For our readers, could you briefly tell us about your background. I grew up in a very small village, Mukkudal, which is in the Tirunalveli district of Tamil Nadu. I have two siblings, my sister and brother, and my parents are beedi rollers. Growing up, I was a very normal kid, a very average student in school but I started going to the library at a very young age. I was in sixth standard when my Tamil teacher took me to a library - that’s how I got interested in reading books. But in my village, girls are generally not allowed to go to the library because the library is mostly where the boys sit and study. I’ve always been a rebel so I wanted to go just because I wasn’t allowed to. Initially, I started reading novels and then I moved on to reading magazines. I got really excited about what was happening around the world and outside my village. I read about Barkha Datta and Irom Sharmila, people who have really pushed me to think about what I want to do with my life. And I knew for a fact that education would help me achieve this. Seeing problems around me such as neighbours beating their wives, I knew I needed to do something. That’s how I pushed myself to go to school and then college. I am now a first-generation graduate in my family.
"Will you be happy with yourself 50 years from now, doing what you're doing now?"