- Sarah Christopher
“The happiest moment in my life was the birth of my son. Then getting the job.[at IISER]”
Navya Chechi is a popular teaching assistant and senior lab assistant at the school of Physics here at IISER Thiruvananthapuram. She was born in Thrissur, a girl who loved reading and singing and came to love Physics. She devoured books (mostly Malayalam ones) as a kid, with the works of M. T. Vasudevan Nair and Madhavikutty being personal favourites. Childhood memories that remain fresh in her mind are her summer vacations at her father’s ancestral home and the Russian short stories and kid’s novels she would read avidly. “Getting books made me really happy,”
She decided to pursue Physics after high school, having developed a fascination for the subject since 8th grade. Having completed her Bachelor’s and Masters in Physics at St. Joseph’s College, Thrissur, she got married right after. She was immensely inspired by her aunts, who were both teachers, motivating her to pursue her B. Ed. “When I did B Ed, areas like child psychology, child education, and other fields related to education interested me.” Her passion for physics and education made her the person she is today.
She moved to Trivandrum and worked as a project assistant at NIIST for a year after her B. Ed. And then she gave birth to her son, which she describes as the most jubilant moment of her life. She taught at a higher secondary school in Thrissur for a year after that. It was in July 2008 when she was offered a job as a contract staff at IISER and became a permanent employee in 2010. She is now a mother of two, a 10th grader and a 4th grader, and handles motherhood’s responsibilities and joys along with the stress of managing lab equipment and students.