This refers to the article “Farewell Homai Vyarawalla” (Jan. 21). The passing of India's first woman photographer is a great loss to the nation. She was a source of inspiration for millions of women. She thrived in a profession that was male-dominated.
Vyarawalla's death has created a void in the creative genre. Her choice of an “unfeminine” career was progressive for the times. She must have surely encouraged hundreds of like-minded women to carve out niches for themselves in unchartered arenas.
Many thanks for publishing the nice photos taken by Vyarawalla. But I feel the picture of Nehruji with a cigarette in his mouth, lighting one for his friend, could have been avoided. Or at least a statutory warning could have been carried to deter young smokers from citing Nehru as an example.
The life sketch of India's first woman press photographer was inspiring. The pictures captured by Homai in a cumbersome box camera brought out the real liveliness of persons and places she photographed.
The rare photo of Nehru with a cigarette in his mouth and lighting his friend's cigarette aboard an aircraft, reminded me of the famous photograph of Winston Churchill without a cigar in his mouth, snapped adroitly by the Canadian photographer, Yousef Karsh. The youthful spirit with which Homai pursued the art, running around for vantage points for every shot, showed her dedication.
Keywords: Homai Vyarawalla death