U: P. T. Usha #AToZChallenge

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Much before Usain Bolt blazed his way into our screens and on social media, the only athletes we Indians were aware of were Milkha Singh and P. T. Usha. Since I studied in an all girls school, at every sports day our physical education teacher used to ask us to embrace our inner P. T. Usha and run like her. She's been the sole inspiration from the field of sports during our growing up years. I'm so glad we have Mary Kom, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik, Hima Das, the Phogat sisters and many more now.

T: Tracy Whitney #AToZChallenge

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I'm not going to lie to you, Tracy Whitney is a con-artist, and she will be my favorite female protagonists of all time. For those unaware, Tracy Whitney is the heroine hero of Sidney Sheldon's 'If Tomorrow Comes'. I read this book decades ago and I remember wanting to be like her when I grew up. That is the magic of books you know, and the characters they contain can mold your mind in a good way pretty early in your life. I read this book in my teens and I remember falling in love with the story, but more with Tracy Whitney. She's one of the bravest, smartest and strongest women in the literary world.

S: Sushmita Sen #AToZChallenge

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S was a very tricky letter as I have way too many inspirations whose name starts with S. Serena Williams, Sudha Murty, Sunitha Williams, Shefali Shah and some more. But, when I close my eyes and think of one Indian woman who inspires me the most, it has to be Sushmita Sen. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that she has been a Miss Universe and an actor, it just has to do with the amazing woman that she is. When Sushmita was applying for the Miss India contest in 1994, many other applicants were withdrawing their applications as Aishwarya Rai too was applying the same year and there was no way that they could win against her. Sushmita could have done the same, but she didn't. Armed with a few clothes stitched by her local tailor, she entered the competition and won it with grace. It did not matter who her fellow contestants were, she knew she was good and that's the confidence that mattered.

R: Rohini Nilekani #AToZChallenge

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While most people only know her as the wife of Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of tech giant Infosys, Rohini Nilekani has used that as a stepping stone to make the world a better place. Not many people talk about her or her achievements, but Rohini is a philanthropist like no other. An active advocate of Indian philanthropy, Rohini believes that dialogue has the power to de-risk our future. Through her work, she seeks to address the extreme inequality between the ‘have-everythings’ and the ‘have-nothings.’ Rohini has spent several years as a journalist, working with leading publications of the time, including Bombay Magazine, India Today, MINT and The Times of India.

Q: Queen Elizabeth II #AToZChallenge

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I already have told you that I have a thing for the royals, and, it all started with this lady. Much before the 'Crown' on Netflix made her story popular, I was following her life very closely. Queen Elizabeth II is an enigma. Her strength, demeanor, courage and total responsibility for her people make her a very important and inspirational figure.

P: Phoebe Buffay #AToZChallenge

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While it is always debatable as to who is one's favorite character in F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Phoebe Buffay will always remain the most inspirational to me. Clearly the outsider among the other five, she still manages to hold on her own and serves as a rock to her friends in their tough times. Offbeat and ditzy, Phoebe is wonderfully weird. She has her own weird beliefs and sticks to it no matter what who has to say. She's been on her own since a young age and has had a pretty rough life, but she has never given up on a chance for happiness or to find love.

O: Oprah Winfrey #AToZChallenge

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She was born to a teenage mother who was dependent on government welfare payments and never really knew who her father was. At the age of nine, she was sexually abused by her cousin, uncle and other relatives. She went to school wearing clothes made of potato sacks and was ridiculed by her class mates. She fought obesity, depression and suicidal tendencies. A few decades later, she became the richest African American of the 20th century and also has been called the most influential woman in the world. Orpah Gail Winfrey's life has never been easy. But, here was a woman who did not let her past define her. She fought hard, followed her passions and made a life for herself that most people envy today.

N: Neena Gupta #AToZChallenge

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As an Indian, can you imagine having a child out of wedlock? No, right? Now imagine the same scenario in the 1980s. Neena Gupta braved society and their tongues to become one of the first celebrities to have a love child. Neena was in a relationship with former West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards who was married to another woman. She went ahead and had his child who we know today as Masaba Gupta, the vivacious and quirky fashion designer.

M: Michelle Obama #AToZChallenge

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Personally, for me, there will always be only one FLOTUS, and that is Michelle Obama. There are only two topics in the world that I loathe talking about, and prefer to stay away from, religion and politics. It is very easy to associate Michelle Obama with politics as she has been the First Lady of the US for two terms and did a brilliant job at it, but, when you look at her for the person she is, you'll see the beauty she has in her soul.

