Homai Vyarawalla passed away at a private hospital in Vadodara on Sunday following respiratory complications and age-related ailments.
Homai was admitted to the hospital on Thursday after she had fallen at her home and fractured her hip bone.
The lady was born to a Parsi family in Navsari, Gujarat on December 9, 1913. Her parents were part of a travelling Parsi-Urdu theatre company. Later, they decided to settle down in Mumbai so that the children could get proper schooling.
Homai did a diploma in Arts from J J School of Arts, Mumbai. Homai exchanged the wedding vows with Maneckshaw Vyarawalla at the tender age of 13 and shifted to Delhi.
She developed the interest in photography as her husband was already passionately in love with the art. She learnt the skills of photography from him using his camera.
She started her career in 1930s. She used Dalda 13 as her professional name. The constant occurance of number 13 in her life made her choose this name, she was born in 1913, she got married at the age of 13 and her first car\\\’s number plate read DLD-13.
She was a trendsetter who lived by her own rules and had a significant presence in the male-dominated field before she retired in early 1970s.
Homai took a number of memorable photographs in her career including the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shashtri.
Homai is credited with capturing the funerals of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru, the historical hoisting of the first Tricolour at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947 and a meeting where leaders voted for the June 3 plan for India\\\’s partition.
She got an oppurtunity to photograph the departure of Lord Mountbatten and visit of Queen Elizabeth.
She was conferred Padma Vibhushan by the government of India in January 2011.
In February 2006, a book documenting Vyarawala\\\’s works "India in Focus – Camera Chronicles of Homai Vyarawala" By Sabeena Gadihoke was also published.
Many of her photographs were published as photo-stories in the Illustrated Weekly of India, Time, Life, The Black Star, Paul Popper and numerous other international publications.
Homai had a tough life to deal with, her husband had passed away in 1970. Tragically, her only son also passed away in 1989 due to cancer.
The dignified and self made lady was living at her Vadodara home alone since then and maintained an active daily schedule.