Stories About Women

Saklibai and her Family

Jitendra Sanghvi

Jitendra (Jeet) Sanghvi is a Registered Professional Engineer. He is the Structural Engineering SME and Senior Civil/Structural Engineer for the real estate division of a multinational automotive manufacturer. Jeet resides in Metropolitan Detroit. Jeet is also a fitness and healthy food enthusiast, and enjoys reading and travelling. He is a member of the Jain Society of Greater Detroit, where he teaches Jainism basics to Middle School children at the temple on Sundays.

Saklibai, my Dadi or Grandmother, was born around 1890 as an only child in the small princely state of Sirohi, now part of Rajasthan.

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A College Professor Remembers

Geeta Somjee received her M.A. (Hons.) from Madras University, and Ph.D. from M. S. University of Baroda. She was a Visiting Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford for a number of years, the Wellesley College Centre for Research on Women, (U.S.A), Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver. She has done longitudinal field research in rural and urban India, and was engaged in comparative study of the involvement of women in expanding health services in Asian societies. Her published works include Narrowing the Gender Gap, Reaching Out to the Poor (with A.H. Somjee) and "Social Change in the Nursing Profession in India" in a volume entitled Anthropology and Nursing.

I am from Calicut, in Kerala and went to high school there. At that time, Calicut was indeed a small place, and most students used to go to either Madras or Trivandrum for their higher education. I went to Madras (now Chennai), where I got my Bachelor’s degree from Presidency College, and my M.A (Hons.) degree from Madras University in 1956.

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Diwali and her Father

Jitendra Sanghvi

Jeet is a Registered Professional Engineer. He is the Lead Civil/Structural Engineer and Capital Budget Planner for the real estate subsidiary of a multinational automotive manufacturer, and lives in Metropolitan Detroit. Jeet is a fitness enthusiast, and enjoys reading and travelling. He is a member of the Jain Society of Greater Detroit, where he teaches Jainism basics to Middle School children at the temple on Sundays.

My mother's name is Diwali, one of India's most prominent festivals, because she was born on Diwali day. This happened in 1929 in Kolhapur (in present day Maharashtra), which was a Princely State at that time, nominally independent but in practice a part of the British Raj in India. She was the eldest surviving child of Vanaji and Santokbai Nibjiya.

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Memories of a Diva

T.S. Nagarajan (b.1932) is a noted photojournalist whose works have been exhibited and published widely in India and abroad. After a stint with the Government of India as Director of the Photo Division in the Ministry of Information, for well over a decade Nagarajan devoted his life to photographing interiors of century-old homes in India, a self-funded project. This foray into what constitutes the Indianness of homes is, perhaps, his major work as a photojournalist.

Editor's note: This story is reproduced, with permission, from Mr. Nagarajan's not-for-sale book of his memories, A Pearl of Water on a Lotus Leaf & Other Memories, 2010.

The first time I ever saw ‘MS' (Editor's note: The reference is to M.S. Subbulakshmi) was when I was a boy of ten or twelve in her role as Meera in the famous film (Editor's note: The film was released in 1947 , which ran for years in cinema halls and had the whole country humming her bhajans (Editor's note: See Youtube videos and a detailed description with videos).

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Navamaniyamma: The jovial stork that came walking

Shenoi, a civil engineer and MBA, rose to the rank of Deputy Director-General of Works in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers. He has also been a member of HUDCO’s advisory board and of the planning team for Navi Mumbai. After retirement he has been helping NGOs in employment-oriented training, writing articles related to all aspects of housing, urban settlements, infrastructure, project and facility management and advising several companies on these issues. His email id is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Midwifery - this profession had its heyday in Indian cities from 1900 to 1950. Modern maternity clinics came up one by one In the 1950s, and by the end of the 20th century, most Indian cities were full of them.

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