Shobhaa De has always been a symbol of woman power. The writer-columnist was recently awarded the prestigious the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year, regarded as the 'Oscar' of female entrepreneurs and business leaders in Reims, France. She talks to CS about her time in France, Madame Clicquot, and the women she looks upto:
Ladies on field
Being the sole award winner from India in 2011 and getting the opportunity to interact with global achievers was a fantastic learning experience. I met women who ran shipyards, structural engineering companies and the most interesting of them all was a woman who is this hugely successful butcher in Ireland. I also admired the way in which the tribute was presented, with the right amount of solemnity and elegance.
Madame Clicquot was a woman way ahead of her times. She took control of the family business after being widowed at 27. She showed enormous guts, audacity and foresight when she turned the business around in a male dominated field, and took on her rivals. Women across the board, when pushed against the wall, display true grit, and come up on top using their hidden strengths to beat the odds. Women are the ultimate survivors.
I sincerely believe that every woman on earth is inspirational. But some women shine out because their lives inspire others. Aung Sang Su Kyi (Burma's Democracy leader and Nobel Peace prize winner) is one of the bravest, most charismatic women of our times. She symbolises female strength in the true sense, having endured house arrest and worse for her political beliefs. She has taken on despotic generals and sacrificed a lot. People compare her to Nelson Mandela, which places her in a different league altogether.
Scarlett O'Hara from 'Gone With the Winds' is my favourite fictional female. Everything about Scarlett is fascinating, including her attitude towards love and men. Scarlett is a fighter to the core. She doesn't have the time to whine about the unfairness of life. I like that!