The Adventures of the Flying Mama from Kerala

By NK Mridula, 68, Kannur, Delhi, Hong Kong, Sussex 

Born in a family of doctors in Kerala, I got my Master’s in zoology in the early 1970s. My eldest sister, who was active in politics, arranged my marriage with a young Parliamentarian, one of Kerala’s most promising leaders of the time. He made a loving husband. We had twins in 1973, and then our third child in 1975, days after Emergency was announced in India.

Those were dark times for Opposition leaders and their families. When Emergency was lifted, my husband was elected to Kerala’s legislative assembly by a large margin and got back to work. One day, he came home after giving a speech, spoke to me about his day, and then had a sudden cardiac arrest. He died within seconds even as I watched.

At 29 with three small children, I worked as a professor, and two decades later, was selected to the Kerala Public Service Commission, the pinnacle of my career. I retired after serving a full term.

In the meantime, my children moved to different parts of the globe – New Delhi, Doha, Sussex and Hong Kong. I now visit them in turns, a few months at a time, with stopovers in Kannur to check on the mail. It’s been an eventful journey.

First published in the July 2017 issue of eShe. Buy the copy here.