers, editors, authors) at the Telegraph. I suggest that Ratan Tata should personally deliver a car of her choice of colour to her. JRD would have done it, and would approve.
Read more about Dalda 13, as she is fondly called (She was born in 1913, got married at 13, her first car’s licence plate was "DLD 13"):
Lens View (which has her photo of Ho Chi Minh with Babu Rajendra Prasad and Pandit Nehru):
"Being a good photographer calls for skill in handling people. As a rule, I never asked my subjects to pose — that would have made them look theatrical. People's moods and expressions are constantly changing and you have to be alert to capture them."
History, in black and white, (it also shows her favourite photograph -- Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Ambassador to Russia, received at the Delhi airport by brother Jawaharlal Nehru) culled from extensive interviews by by Dionne Bunsha, where she is quoted as saying:
The papers publish the pictures of today's leaders. They look so wily.
Somebody asked if I would want to take pictures today. I said no, thank you. When you have done the best, you can't go to the mediocre...
I read one newspaper. It doesn't give all the information. But there is no time to read all the papers.
India's First Woman Photo Journalist which has a photo of Pandit Nehru, with a cigarette in his mouth, lighting a cigarette on the lips of Ms. Simon, wife of the then British High Commissioner to India.
Capturing History by Kavita Charanji: (this has her famous photo of Mahatma Gandhi with Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan)
"I am busy getting old. Though I like to take general photographs of streets and common people, I am not into political photography in a milieu where dignity and discipline are no longer a virtue."
The Lady With A Candid Camera - Shyam Benegal in Outlook