“For as long as I can remember, I believe I have had a great zeal for learning. If someone should ask me what keeps me going, I would just blindly concede that it was learning and learning alone. I greatly enjoyed all the subjects that were taught to me. Same goes with college – I took great pleasure in learning new things and being blessed with wonderful teachers, I was often teased as the teacher’s pet. I came out a college topper in my UG studies and then emerged a university rank holder.
Once my marriage came through, my roles and responsibilities changed; I had some pressing priorities to attend to so my learning had to take a backseat. But my ultimate dream was to earn a doctorate and I keep persevering in all forms towards it. The universe obliged and I started my doctoral program under the wonderful guidance of my doctoral guide. Together we explored the medicinal properties of medical herbs like Nilavembu and Vilvam. Since the research cost me quite a fortune, it was a hard time juggling financial requirements for the family as well my research. However after a long arduous journey of 7 years, I defended my thesis and won the doctoral title. But somewhere in my 40th year, life threw in an unpleasant surprise my way.
I experienced a certain trouble with my hearing and upon further enquiry, we understood that some essential tissue was damaged and I was experiencing partial hearing loss in both my ears. It was a shocker but once again, you just learn to run with the punches. I defended my thesis irrespective of the diagnosis and continued with my participation and presentations in various seminars and paper presentations; I overcame my stage fear by watching other paper presentations and I have also won a couple of prizes for the same. I gave up on watching TV programs such as talk shows as they were hard to follow and also learnt the tact of being unapologetic!
Owing to my partial hearing loss, I can’t follow speeches when it’s fast paced. If posed with a question, I would gently ask them to come again and then answer it. It invited some mockery as well and one time, I decided to counter them regardless! People are sometimes definitely insensitive but you can still make your stand and counter them in circumstances like these.
With my thesis in place, I founded my own magazine venture and put together some amazing people to work on it. We release completely ad free, zero cost editions containing recent developments and interesting articles in the field of science and technology and also other fields like arts and literature, often accentuated with talks and videos. In my free time, I teach english to students from government schools. Women, in the midst of donning multiple hats, often forget or learn to forget their own needs and wants; but one also learns to persevere through road blocks and keep their faith in themselves and go after their dreams. In my most vulnerable moments, I have often seeked solace in art, prayers and surrender. The road is indeed long and far but, we owe it to ourselves to make the journey worth the while. I am grateful for all the opportunities and experiences life has given me, everything is a learning experience”
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