I am very decisive about my life because it is after all my life! I commit to do what I want to do, I just make sure I convince my family well.
You won’t know the true meaning of the idiom young at heart till you meet her in person.
Her enthusiasm for life is as infectious as her smile, which lights up her face. Bubbling with energy she is a sight to behold when she gets excited and charged for a new project, and projects are aplenty!
She is Mrs. Sunita Kadian, yes go on, search her on Google and you will be pleasantly surprised with the links that crop up.
I knew her as a verbal teacher and am now her mentee. This is a compilation and excerpts of the many conversations we have shared.
MM: “What is your source of strength?
I don't know Mahak, it's something inside of me.
MM: Inside of you?
Yes, I've always been a self-motivated individual.”
She candidly answers the curiously innocent questions about her cancer treatment and the post-recovery phase.
MM: “You fought with cancer?
There is nothing to fight about. You just have to go through it.
MM: Does it hurt?
Actually, it's the Chemo which hurts. When I went for the operation I just went. There was no fear. But the post-recovery phase, that is tough.”
All this she answers with a light smile playing on her lips.
Talking more about her post-recovery phase she says,
“I remember I had so many sleepless nights when either I could wallow in insomnia or channelize and utilise the time. I started oil painting at that time. I used to stand in front of the blank canvas trying to figure out which colours would go. I gifted one of the several paintings to the chemo ward.”
“People have that ‘oh my god’ look on their face once they come to know. But what is there to be surprised about? Life threw me the gauntlet, albeit a tough one, but you have to go through it right?”
Before being diagnosed with cancer she was planning to venture into the fashion business. Her love for sarees is evident in her daily dressing, “Saree is the only professional Indian clothing that there is. It looks elegant and girls should wear it more often! I was planning to conceptualise formal-sarees, a plain saree with formal yet dressy pallu.” The excitement is palpable when she talks about a creatively stimulating project.
“I remember, in the army I organised a fashion show using sarees only. So all the women draped the sarees differently, without cutting it anywhere. Six-yards of fashion! We looked like Greek characters in a play.”
Stepping over hurdles of life and living gregariously is her mantra. She puts her young students to shame with her energetic and oh-so-daring endeavours!
She was married to an army officer, at mere 18 years of age while pursuing her education from Isabella Thoburn College. In the cantonment, she organised Army Welfare campaigns and learnt to ride a motorbike. “In the beginning my husband used to sit behind me and give me lessons. Gradually, I used to ride it all by myself. I was the only female in the cantonment who rode a bike and was appreciated immensely for that”. The glee on her face when she narrates the tale intensifies, “What I love the most about riding a bike is the thrill you get when the machine roars and you feel the wind on your face.”
It wouldn't be presumptuous of me to say that her love for bikes has its roots in her childhood. As a young girl she was an enthusiastic bicycle rider. Her love was so great that when her parents refused to buy her a bicycle she decided to explore more adventurous options. “I was around eight years old at that time. I saw a bicycle lying against a wall and somehow I managed to climb up and seated myself on it. It was a full-sized gents bicycle belonging to an uncle. I was delighted to be riding it but after a couple of hours I got tired. The dilemma was that I didn't know how to get down. My legs wouldn't reach the ground so I decided to let myself fall. I was scratched all over and had to wear trousers for a week to hide my bruises” she narrates amidst peals of laughter.
Her rebellious nature is contradictory to her disciplined life. At 33, she became the principal of a school, “Initially, I didn't want to be a teacher. I went for an interview and felt intimidated by the setup; there were fifty candidates for one post. But I talked myself into giving my best and landed with the job! Since I took the first class, I have never once regretted the decision. Teaching is my calling and more importantly, I love being students’ favourite teacher!”
She reminisces about her time as a teacher and fondly recollects, “I used to enjoy preparing them for their co-curricular and extra curricular competitions. My students were the ones who encouraged me to become a personality trainer.” Indeed she is a dynamic individual who takes personality development classes and conducts corporate training sessions as a freelancer.
She also delivers Teacher Training sessions in collaboration with top publishers to coach teachers on values she uses in her classroom, “I have never once sent a notorious kid out of my class because I believe that if you send the toughest student of the class out then who are you handling?”
I asked her to complete a few sentences,
I am most proud of my sons.
I unwind by reading, painting, exercising. I would be delighted to go on a long trek in the mountains.
People maybe surprised to learn that I jumped off a cliff last month. I did paragliding in Bir-Billing the second highest jump-site of the world, when it was snowing!
One historical figure I identify myself with is Rani Lakshmi Bai.
No, we aren't surprised with her answer, what more can you expect from the person who convinced her mother-in-law, belonging to a hard-core Haryanvi Jat community, to not wear a ghoonghat. A woman who, this January, challenged herself to run a Marathon and successfully completed it under her own set time limit.
She is a spirit of metal encased in love and laughter!
For her, life is a challenge, and once the gauntlet has been thrown there is no question of backing out, she has to win.
She believes in seizing the day whilst unknowingly seizing the hearts of the bystanders. And a cautionary notice to the bystanders, you will probably find yourself involved in her next enterprise because once she takes charge of a project, everyone falls to her vivaciousness! Her energy is like a whirlpool consuming her and the people around her.