Published: Sat, December 09, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Google doodles to pay tribute to India's first woman photojournalist Homai Vyarawalla

Google doodles to pay tribute to India's first woman photojournalist Homai Vyarawalla

Vyarawalla, India's first photojournalist, has been immortalised by Google in one of their trademark doodles on her birth anniversary.

Vyarawalla was born in Vadodara, Gujarat in 1913 in a middle-class Parsi family in Navsari, Vyarawalla began her photography career in 1938.

Vyarawalla was married to Manekshaw Jamshetji Vyarawalla, an accountant and photographer for the Times of India.

She was commonly known by her pseudonym "Dalda 13". Her pseudonym comes from the year of her birth - 1913 - and the Dalda from her car's number plate DLD 13. She was first introduced to photography by her husband Manekcshaw Vyarawala, a photographer at the Times of India.

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Vyarawalla has also photographed Queen Elizabeth and former US President Dwight Eisenhower's visits to India. She believes that the key elements of a good photograph are timing, composition and angle. Her pictures like the first tricolour-hoisting after Independence, the death of Mahatma Gandhi, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru releasing a pigeon are some of the memorable pictures that have made their way to national archives. In the year 1989, she lost her son and only child.

Vyarawalla was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, in 2011.

Later on, she handed her collection of photographs to the Delhi-based Alkazi Foundation for the Arts.

Homai Vyarawalla continued to live alone in a small house there till her demise at the age of 99 on January 15, 2012 - and she had not clicked a single photo for nearly the entire four decades of her life as a widow. India's first woman photojournalist, sari clad and biking to her assignments with equipment on shoulders was something new in the male driven sector those days.

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