The Odyssey continues
Destiny’s footsteps guided me on that wistful midsummer morning in May ’87, when I walked into the tranquil and serene environs of this great institution ‘The Mother’s International School’ Little did I realise then that it would slowly but steadily draft a constitution of my dreams here on this hallowed dust; little did I envision that this institution would provide a passport to the land of my ideals and enable me to embark on a winged flight to reach the stars.
I walked into this school with a friend of mine, Dr. Sanjukta Ghosh, who was working with the school as PGT (Chemistry). Incidentally, I had come from Shimoga, Karnataka to attend her wedding. She was to leave for London within a few days. I was introduced to this lady who was petite and graceful and yet embodied a steely determination, a dogged tenacity, a conscious will to relentlessly pursue paradigms of perfection Mrs Indu Pillay. I was introduced as a close friend and topper of the M. Sc batch of 1980 in Organic Chemistry.
I was interviewed subsequently and selected for the post of PGT in chemistry. The odyssey had begun! There was no time to look back. I didn’t go back to Shimoga. In fact, after two and a half years, my husband brought the rest of my belongings. My elder son, Anantha was admitted in ‘Prep’ class and my conscious being seemed to merge seamlessly with every leaf, every bud and every flower that ever blossomed here.
Sometimes the choices that we make resonate throughout our life and this was one such choice. Rooted in the serene ambience of this place I branched out and like Wordsworth felt
“A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused
Whose dwelling is the light of the setting sun…”
These impulses nurtured that spiritual yearning within me which was latent and was waiting to be alerted. New ideas emerging from new experiences refreshed my old ideals and anchored me steadily to my roots, at the same time catapulting me into a more modern plane of consciousness. My personal horizon of promises and possibilities continued to expand and I plunged into the service of the school with all the enthusiasm and vigour typical of a neophyte who is fired with passion. In all my endeavours, I could feel Indu Didi’s towering and motivating presence. With her support, I crossed thresholds of excellence. She was the architect who shaped my vision and guided me gently on the path of discovery.
The school environment gave me ample scope to introspect and helped me not only to cross milestones in my own subject, but also an opportunity to nurture my creative expression. Innovative attempts at music composition and dance choreography culminated in ‘Anand Dhara’ , a dream come true for me. I was the creative coordinator for this ballet on the spiritual journey of music and ‘Panchabootam Quintessence of Creation.’
I continued to establish many more landmarks. As the Head of the Science Department, I motivated students to take part in National level Science Exhibitions and develop science models which won national recognition and acclaim.
To look back, after having completed my post-graduation from the prestigious Hindu College, Delhi University, in Organic Chemistry, I worked in the industrial sector, moving on to the renowned research institute (ICRISAT) and finally branched off into the most satisfying career teaching! During this journey, I have been felicitated many times. The most notable moment being the time when I was awarded the ‘Exemplary Devotion to Duty Award’ in 1993 for resuming work within a month of the delivery of my second baby. The ‘Mani Pillay Award’ for ‘Exceptional Devotion to Duty in 1998 was a moment of crowning glory. At the state and national level, I recall with pride and humility the time when I was presented with ‘The Best Teacher Award’ by the Rotary Club of India in 1995 and various other Honours conferred by the Government of India.
The educational films in the field of chemistry produced by me which are currently being used to promote science education across the country and the chemistry books authored by me are an extension of my self expression and self-realization.
‘The Cry’, a poem written by me after the September 11 disaster in the U.S. was entered in Poetry.com and was chosen for the Editor’s Choice Award. This award vindicated my belief that as global citizens we must react and respond to common concerns faced by the entire humanity irrespective of national boundaries.
Today, as the Head of this venerated institute, a momentous task lies ahead to generate a collective conscious will to strive for perfection and to sustain the stream of excellence-
The Odyssey continues.
“Time flies, shadows pass
Dizzy raptures fade away
The promise of hope remains
The gleam of eternity beckons
And I tirelessly stretch out
In thy service
To reach that extra mile
To form a brilliant arcade
of myriad hues.”
About Mrs. Rajalakshmi Karthikeya
Rajalakshmi Madam taught Chemistry in MIS. She was an amazing teacher, very passionate about her subject. She is remembered for her simple nature and punctuality. Her students loved her way of teaching. She headed MIS as a principal for a few years.