Taking the lead abroad!

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Taking the lead abroad!

Women are the new men. What was considered the weaker sex, is now the stronger sex, and India too is gradually waking upto this new advancement.

Women in India have undergone a drastic transformation over the past few years. Not only are they embarking on challenges on home ground, but also taking the world with utmost confidence, grace and passion. Rita Faria enthralled the world with her pretty face and poise in the beauty pageant of 1966, and since then there have been a plethora of wins. While beauty did the talk of the tinseltown, brains too made headlines in coveted magazines like TIME. Who could forget Indira Gandhi gracing the cover in 1984, saying, “If I die today, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation.” That was it, and it said all! Today the world recognizes and respects the collective power and aura of Indian women.

The American continent has a whole bunch of popular and successful women of Indian origin. If some are busy making movies, others are repeatedly accepting their Grammy’s. If some are scripting their next book, few others are basking in the glory of their previous paperbacks. Some have gone to space, some are spearheading organizations, and many others are familiar faces on the television. Here’s presenting a list of Who’s Who of Indian women in America.

Mira Nair

Mira Nair is the woman behind Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding and Kama Sutra! The Harvard Graduate has in her kitty, a National Film Award and nominations for Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA. Mira has given us many memorable movies, including Vanity Fair,The Namesake and Amelia. Not many know that she’s actually rejected an offer to direct Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix!

Deepa Mehta

Deepa Mehta is an Indian-born Canadian film director. She is best known for her Elements Trilogy movies Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005). Mehta, born in Amritsar, Punjab, is a graduate from University of Delhi with a degree in philosophy. Deepa is currently married to David Hamilton, a producer, and her daughter from her previous marriage is an author and curator.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian American author and the recipient of Pulitzer Prize for Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of short stories. Her first novel, The Namesake, was adapted into a popular film. Jhumpa is born in London to but was raised in the United States. She is a member of the ‘President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Kiran Desai

Daughter of the acclaimed writer Anita Desai, Kiran is the winner of 2006 Man Booker Prize for her novel The Inheritance of Loss. She was born in Delhi but left India at the age of 14 for England and then moved to United States to study creative writing. She is today an American citizen. Her first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard is a fine work of storytelling.

Indra Nooyi

Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 as the company’s chief strategist, and today she is its Chairman and CEO.The Indian-born American has been repeatedly named one of the powerful women in the world and is the recipient of Padma Bhusan apart from numerous other awards. On the personal front, Indra is married to Rajkantilal Nooyi, has two daughters and resides in Connecticut.

Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana was an Indian American astronaut with NASA. Born in Haryana, she became a US citizen in 1990, and was one of seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Chawla has a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and was the first Indian-born woman and the second Indian person to fly in space, following cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma.

Nikki Haley

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley, Nikki Haley is the current Governor of South Carolina, and the second Indian American governor in the country. Her parents are Sikh immigrants from Punjab. Nikki consistently works on issues related to abortion, taxation, immigration and education.

Norah Jones

The Come Away With Me girl, Norah Jones, is the protégé of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. Throughout her career, Jones has won numerous awards and accolades, including nine Grammys. Born as Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, in New York, she also starred in the movie My Blueberry Nights as the lead.

There are many more women who should be recognized and deserve to be in the list. We will bring them to you in our future post, in the meanwhile if you have someone on your mind, let us know.

By |March 21st, 2012|INDIA, NRI|2 Comments


  1. Suresh Nanjagurd June 5, 2015 at 5:50 am - Reply

    These women have really held the heads of Indians proud. All of them have a huge respect in Indian society. Sorry for diverting from the topic but few of the males like Dr P Mohamed Ali have also done a lot of great work and have received many awards in the field of business like the leadership and the ‘Sword of Honour’and many more. http://www.timesofoman.com/News/Article-25233.aspx
    He has done many social work also for the society like development in the field of education due to his inclination towards education http://www.indianschool.com/whoweare/founder.html
    Not many know about and that’s why as an Indian I request you to please read about this great personality.

    • VIWA June 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Definitely! Thanks for stopping by.

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