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Navya Paul-2

- Sarah Christopher

 “What started with just 14 students in a transit campus has now grown into a lovely campus with numerous facilities and scores of students from diverse backgrounds”.

After 14 years of being a part of IISER, she’s amazed at the tremendous growth and development that occurred at the institute in all areas. The only thing that has remained constant is her love of spending time with the students.

"When it all began in 2008, I had little to no idea on how to set up a lab or where to begin. However, you pick things up over time, and overall, it was a pleasant experience, establishing a lab and learning new things”, she reminisces.

Her typical day begins at 5 in the morning and includes the long commute between the IISER campus in Vithura and her residence in Poojappura (about 87km total). On a typical day, she monitors lab lessons for about four semesters' worth of students, manages household chores, cares for her family, and sometimes, after her kids have gone to bed, she sings a little to herself, reads something, or sews.

Even though her daily schedule might get packed at times, she can’t stop stressing about how much she enjoys working at IISER. She says, “the days that the labs run are filled with energy and excitement. I believe I stay very active because I get to interact with students. I’m unsure if most other jobs would keep you this active and content.”

As happy as she is with her current life, she harbours a secret wish to pursue a PhD. The dream arose while she worked at NIIST and gradually faded over time. Yet, with a laugh, she admits that if given the opportunity, she would like to get a PhD in the field of Optics or Education.

Talking of how it is never too late to pursue one's dreams, she has one piece of advice for students and others, and that is to make the best use of one's time without wasting it mindlessly. She is concerned that in the age of social media, a lot of time and potential is being squandered, particularly among younger people.

She also urges people to be kinder and more helpful towards each other.

Navya Paul-2
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