Diva, businesswoman, philanthropist, style icon: Call her anything and everything as adjectives fall short to define Parmeshwar Godrej. She passed away at the age of 71 years on Monday night at Breach Candy hospital in Mumbai due to prolonged lung illness, media reported. She has been cremated, the reports said.
A Page 3 regular and socialite wife of Godrej group of industries chairman Adi Godrej, she is survived by her three children Nisa, Pirojsha and Tanya Dubash. She benefitted various social causes with her position and natural charm.
She was 17, when she met Adi Godrej, who was then 21. She was then working as an air hostess in Air India, and both had whirlwind romance, before marrying in 1965. She also designed clothes for noted actress Hema Malini in 1975. Her interior designing skills are showcased in various spaces of Mumbai, Delhi and London. She is fondly remembered as the host of some of the most spectacular evenings with highlighted with an eclectic list of corporates, international stars etc.
But her sense of empathy and love comes across in her dedication to notable social causes. She campaigned for AIDS at a time when it was considered embarrassing to talk about it. One of her biggest steps in philanthropy was joining actor Richard Gere, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative to combat AIDS through various projects, one of them being ‘Heroes Project’ in 2004.
She is remembered by many as one whose ideas were beyond her times. She owned various businesses as a result of her wide range of interests. As a fashionista, she owned a boutique Dancing Silks, as an art lover she owned Cinema Ghar — a repository of art and theatre, as a film fanatic, she owned a production house named Starlight and her role in Godrej Group is self-explanatory with her astute marketing ideas and onboard decisions for various enterprises of the group.
In her life as an entrepreneur, loving wife and a doting mother, she owned hearts more than the companies. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen mentioned her as a “brilliant conversationalist” and “wonderful company” in his recent book. As the word of her death spread on social media, her passion and amazing life received tributes from all over.
Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Parmeshwar Godrej. She was gifted, brilliant&very likeable. A star dimmed https://t.co/wgc9ZVEm04
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 11, 2016
Devastated by death of close friend, Parmeshwar Godrej, last night: she was always there for me in my most difficult times. 1/2
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 11, 2016
Parmeshwar Godrej was more than the sum of her parts.She was warm generous n almost childlike under that starry sharp businesswoman exterior
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) October 11, 2016
A woman with solid strength integrity and grace..I cannot believe you are not with us any more Parmeshwar Godrej..Condolences to the family
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) October 11, 2016
Deeply saddened by the passing of Parmeshwar Godrej, dear friend from my early days in advertising. I share her family’s grief.
— KABIR BEDI (@iKabirBedi) October 11, 2016
Few friends would go to the ends of the earth for you in times of need #ParmeshwarGodrej was one of them. RIP. Cherished friendships
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) October 11, 2016