Women of Worth

We all have someone in our lives who inspire us, whom we look up to, especially from the public domain. We respect them and we admire them. They consciously or unconsciously impact our thinking and behavior. Many times, we act like them, talk like them or even dress up like them.

I am going to list five women from the public domain who have influenced me enormously. I find these women inspiring, progressive and authentic. I believe they are extraordinary achievers in their chosen fields and have been a catalyst for change. These women according to me are bold, beautiful and intelligent. I don’t know any of them personally. But I have read their books, articles and I have had the opportunity of hearing them at public conferences.

  1. Urvashi Butalia, Publisher and Co-Founder of Kali for Women and Founder of Zubaan Books


Urvashi Butalia is a much awarded and celebrated Indian feminist, publisher and vocal advocate of women’s rights. She co-founded Kali for Women, publishing house meant for books by the women, of the women and the women in 1984 and Zubaan in 2003. She is credited with creating a literary platform for women on a shoestring budget. She is deeply involved in the Indian women’s movement and has campaigned for marriage laws, inheritance, and dowry amongst others. Her primary area of interest is the partition and how it impacted the lives of women. She is a brilliant oral historian and a voracious writer. I have grown up reading her books and articles in various newspapers. The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India is her path-breaking study on the partition. She has given an extraordinary human dimension to the event, which has often been ignored by the historian and researchers. She talks about individual experiences of women and how they were affected by this holocaust.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I have noticed that the lady usually wears black, the color I associate with passion, power, and knowledge.

2. Jaya Jaitly, former Indian politician, and Indian handicrafts patron

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Jaya Jaitly is a promoter and expert in the field of India’s arts and crafts cottage industries. She is the Founder and President of Dastkari Haat Samiti, a national association of Indian rural craftsperson to enable them and to develop their skills to market their products in the global market. She has contributed immensely in the revival and sustenance of traditional skills and livelihoods of rural craftspersons. No wonder, the lady has the best collection of handloom sarees in India. She also helped in the formation of Delhi Haat which is a popular tourist spot for locals and foreigners. (my fav spot too!) She has authored and published numerous books on the crafts, arts, and textiles of India and was instrumental in the creation of unique map called Crafts Atlas of India.

She headed the Samata Party as its President but relinquished her position due to various controversies. In her recent memoir, β€˜Life Among Scorpions,’ she pens the difficulties of being a woman politician.

3. Flavia Agnes, Women’s Right Lawyer

Flavia Agnes is a lawyer, passionate advocate and a legal expert on Indian women’s rights related to marital, divorce and property law. She is a prolific writer and writes extensively on women’s laws about minorities, domestic violence and, feminist jurisprudence. She is a practicing lawyer at Mumbai High Court and is the co-founder of the organization called MAJLIS, which provides legal help to destitute women on matrimonial issues. Flavia was tormented and abused as a young wife, and her personal life has left deep imprints on the incredible work she has done for women. As part of my university syllabus, I read Flavia’s book Law & Gender Inequality: The Politics of Personal Laws in India which explores the politics of women’s rights in India. It also examines and provides terrific insight into the personal laws of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Parsis.

4. Vidya Balan, Indian Film Actress

Actress Vidya Balan Latest Hot New Spicy PhotoShoot Stills (7)

Vidya Balan is a beautiful, bold and daring actress in the Hindi cinema. She is responsible for changing the notion of Hindi film heroine as a sex bimbette. Vidya in contrast to other bikini-clad stars portrayed meaningful roles depicting strong Indian women, looking entirely comfortable and delightful with her strong Indian roots. She defied all rules and conventions and made Indian look cool. She has always put a brave front in front of the media, regarding her weight and dressing sense. But I think she looks ethereal and a goddess in cotton sarees and kanjivaram silks. Statement necklaces and earrings provide extra oomph to this diva. She has garnered widespread praise for her work in movies such as Parineeta, Paa, Dirty Picture, and Kahaani.

She embodies the idea of quintessential Indian beauty and sexuality with her full body and long black hair.

No doubt, she is one of the most accomplished and talented actresses.

5. Anuja Chauhan, Indian Author

Anuja Chauhan is an advertising professional turned fiction writer with an eclectic dressing sense. She has worked with some of the top brands like Pepsi, Kurkure, Mountain Dew and Nokia, creating memorable and famous advertising slogans. As a writer, she is known for The Zoya Factor, Battle For Bittora, Those Pricey Thakur Girls, The House That BJ Built, and Baaz. She is one of the leading chicks lit writers and her writing is as bubbly, colorful, youthful and chunky as her clothes.

Do share your thoughts on the kind of women you like to celebrate!



18 thoughts on “Women of Worth

  1. Woman that I consider worth mentioning here are – Jillellamudi Amma (Saint/householder) and M.S.Subbalakshmi (carnatic singer). Their life stories, specially the love unto public, service and art were incredible. One is a gigantic personality in spirituality with all supernatural miracles that tease the modern mind and feed the needy stomach (indeed, she was compared to annaporna devi, for the food that she used to feed to any number of people who showed at her doorstep at any point of time ) and the other just rendered such beautiful songs that we have to melt in the melodious flow! There may be more but these two took special place in my thoughts, as I was going through your article.

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  2. I associate black with emptyness and nothingness like black sky. I think it is the purest and original color. That’s what it signifies all powerful and no nonsense. Somehow I associate knowledge with it because the real and absolute knowledge leads us to nothingness.


  3. The ones you mentioned are gigantic and I was never that ambitious or talented. The women I have mentioned are more reachable..if one works hard and is focussed I could have reached somewhere closer to them (professionally).

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  4. You mean the nothingness? I mean the closer you look at anything physical object, emotion or anything..you will notice that is basically it is devoid of any intrinsic quality. Our circumstances makes us view something ..good/bad, happy/unpleasant and so forth. Basically its all shunya/ empty/void.

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  5. Very close! (I mean to my perception). 😁 Except, instead of nothingness, it’s a Fullness.

    I am really elated to see your statement of “when you look anything close…” It is a profound expression of constant thought! Isn’t it!?
    But bringing emptiness, you remind me of my past thoughts. Imagine emptiness. When you sense emptiness, let me know of you are in it or at the least observing it. If you can observe or think or imagine the emptiness without ‘you’ in its vicinity, I would be willing to learn by asking you more qtns. If not, then consider my premise – “because ‘we’ are verily everything, we can never imagine something (even empty) where we do not exist. This hint is from nature to suggest that it is fully filled with us.”
    What do you feel about this? I am not quoting, here – like I usually do, but speaking from contemplative past.


  6. I can only talk about the life that I have seen or understood in my limited capacity. I am no expert or claim to be expert on anything.
    I see every emotion/life event as empty with me without me.

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  7. When you said empty, you did not mean true nothingness, you meant shallow? Like no emotional juice kind of empty?
    I thought you meant like nothing nothing (though, I can not think that true nothing, as I shared above)


  8. I meant like khali..kuch bhi to nahi hai! sirf hamare dimmag ki upaj hai. Aj mera dimaag kuch picture dikhayega aur kal kuch aur. and your mind will show you something else. But in reality it is empty. and thats what is maya!

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