For those who don’t know who Smt. Indu Bala Pillay was – she was a strong yet gentle, strict yet caring, a very versatile, intelligent yet humble lady – our ex-school principal (1976 – 1999) – under whose guidance, The Mother’s International, New Delhi – rose up to be ranked among one of the top ten co-ed schools in India, year-after-year. For those who were in school during her tenure would definitely have many fond memories about her.
I, like many of my schoolmates, feel proud to have been under the tutelage of Indu Pillay ma’am, along with all my school teachers and my parents, who inculcated in me the right values, strength, empathy and courage to deal with the world outside. It is one’s school which shapes their intrinsic nature and personality, and not one’s college.
When I got the news of Indu Pillay ma’am’s demise I went numb, void of any emotions, I don’t know why. I couldn’t experience grief. I have been seeing her at close quarters almost every week during my visits to Sri Aurobindo Ashram over the last several months, to find that her health kept on deteriorating, and also the effects of Alzheimer’s disease were taking a toll on her. She chose when to set her soul free from her body, it was a relief for her. I am sure she is at peace. She is with The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
My memories of Indu Pillay ma’am date back to the early 90s when I moved up to the senior section. I was so elated to see her the first time – a principal – who was so approachable, so full of life yet with a sense of discipline. She took care of each and every student of the school, she ensured our school doesn’t become a citadel of show-off and vanity, ensured we imbibe in us the right virtues, the right culture and the right spirit. During my tough transition to Science section, she mentored me as a parent. I will never forget these small yet valuable gestures.
Today she is no more with us YET her essence, her vibe, her aura stays with us – for ever, till eternity. She is at peace, yes she is.