L: Laxmi Agarwal #AToZChallenge

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In 2005, when Laxmi was 15, a 32 year old man pursued her. When she rejected his advances, he doused her with acid.

K: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw #AToZChallenge

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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is an Indian billionaire entrepreneur. She is the chairperson and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore. She hoped to go to medical school, but did not obtain a scholarship, so she studied fermentation science, and trained to be a brewmaster, a very non-traditional field for a woman. While working as a technical consultant at Jupiter Breweries Limited, Calcutta, she was told that she would not be hired as a master brewer in India because "It's a man's work". That is when she was offered a position in Scotland.

J: J. K Rowling #AToZChallenge

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We all have heard of many 'rags to riches' stories, but this one is the most inspirational. While on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990, Joanne Rowling conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series, the story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry. We all know the series to be world famous today, but it was not an easy task for the author to get to where she is.

I: Indian Women's Cricket Team #AToZChallenge

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India is a country obsessed with bollywood and cricket, there is no denying that. While the whole country is waiting for the ICC World Cup to begin and support Virat and the boys, is there anyone out there anticipating a certain other World Cup that would be held in 2021? Does anyone recall that the Indian Women's Cricket Team were the runners-up in the Women's Cricket World Cup 2017? Can anyone name all the players in the Indian Women's Cricket Team? Before you answer these questions, let me get to the most basic question of all. How many of you were aware that there is a Indian Women's Cricket Team?

H: Holly Golightly #AToZChallenge

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Holiday Golightly more famously known as Holly Golightly, born Lulamae Barnes, is the main protagonist from the novella 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' written by Truman Capote. This character was then immortalized by Audrey Hepburn in a movie with the same name. The book is about an unnamed narrator who relates his memories of Holly Golightly, the people in her life, and his relationship with her. Holly is his downstairs neighbor and the center of attention of his memoirs. She is 18 years old when he first meets her. She is a creature unlike anyone he has ever known, simultaneously sophisticated, blunt, and unapologetic about her lifestyle. This is what drew me to her. Holly is one of the most fascinating characters I've ever read.

G: Gayatri Devi #AToZChallenge

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Touted to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, Gayatri Devi was unlike any other royal that we had heard about. She was the Princess of Cooch Behar (Koch Dynasty of Ancient Assam), presently West Bengal. While Princesses are usually thought the art of dance and embroidery, Gayatri Devi preferred hunting and riding. She shot her first panther when she was 13 and there was no looking back after that. Since she was primarily brought up by her mother and her grandmother, she grew up being fiercely independent and a feminist, which later became instrumental in her starting schools for girls and the women's empowerment movement.

F: Frida Kahlo #AToZChallenge

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I've been intrigued by Frida Kahlo since the time I heard of her a few years ago. The first I heard of her was when I came across a quote of hers where she says, "I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to better." I started digging up more information on her since then. Every piece of news about her was fascinating and soon she became an inspiration.

E: Ellen DeGeneres #AToZChallenge

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One of the most happiest celebrity couples that I have seen is Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen DeGeneres is someone who you cannot not like. Her personality is such that you are automatically attracted to her. For those who are unaware of who she is, Ellen DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, producer, and LGBT activist. She currently hosts her own TV talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

D: Diana, Princess Of Wales #AToZChallenge

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Let me let out a secret here. I am truly, madly and deeply obsessed with the British Royals. I have followed them closely much before the era of social media. Now with the advent of social media, it gets more easier to know what they are up to. While Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are charming in their own way, neither of them hold a candle to their late mother-in-law, Diana.

C - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie #AToZChallenge

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"I am angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change, but in addition to being angry, I'm also hopeful because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better."

B: Brene Brown #AToZChallenge

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'The power of vulnerability' is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with over 35 million views. This talk helped me get past a very tough phase of my life when I was a total mess battling stress and self-doubt. A blogger friend had shared this video with me and that is how I was first introduced to Brene Brown.

A: Amal Clooney #AToZChallenge

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Much before she came into the spotlight for marrying one of the most gorgeous and eligible bachelors of Hollywood, Amal Alamuddin, the barrister-at-law was doing a fantastic job in international law and human rights. Born in Lebanon, her name means hope and that is exactly what she is to her clients. Amal learned English by watching TV shows. Having highly educated and ambitious parents, Amal followed their footsteps, but chose law as a subject and graduated with a B.A degree. Today, she is qualified to practice as a lawyer in the United States and the United Kingdom.