City, General, Movies, Social Media, Work

The ‘Quintessential’ 21st Century Indian Woman – Homai Vyarawalla. R.I.P

Francis Ford Coppola once said – ‘Time is the lens through which dreams are captured‘.

Iconic. Trendsetter. Global. Inspirational. The ‘Quintessential’ 21st Century Indian WomanHomai Vyarawalla, India’s first female photojournalist passed away on Sunday morning. She was 98. But to all those who knew her closely, she was ’98 going up 29′.

The significance of Homai’s journalism lies in the fact – she didn’t stop at capturing the moment with her lens (as most photojournalists do), but she went a step further to capture the dreams of India – as a Nation, collective of people and ‘princely states’ trying to break away from the shackles of the British Raj. Some of the most iconic moments in India’s history (during this period) and later on when India did finally receive Independence were captured by her. As India ushered into the new dawn, Homai was there to capture the dreams of an Entire Nation.

Unfortunately, there’s no ‘Guerrillero Heroico‘ that the World will remember her forever for, as in the case of Alberto Korda‘s masterpiece which turned Che from a Marxist Revolutionary to a Cultural Icon. But Homai’s contribution to Indian photojournalism, and especially, in defining the ‘Global India – Free in Spirit and Standing Tall’ – shall always remain unparalleled.

Her favourite subject was Nehru, about whom she once said, “He used to get surprised whenever he saw me in his functions and used to remark ‘you too have come here?” Because she captured him smoking ciggies maybe!! What say, eh?

Prime Minister Nehru with Mrs. Simon, the wife of the British Deputy High Commissioner, on board the first BOAC flight in India. Photos courtesy: Homai Vyarawalla archive, Alkazi Collection of Photography

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