Explore this blog by clicking on the labels listed along the right-hand sidebar. There are lots of interesting stuff which you won't find on the home page
Seriously curious about me? Click on ' What sort of person am I?'

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two awesome women

'Captain' (actually Colonel) Dr. Lakshmi Sehgal, head of the Rani Jhansi regiment of the Azad Hind Fauz, passed away yesterday. She was 97.

Today is also the birthday of Amelia Earhart. She would have been 115 if she had been alive.

Two more women whose memories I regard with profound respect and awe. Pity I haven't met the likes of them among women born within the last fifty years... not in flesh and blood, anyway.

P.S., July 25: There's a new post on the whimsy blog today. 


Rajdeep said...

It is a bit sad that this was a small news and that cricket matches and that of a celebrity actor meeting the would be first citizen almost made this news look insignificant.

Thank you for bringing it up.

Shilpi said...

Hullo. I was rather pleased to find this little post when I did in the late afternoon. I was hoping you’d put up something today but wasn’t sure.
I found out about Ameila Earhart’s birth anniversary quite by accident while searching for pictures last night a little after midnight on google, and clicked on the icon, and her picture (in her trademark pilot jacket) got included for a little thing I was putting together, and I raced through the Wikipedia article too meaning to read it later on today. A few years ago they had a little exhibition on her at Purdue, and every now and then (maybe it is during her birth anniversary) – they have her books and pictures and a few samples of her handwriting (prints) are put up on display in the library cases as well. Amelia Earhart fascinates me, and still – although I don’t quite remember the first time I heard about her. It was in school sometime though. And I can’t help feeling nice (& rather proud...) about the fact that she was a career counselor and visiting faculty member at Purdue, and had done so many things in between flying because she wanted fly….and also because she was who she was.
I can barely imagine (and I don’t think my imagination goes very far in this respect) the sheer courage and bravery that is required to fly the skies and when it wasn’t even particularly safe (even though I still like fantasizing about being a pilot)..., leave alone doing all the other things she was doing just so she could fly.

One rather amusing (sorry if it sounds like a ramble) incident that returns to me upon reading the Wikipedia article carefully is this: a few years ago I was picking up a then-friend (now a professor) from the airport, and I was quite sure she was traveling by TWA (even though I knew I was feeling a little vague about the exact airlines but didn't know why). I told the airport official about my friend arriving by TWA, and asked him if would direct me to the arrivals gate because I couldn’t see the sign, and he looked at me and said with a strange smile, “You’re a little late in picking up your friend because TWA hasn’t been operating for over 60 years…” We both laughed eventually, and matters got sorted out but I remember feeling caught in a time warp, and I don’t remember any longer what airlines she was traveling…

Awesome fits for both the women. I had to read about Dr. Lakshmi Sehgal – had no idea of who she was.
As for your lamenting about not meeting real flesh and blood women of such sorts – quite frankly, I don’t think they make them anymore.

P.S: There’s one book on female aviators that’s still sitting on my book-shelf but it wasn’t purchased from the library sale for myself, and this post reminded me to read another book I’d picked up from another library sale (a sort of imaginative bit on Earhart)….both will probably reach the intended recipient(s) at some point in the near future.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Very interesting... one more time, it's clear that most women readers are determined to ignore anything I write in praise of women, but have all the time in the world to snap at my heels whenever I write something in criticism! If that doesn't allow me to make some decisions about what women are in general like, I wonder what should.

Rashmi Datta said...

Dear Sir,

I have been reading about both Dr. Lakshmi Sehgal and Amelia Earhart and I salute the gallantry of both these women. They have filled me with new enthusiasm and zeal.

I have found this article about Captain Lakshmi-

The dimensions and quality of their work has left me awestruck. They stand as proof to the fact that limitations are self-created and that it takes only courage and willingness to overcome them. All the women who blame the men for leading miserable, aimless lives should consider self-introspection first.

It is a pity that in spite of such awe-inspiring role models, girls today only look up to obscene rock stars and skinny models. I understand better now why you insist that one can be judged by the men/women he/she admires.

Thank you for the post, Sir.

Warm regards

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you, Rashmi. Yes, that's what I have been teaching my own daughter: step aside from the herd, set your own goals, let them be admirable goals (a dedicated aviator or soldier/social worker rather than a flashy bimbo on the catwalk or music hall), take responsibility, work hard, avoid whining, blame the men only when you are quite sure that there's nothing lacking on your own part, and god speed. She entirely agrees with me that the fact that not one of her classmates has any mentionable career goal (as distinct from the herd mentality) has nothing to do with 'male domination'.

What is wrong with women, I was asking Dipanwita by email today, that some of them, after reading posts like this, never get back to say 'Thanks for writing this; I've changed my mind about you'?

Rashmi Datta said...


Most people nowadays have such brittle egos that they would prefer to shout or stamp their foot and blabber nonsensical things rather than see the light and change their views. I have seen that this disease is much more prevalent in women than in men.

Yesterday, Sayan asked me to watch a song from a movie based on the life of Antony ‘Firangi’. There was a 'Gaanerbaaji' going on and at the end of it, Antony's opponent admits defeat and cries out ' Saadhu! Saadhu! ’. How rare such people have become. In the present day, people identify themselves only with the opinions they form (most of them not based on facts and logic) and stick to them mindlessly, no matter what! Pathetic are such creatures and not deserving of your attention at all.

Warm regards