Was Jawaharlal Nehru a smoker (or a chain smoker)? Many people think about it when on social media they come across photos of Nehru showing him smoking cigarettes. So, I decided to write about one the better known photo among this lot. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India. Later his daughter, Indira and grandson Rajiv Gandhi also became Primer Minsters.
Today’s photograph shows the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in a relaxed and candid moment. India’s first woman press photographer Homai Vyarawalla shot this photograph on board the first BOAC jet plane, on a 45-minute flight to Nanda Devi. Pt. Nehru is seen with a lighted cigarette on his lips while lighting another cigarette on the lips of the then British Deputy High Commissioner’s wife Ms. Simon. Pt. Nehru used to smoke 2-3 cigarettes every day (some people believe that he was a chain smoker). He used to use filter for smoking.
Homai Vyarawalla took a number of memorable photographs during her career. Her favorite subject was Pt. Nehru. However, if you go through the archives of photojournalism, you would not find the name “Homai Vyarawalla” anywhere!
Do you know why?
It is because Homai Vyarawalla worked under a different professional name. And the identity she had chosen was “Dalda 13”! The reasons behind her choice of this rather amusing name were that her birth year was 1913, she got married at the age of 13 and her first car’s number plate read “DLD 13”.
Did you know?
- Dalda is a brand of hydrogenated vegetable oil popular in south Asia.
- In 1930s, a company named Dada Limited used to import this oil from Netherlands. Later when Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) offered to market this oil -the Dada Limited said that their company’s name must be part of the brand name. At the same time HLL wanted to have letter “L” in in the brand name for the word “Lever”. This is how the name Dalda was originated.
- Dalda became synonymous with the hydrogenated vegetable oils (aka Vanaspati) in India.
How did you like this photo? Any thoughts? Please share your thoughts with me. I value feedback from my readers. Thank you for reading!