Know Your Classics

In a New Yorker profile of Indian bioengineering mogul Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (behind paywall), the subject is described participating in a panel discussion of author Shobhaa Dé’s latest autobiographical book: Shobhaa at Sixty.

After the author has discussed her “distaste for plastic surgery” (emphasis added):

Mazumdar-Shaw smirked. “I hope you’ll permit me, I just thought of a song,” she said, and offered an improvised rhyme. “Shobhaa, tell us. All modern women are jealous. How do you manage to look so terribly young, without Botox and suctions and treatments far flung?”

This is the chorus to Tom Lehrer’s “Alma,” from 1965’s That Was the Year That Was, dedicated to the woman who married (in succession) composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and writer Franz Werfel.

Alma, tell us!
All modern women are jealous.
Which of your magical wands
Got you Gustav and Walter and Franz?