Every morning, for the past one-and-a-half years, Ranjita Save, 47, a retired bank employee and a mother of two, cooks a meal for her family and then rushes off to attend lectures at a college in Vile Parle.
While most of her classmates are almost her 20-year-old daughter’s age, Save tries to match her energy levels with theirs. A Masters of Science student at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and an intern at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), Save is back to academics after a gap of 25 years.
“It was my passion for biology that drove me to this decision,” said Save, who took up a bank job after studying zoology in 1990. “The money was good, so my parents asked me to take it up,” she said.
Almost three decades later, Save is the oldest team member at the IIT-B laboratory that works on stem cell and material research.
From learning new techniques to troubleshooting experiments late at night, Save has already started living a researcher’s life, said Abhijit Majumder, her research guide, who is almost a decade younger to her. “When she approached me for the internship, I was taken by a surprise, but I immediately said yes to her. So far I have not seen anyone leave a secure government job and get back to academics,” he said.
He said Save stands a good chance of landing a PhD position in his lab, if she does well.
Aryak Save, Ranjita’s son who will appear for Class 12 board exams in the coming year, says he never thought he could bond with his mother over academics. “There are times when both of us are studying and take breaks together. Sometimes she is back at home late, but I am proud of her as it takes courage to take a decision like this,” he said