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A student, a wife and a mother

March 11, 2015

Like all previous years the advertisement inviting applications for Commonwealth Scholarships had appeared in the newspaper. And like each year that had already gone by, we had carefully cut the advertisement, the form was bought thinking that I would apply for the scholarship to fulfil my dream of pursuing my PhD. This had become some sort of annual ritual for us by now. Ritual, I say, because I was never able to post the application despite all preliminary steps being taken all these years. I had left my permanent job as Lecturer in the University and my research work as we had decided to move to Delhi after marriage and then soon was blessed with a son too. No, I do not regret any of these decisions.

At that moment, for me, it was another challenge to #StartANewLife as a wife and later as a mother. My research had taken altogether different directions. Instead of researching for some new results in the theory of Complex Analysis, I was now researching on the complexities of household, kitchen and infant & child management and was rather busy trying to find the simpler solutions for these complex issues of life. And this research was quite interesting as well as engrossing. This form of research ranged from something as inconsequential as choosing drinking glasses for the kitchen in the very beginning of the settling years to as something as vital as finding a suitable and best possible school for our son and securing admission there at a later stage. Other struggles and challenges were to apply for fresh jobs and go for interviews… though this phase of going for interviews did not continue for a long time as I got selected by the UPSC for the post of a Lecturer once again.

These initial years of setting up a new home and family are memorable and are cherished even now.

In 1994, finally the action on the Commonwealth advertisement was taken. I got the call for interview and got selected too for pursuing my PhD at the University of York, UK. Commonwealth scholarship was one of the best scholarships available at that time as it allowed one to take along the family and provided family stipend too. My son was just nine years old then. My husband had his own job. So it was decided amongst us that I will go alone first and my son and husband will join later as soon as I get a family accommodation.  It was going to be my first visit away from family and that too in an unknown country that was 4000 miles away from home. The very thought of it made me a little scared and leaving the family behind disturbed me emotionally too.

‘How will you guys manage here?’ I would ask.

But Arvind encouraged me and showed me the brighter side of this.

‘Don’t you worry, we will manage. You are getting an excellent opportunity to pursue your dream of completing your PhD. You focus on that. Moreover we’ll join you as soon as you get a family accommodation,’ he said.

I stayed and managed to #StartANewLife as a full time student again. There had been moments when I felt home-sick. Those were the times when communication was not as fast it is now.  Though I had free access to the internet and emails there at the university in York, they were not as accessible here in India. The presence of those facilities was slowly making its way here. Calling home in India was extremely heavy on a student’s pocket. The fastest and cheapest communication method was fax. Sending a page of fax used to cost a hundred bucks in India and one pound in UK. The only ray of hope at that time was to get a family accommodation which I could get only after a month.

About a month later Pushkin joined me and did his primary schooling there. Arvind kept visiting us during those three years as and when he could manage leave from his office. Balancing act of a life of a full time student, a mother and a wife during these three years of stay in UK and pursuing my PhD was yet an exciting experience in itself!









Sangita Passey
11 March 2015


From → Story Point

  1. You are an inspiration mummy! So proud!

  2. Ruchika permalink

    wow, did’nt had any idea about this side of story 🙂
    I really like reading your blogs, keep it up.

  3. Poonam Lata permalink

    I really loved it and certainly inspirational as I am a new mother too and trying to balance out so many things. I relate to it so much. Please keep writing. It is lovely to read your posts.
    Pooam Lata M.

    • Watching your child grow is certainly a pleasant and unforgettable experience. I thoroughly enjoyed those moments and I am sure you too must be loving it.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving tour comments! Keep visiting and leaving your opinion.

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