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Women In Modern India: The Forty-Something Diva

By Lachmi Deb Roy

There’s an aura about her. The elegant 40-something at the bar or at the gym; her poise has the scent of experience, her tone is confident. She is what the Indian woman is morphing into.

Modern Indian Woman

Just a decade ago, this woman smelled of baby-powder and vanilla essence, her body camouflaged in inconspicuous- wear, she faced the camera only for family portrait. Her world around her loved ones, the kitchen, the grocery shop and if the times demanded it, a makeshift career. She stayed put, she stayed married whether it worked for her or not.

But it is a totally different story now. The ‘middle age’ tag just does not fit her. She is wise, well-read, well-maintained, fit, articulate and technology savvy. Her French manicured hand says it all.

She knows about the happenings around her and the cosmetic industry like the back of her hand. Teeny boppers might scoff at the idea of living up life at forty, but that’s just the ignorance of youth. They can be forgiven. For the wiser ones it is no secret that the prime of your life starts when you hit your forties.

The forty something diva may be spotting a few tattoos and a hip nose stud, but she knows how to carry herself with grace and elegance. She is confident and is known for her achievements. She has an aura that makes everybody’s head turn towards her.

Etiquette queen, Chhaya Momaya says, “Today’s forty something are much more confident probably because of their experience. She is much more at peace with her life and hence the calm shows on her face. She is no more struggling to make a place in the society. She has established her self and is much more economically independent than her younger counterparts. She has finished her duties and hence has money to spend on herself.”

This demi goddess knows the cosmetic industry like the little lines around her eyes, she know the financial market like the beginning of grey around her temples and she knows how to work both to her advantage.

The New Diva didn’t just crawl out from under a rock… she stepped out of fire. This forty something diva knows that growing old is a happy experience. They know that as you grow old in life your happiness should not be declined.

Older people are just as happy as younger ones, if not more. Today’s 40-something Diva does not fear conventions and traditions because she has seen what life is all about, has finished her duties and earns her own living.

Renowned fashion stylist, Rita Dhody says, “When a woman reaches the forty something age, she understands herself better. You are more experienced about life- it is a culmination of everything that you have learnt. For me changed circumstance was the cause of evolution in my life.”

“At age thirty I became a single parent with two kids. It was a situation that I was not prepared for. It was indeed a very challenging situation for me. But then actually the story of discovering myself started. Forty is indeed the new twenty five. These divas are less inhibited, have more experience of life, more understanding and less hang ups,” adds Rita.

Vinodini Rao, a forty something yoga instructor says, “I always tell my students who are mostly in their forties to age gracefully and to think young and to think freely and not to keep any burdens on their head that I feel will make them remain young from within and outside.”

Vinodini adds, “The most women whom I have met are women who in their forties and fifties and one of them is a mother who is in her sixties. She is independent, free and runs her own boutique. She can concentrate in her work and in herself more now than in her thirties when she was busier bringing us up. In fact with each passing year she is becoming younger and stylish and she understands fashion much more than me. She is well travelled and well read.”

The early years of adulthood are spent with concerns about career, starting a family which was followed by children’s education, buying a house, buying a car- the list is endless. But things take a very easy and pleasant turn when you hit your forties.

“I gave up my job when I became a mother at twenty-eight when I was blessed with twins. But now that my daughters are on their own and can take care of themselves, I have come back to work and started writing all over again for a leading lifestyle magazines,” says Sudeshna Chakraborty, a journalist by profession.

Vinodini, says, “It is very difficult to tell the age of a woman today. You look at her and wonder is she 25 or is she 35? And then you are amused to find out that she is 42, and it is lot to do with the way women are taking care of themselves.

Today’s 40-something Divas are completely at ease with themselves. They are not desperate to look young. In fact, they feel young from within and they know how to carry themselves with grace.

Fashionista Rita Dhody adds, “Be brave and throw away your old clothes which are not working for you. Don’t be desperate to hold on to your age. Wear neat straight cuts. The biggest fashion mistake people make is to wear outfits that do not go with their age.”

Today’s women in their forties are much more style conscious and sensible than what they wear a decade back. They look much more refined and attractive as never before. You may call her aunty, just out of habit.

You may be unsettled to see her ‘now-ness’, but that svelte 40 something is going to have her say and make heads turn. She is tough, but she is wise. She is cute and astute. She is going to raise the bar for you. Her moon is rising and her tribe will increase.

Lachmi Deb Roy is a lifestyle freelance feature writer and has been a journalist for the past ten years. She is a mother of a six year old and writes for MedIndia and several national and international magazines like – ‘Femina’, ‘New Woman’,’Gurlz’ and ‘Parent and Child’. She has worked with leading publications like-‘The Asian Age’, ‘The Week’ and ‘The Deccan Chronicle’.




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2 thoughts on “Women In Modern India: The Forty-Something Diva

  1. That was a wonderful insight, Lachmi. I am touching forty, and yes, I can relate to everything you said, and so will a number of my friends. Indeed, forties is the new 25.

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