Around the turn of the century, women of Bombay were on the cutting-edge of popular fashion, photographed in studio settings like this one and extensively postcarded.
Although taken in the firm's studio, with the woman posing upright, one can from this portrait and the wooden beam infer the literally backbreaking work hillstation workers endured.
This postcard is likely based on a portrait by Johnston & Hoffmann of 22 Chowringhee [also Chourangi] Road, Kolkata, one of the most storied photographic firms in British India.
Note the diagonal leading the eye into a rich scene, the figures in the corners of the frame, the tethered cow on the left, the pots in the coals, the vibrancy of this human space under a hoisted banner.
Early postcards from the Malabar coast seem to be relatively rare. In the message below, "Dusk" seems to be a dog.
[Verso] "6-5-20. Aren't they smartly pretty? I expect Dusk would like to bite this calf don't you?