“We belonged to different departments at NIT Calicut. Amith’s roommate was my labmate and he used to come to our laboratory everyday to hang out. As Amith was working on biodegradable lubricants, he used to come to me to clear his doubts. That’s how we started talking and one fine day, he asked me out for a coffee.
We conversed about everything under the sun — our research, childhood, family, future plans. It was just a matter of time that both of us realized how compatible we were. We just knew that we would be great together. There was no confession of feelings needed.
But it is a little saddening that we still have to face judgment even in premier institutions. While Amith’s supervisor was very happy that he had found someone, my supervisor was of the opinion that after marriage, women lose focus on research as other responsibilities show up. He was reluctant to take women candidates because of this. Even when we were living in hostels, I had a time boundation and would need to take special permission from the warden to stay out late for work. There were some issues in getting that permit as my warden was not very happy with Amith dropping me off everyday. It affected my work to some level. With patience and support from Amith along with a lot of our friends, we slowly figured things out, my supervisor also came aboard and helped me finish my work. It all worked out in the end and as we got married in 2014, things changed a little bit (for the better). We moved from hostels to residential housing, set up our routine and went on with our research. We were so busy that the most unused room in our home was the kitchen.
I had just finished my wet lab work when we got to know that we were expecting. We were still students. I took a break and kept working on some papers. I started going to the laboratory when our son turned 3 months old. Amith was really supportive throughout. He used to wait in the car with our baby so that I could come and feed him in between as I had some pending experiments to do. But as Amith’s five years were done, he converted his PhD to part-time and rejoined his college in Kottayam from where he had taken leave for PhD.