An Ode to My Alma Mater
It is 3: 30 am, the psychology lecture in Eastern Standard Time has just got over, and I am beginning to realize that I have a few more hours to sleep before dawn crack. A regular day in my life would thus start with waking my kids up for school and getting their breakfast ready.
As I pen down my journey of sixteen something years, I don’t even know where to begin. The fact is that the thought of writing about my journey someday in the future seemed unreal back then. And of course, what would one expect from an introvert raised in a conventional setting of a small town. Owing to my self-doubts, I harbored several inhibitions about putting forth my, as I would often laugh about, “poorly articulated” thoughts out loud in those days. However, life at Bede’s, the unceasing spirit and ready-to-take-that-plunge attitude of Bedeians fascinated, consumed and inspired me. Furthermore, the trust and confidence that my mentors, Ms. Neelam Bali and Ms. Nandini Pathania, placed in me enabled me to discover a version of myself like never before for which I am and will always be indebted.
I was a trained classical dancer, and the stage of St Bede’s felt home to me. The auditorium packed by spectators with their eyes glued on the stage, the lights, costumes, the college fest and everything almost feels surreal when I think about it now. And, I vividly remember dancing on that stage like no one was watching and expressing all those unspoken words buried in me through the form of Art that was not plain art for me.
Today, I have come a long way. I am an English Literature doctorate, Masters Candidate in Educational Psychology at Harvard University Extension School, a mother by the day and a student/writer by night. I am all life and what it has taught me. Besides I have immense gratitude for the multitude of lives that touched mine with their wisdom or sometimes even unfiltered honest criticism leading me only to look forward. I got married at twenty one, but life never stopped right there. The support of my partner and my intrinsic motivation to learn kept me from fitting into the social stencil that definitely would have limited my ability to bloom. Therefore, I decided to carve my own niche and tread on it by believing in myself more than ever. I went on and researched the social structures and interviewed many who did not identify themselves with normative genders and sexualities, conducted theatre for underprivileged children and advocated inclusivity, published and presented papers on non-normative identities and gender diversity. And, I look forward to a life brimming with learning.
I think I was reborn at St Bede’s, my Alma Mater, where I found mentors and teachers who placed their faith in me and ushered me to show the light that was within all this while.
Today, besides I seek a career in teaching my first love, literature, I am also accumulating tools of educational psychology from the Harvard program. I understand the urgent need to address students’ mental health in the digital era for their well-being and academic success. I am assured that my vision to advocate inclusivity and classroom diversity will soon reach its culmination. And in this process, I hope to ignite the same light in many that was once ignited in me.