Category Archives: Women of substance

Today’s Google Doodle: Sarah Durack and her swimsuit

Living in Australia today, with swimming pools and lessons a fact of life for both girls and boys from the age of three to four months till well into their nineties, it seems hard to believe that the idea of … Continue reading

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International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, I wait in the waiting room at the Flinders Medical Centre Eye Clinic for my mother to come out of cataract surgery. Most of the people waiting for relatives are women, ranging from one who might … Continue reading

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To dye or not to dye…..when I stopped asking myself that question.

I have been noticing a rather lovely thing lately. When I spotted my first grey hairs, I was ever so slightly shocked. They were something that old women had, like my mother and her mother! Why me? Why now? So … Continue reading

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Caroline Herschel, star woman

  “However long we live, life is short, so I work. And however important man becomes, he is nothing compared to the stars. There are secrets, dear sister, and it is for us to reveal them.” ~ Caroline Herschel (In … Continue reading

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Some proverbs are more fluff than pith

‘Jini rnadhen, tini chul-o bnadhen’ This Bengali proverb means that the person who cooks also does her own hair. That is purely the literal meaning though. What it really means is that she who has to cook is also the … Continue reading

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Swarnakumari Debi

In the year 1876 the December chill in Calcutta was suddenly stirred by the appearance of an anonymous novel. Its title was ‘Deep Nirbaan’ or the Extinguishing of the Lamp. Its readers were amazed by the maturity of the unknown … Continue reading

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Arjun and Ulupi: An Inconvenient Truth.

Reading the Mahabharata……… When Arjuna arrived in the land of the Nagas under the guise of Brahminhood, their widowed princess Ulupi did not believe that such a handsome man could have suddenly attained enlightenment simply by studying the Vedas by … Continue reading

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Yeh Lijjat Ka Sawal Hain or A Lijjat Papad is anything but hot air!

We ran out of these yesterday. As I picked up new packets of the lentil flour biscuits for want of a better word, I thought of a brand loyalty that has lasted for over thirty years at least in my … Continue reading

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Margaretha to Mata – Unfortunate victim or calculating femme fatale

7th August….. Margaretha Geertruida McLeod Zelle, not a name that holds any great promise of seductive allure or for that matter indication of a gossip-worthy future. But say the name Mata Hari and instantly the image that floats before one’s … Continue reading

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An American abroad: Mary Curzon, Baroness Kedleston, that peacock dress and the zardosi men

My mother is reading a book on the Vicereines of India and on the cover is this portrait of a stunning woman in a stunning dress. Ma tells me she is Mary Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston and first wife … Continue reading

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