Tag Archive | leading ladies


Just to refresh everyone’s memories, this post is inspired by Sudha Menon’s book  “Leading Ladies”.  The first one in this series featured –Meher Pudumjee.

The leading lady I write about this time is –P.T.Usha– the queen of India’s Track and Field for two decades. Usha has been nicknamed ‘Payyoli Express’, ‘Udanpari’ and ‘Golden Girl’ because of her speed.

Her life inspires, because despite her humble beginnings she attained the heights of glory and inspired generations of young girls to take up running. In her words: “I had never possessed a pair of track pants or shoes and had no idea what a crouch start was. I learnt to run on the beaches of Payyoli, barefoot.”

Her medal count at various national and international track and field events is long and impressive. In 1984,L.A. Olympic Games she almost made history but missed the bronze medal in the 400mt hurdles by one hundredth of a second. What is more impressive about her is her fierce dedication to running and determination that proved her detractors wrong again and again despite all odds heaped against her.

“the only constant in my life has been my complete commitment to running. From the earliest years of my life, I knew I was only meant to RUN.”

Some golden words from the Golden Girl of India.

“Talent alone is not enough. It has to be backed by the hunger to win and survive against any odds”

“Learn to lose if you want to win”

“God has given each of us some unique talent, but success comes to only those who exploit the full measure of their talents. Our future generation have to learn this little secret if they want to keep ahead in the race of Life”


The heading of this post is the tagline of a wonderful book that I’m reading currently.  I was browsing in a bookshop( one of my favorite occupations) when I happened upon this book in the non-fiction section. The title was ‘Leading Ladies’ penned by Sudha Menon.  For a moment I stood there, indecisive about picking up the book. When I did pick up the book, I turned a few pages, put it back on the shelf, moved on, then came back, looked at it some more and then on an impulse decide to buy it. And boy, am I glad I bought it.

The book is about the lives of some of the ladies who have achieved the impossible in the Indian corporate world.  The stories are not boring biographies but an insight into the minds and souls of these women who worked hard to achieve what they did, the motivation, inspiration and self belief that kept them going in a society that has always looked down upon women, in a society where women have to fight for their rights and their place under the sun.

I’d planned that I would wait till I finished the whole book then pick up one inspiring thought from each lady and write about it but half-way through I couldn’t wait any more so here I am with the first one.

This one comes from Meher Pudumjee– the chairperson of Thermax Ltd.

“do something to express and not to impress. If you enjoy what you do then it’s no longer a drudgery. When you do something for yourself that you are passionate about, the best will always come out.”  

How true is that? Happens all the time. We work hard to do something perfectly, spend time and energy, yet at times our creation lacks something that we cannot put our finger on. Something incomplete, as if the soul isn’t there. On the other hand when something flows from the heart, even though it may not be perfect technically, it strikes a cord with people, touches their heart and we are filled with a sense of accomplishment.

We’ve all experienced this some time or the other. Whenever we did anything under stress or pressure or half-heartedly, the results also have been below our own expectations.

Knew it always, but never gave it much of a thought. But while reading, the words ‘do something to express and not to impress’ simply jumped out at me and I wanted to share them with everyone.

Summing up- enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy. Meanwhile I’ll look up and share more gems from our leading ladies in my coming posts.