With Parmeshwar Godrej beating the rest to host talk-show diva Oprah Winfrey at an exclusive soirée in Mumbai, Anjana Vaswani and Nona Walia ask, who’s India’s most powerful lady (outside the boardroom and Parliament). Patrickus Merriganicus or what’s known outside apiology circles as the queen bee, refers to an adult, dominant, mated female that lives in a hive. Developed from larvae selected by worker bees, the queen is fed an exclusive diet of royal jelly drawn from the heads of young worker bees. The egg she lays will fertilise into a virgin queen. Hard to spot in a colony, the young virgin often runs across the comb, climbing over worker bees if necessary. Her debut task after emerging from the queen cell is to identify virgin queen rivals and sting them. Those who enjoy chronicling society might appreciate the similarities thrown up during bee research and studying the secret society of social butterflies; except, in the world of humans, the ‘election’ is not always apparent — until there’s that occasional test of mettle. Last fortnight, industrialist Adi Godrej’s wife Parmeshwar Godrej emerged as the unequivocal diva after eliciting the honour of hosting American talk-show goddess Oprah Winfrey’s grand welcome soirée… Read full this story
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