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Famous Indian men choose their superwoman on Women's Day

This Women’s Day, the guide team quizzed famous men from different fields to nominate the women who they believe deserve the status of a superwoman

Illustration/Amit Bandre
Illustration/Amit Bandre

Amaan Ali Khan sarod player
I feel Mrs Sonia Gandhi, who is the President of the Indian National Congress party, has displayed all the qualities of a superwoman.

She was a great wife, a great daughter-in-law and is a great mother. Time and again, she has upheld the honour of her family, and maintains dignity and grace.

Nachiket Barve fashion designer
I would pick three women: first, Pandita Ramabai for being one of the first women to work towards women’s education and fight to bring them on the same level as men in the society. Second, Pupal Jayakar for working towards reviving Indian textiles, handicrafts and design.

From today’s times, I would choose Ritu Kumar as a superwoman because she was the first Indian designer to bring fashion designing into prominence and start her own fashion label. I’d pick her for the pioneering work in Indian textiles, as well.

Quasar Thakore Padamsee theatre personality
Teesta Setalvad is the real superwoman. She has always been at the forefront, fighting the legal battle against injustice, be it those responsible for the genocide in Gujarat or other human rights violations. It’s because people like her that we are able to raise our voice against issues, which otherwise would have been brushed under the carpet.

She has been doing all this despite death threats. It’s commendable to do what she has been doing all this while. I admire her and respect her for the work she has done. I think that it’s because of her that I am always trying to tell stories that are socially relevant through my plays and at the same time raise voice against any type of injustice. She has virtues of a true superwoman.

Moshe Shek chef and restaurateur
I am surrounded and amazed by my team of women who form the backbone at Moshe’s. For example, Neha who came from a broken marriage was clueless about operating computers, let alone work on it. She joined at an older age, with the desire to fend for herself. The pay wasn’t promising but I saw hope, and created a department for her.

She learnt skills from junior staff, and never missed a day. She was afraid to connect with customers; she had never done it as a housewife. What isn’t surprising is that today, she heads a critical department, communicating with retailers and doing a great job. A true superwoman.

Arzan Khambatta artist
Artist Piloo Pochkhanawala is my superwoman. She was a sculptor at a time when sculpture was shunned, and contemporary art was just about painting.

Hailing from a conservative Parsi family, her famous pieces include the metal sculpture, Spark, earlier located at Haji Ali, and Stone Age To Space, the cast aluminium and embedded rock sculpture at Nehru Centre. I love that her art was for public places.

When I started in 1982, she invited me to her home on Pochkhanawala Road (named after her forefathers), and encouraged me a lot.

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