Preeti Aghalayam

When Anirudh approached me for contributions to the IITM Alumni Blog, I was, to put it mildly, confused. Where do I even begin? He suggested I get in touch with my friends, who are alumni of IIT Madras, and request them to write. Well, that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? I have (even if we went by Facebook ‘friends’) hundreds of alumni friends, and while there is the IITM angle at the core, these 19 (yes! This is true!) years after graduation have taken us all in so many different directions and our relationship is now so much beyond what it was in those idyllic fours years on campus in the early 90s!

As a person who talks too much and writes too much, it would have been easy for me to just write a few articles and pass it on. Thankfully, the Chennai36 team is creative and knows how to deal with verbose old people. They forced me to think beyond these comfortable waters, and I am glad I did!

The “Sarayu95”  group, as we sometimes call ourselves, are an awesome set of people. We have, surprisingly enough, been in touch with each other almost constantly these past few decades. Right now, we are all on social media of course, and meet up but occasionally, and don’t know all the details of everyone’s lives like we used to back then. But throw up a cause and we are super united, I can assure you.

Women's day stampWe are all strong champions, in our own lives and in our day jobs, of issues and causes related to equality and independence, and justice. We live in interesting times now and there is much for us to debate and discuss and participate in as well. We volunteer, organize events, protest, talk, and are very keen to make sure we leave a better world behind for the next generation…

I requested the group to contribute articles for the alumni blog, narrating their life experiences, maybe touching upon the IITM days. Their words are not ‘for girls only’ by any measure. They are wonderful notes that will benefit all young students in particular; and will make very interesting reading for every one of us, in general.

We all have much more to say, for sure, but on the occasion of Women’s Day 2014, here are three articles by three lovely women, from the B.Tech batch of 1995, peppered with advice and a dab or two of philosophy, and much much more…


– Dr. Preeti Aghalayam

Also 1995, B.Tech, Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras. Currently Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, and Chairperson, Women’s Forum, IIT Madras.