India’s first woman photo-journalist, Homai Vyarawalla (98), died at a private hospital recently, after being hospitalised after a fall.
Born on December 9th, 1913 to a Parsi family, Vyarawalla grew up in Mumbai and moved to Delhi in 1942, where she chronicled historic events, including India’s Independence. Her Rolliflex camera, had the unique opportunity to document historical events and personalities from 1945 to the late 1960s. The pictures ranged from Lord Mountbatten to Marshall Tito, from Queen Elizabeth to Jacqueline Kennedy, from Khrushchev to Kosygin, and a host of others who have shaped the direction and contours of the 20th century.
She became a part of history in the making, by capturing World War II, India’s Freedom Struggle leading up to independence, and the days of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Vyarawalla was conferred with the Padma Vibhushan award in 2010.
It is difficult to find fitting words to pay tribute to the indescribable genius of Homai Vyarawalla. Always moving in joy and child-like simplicity, this grand old lady, as she was called, produced her photographs in an effortless and exquisite manner, which always reflected and radiated the ecstatic quality of her soul. We at Smart Photography offer our sincere condolences, and pray that her soul rests in peace.