The Woman – Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi

I am happy that a book finally celebrates Mrs. Gandhi.

‘Did you know Eve Curie, the scientist Marie Curie’s daughter, was a guest at the wedding? And Harivansh Rai Bachchan, the poet? He and his wife, Teji, sang a duet.’

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‘Six months before Operation Blue Star, as troubles escalate, Mrs. Gandhi decides, on a whim, to fulfill one of her long-standing desires. Even though she has spent a whole decade on Project Tiger, protecting the magnificent National Animal, she has rarely had time to visit any of the National Parks. One day, suddenly, she arrives in Kanha. Luck is on her side.’ 

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At 9:10 AM, Mrs. Gandhi steps out of the wicket gate separating 1 Safdarjung Road from her office on 1 Akbar Road… Dadi’s step is light on the grass and her eyes twinkle merrily. It is almost as if she can fly, but chooses not to.’

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This book is for Sarah Anne Cherian and Priyanka Mukherjee, a belated offering for their fourteenth and eighteenth birthdays respectively. We hope they find some of the joy we did in the story of Indira Gandi, and that the best of Mrs Gandhi’s life, her spunk, her openness to ideas and beauty, and her remarkable resilience, will enter and transform theirs.

Devapriya Roy & Priya KuriyanIndira, (Cntxt, 2018).