On Balance


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Author : Leila Seth

9780143101390 | PB | pp. 478 | 2018 | Penguin Modern Classics

On Balance is the autobiography of Leila Seth, the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court and the first woman to also become Chief Justice of a state High Court.

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This is an intimate, often amusing, and heart-warming portrait of Leila Seth, her family and her times, all in her own words. Being the first woman to top the Bar examinations in London, Justice Seth has been the first woman to scale the heights she had in her illustrious career. In this autobiography, she talks about jubilant as well as tough moments of her career. Depicted prominently are her early years of homelessness and struggle, her drifting into law while in England with her husband, and later practising in Patna, Calcutta and Delhi and her happy marriage of more than fifty years with Premo, including the experience of bringing up three talented children the writer, Vikram, the Zen Buddhist dharmacharya, Shantum, and the filmmaker, Aradhana. Interweaving her family life with professional, Justice Seth poignantly describes the years after her father’s untimely death. There are also witty essays, Premo and her turning an old mansion into a splendid home in Patna. Vikram’s writing of the novel, A Suitable Boy Shantum’s initiation as a Buddhist teacher by Thich Nhat Hanh Aradhana’s marriage to Peter, an Austrian diplomat, and her commendable work on films like Earth and Water.


Leila Seth




Penguin Modern Classics





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About the Contributors

Leila Seth was born in Lucknow. She joined the Bar in 1959 and practised under Ashoke Kumar Sen when she was in India. Justice Seth has sat upon enquiry commissions that examined several controversial cases during her career.


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