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India's first woman photojournalist 'Homai Vyarawalla'

09 Décembre 2017

Vyarawalla, India's first photojournalist, has been immortalised by Google in one of their trademark doodles on her birth anniversary. She believed that the key to a good photograph is timing, composition and angle. She was born on December 9, 1913.

Vyarawalla, who hails from Navsari in Gujarat moved to Mumbai (then Bombay) to pursue a diploma at St Xavier's College.

Those were exciting days when the Indian freedom struggle was peaking.

Homai Vyarawalla started her career as a photojournalist during the onset of World War II, when she started taking up assignments for the Illustrated Weekly of India magazine. A friend taught her photography, and she started exploring life in Bombay through her camera lens early on, starting to work as a photographer professionally in her late teens.

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Saylor continued his travels to Europe, and died the following year after a jump or fall from a hotel in Mumbai. The song, originally released in 1972, was inspired by Browne's friend Adam Saylor.

There, she shot the meeting where Congress members voted for the partition of India.

Eventually her photography received notice at the national level, particularly after moving to Delhi in 1942 to join the British Information Services, where she photographed many political and national leaders in the period leading upto independence, including Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Indira Gandhi and the Nehru-Gandhi family while working as a press photographer. Her pseudonym comes from the year of her birth - 1913 - and the Dalda from her car's number plate DLD 13.

Travelling in a sari, often commuting on a bicycle, at most big events, people would stare at Homai Vyarawalla, the only woman photographer, keeping a safe distance away from the jostling crowds of lensmen, considered often out of place, but still in the thick of things.

India's first woman photojournalist 'Homai Vyarawalla'