“When you want something, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
The inspiring story of Mala Datta will make you believe in this beautiful saying.
After waiting for almost 34 years post her college days, Mala Datta finally achieved her most cherished dream of receiving a Ph.D. degree on March 15.
And, what made it even more special was the fact that her 28-year-old daughter, Shreya Mishra, also got her Ph.D. degree on the same day.
Mala Datta is an Indian Economic Service officer working with the Defence Ministry. While sharing about how she got a chance to relive her old dream, she shared with HT:
“I always wanted to do a PhD after completing my Master’s in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1985.”
“I had to take a break from work in 2012 when my younger daughter had her class 12 board exams. That was the time when I registered for a Ph.D. (in finance). I then took study leave from the ministry and worked seriously on my completing the PhD.”
Officials at the Delhi University mentioned that it was the first time they had seen a mother-daughter duo completing their Ph.D. together.
Shreya, the daughter, is also a consultant at the World Bank. She registered for her own Ph.D. in Psychology two years after her graduation. Shareya shared with Hindustan Times.
“After I registered for the PhD we realised that we can complete it together and make it the most remarkable moment for us. Though our subjects were totally different, I started seeking guidance from my mother and worked harder to complete it within three years,”
The duo submitted their thesis and attended their oral exams last year, the mother shared her happiness:
“It’s an absolutely wonderful experience for me because I got to learn a lot studying with the co-students of my daughter’s age. There were instances when my professor would call me ma’am. But I enjoyed it. The motivation was to get a PhD degree with my daughter on the convocation day,”
Shreya further added:
“The convocation was on November 19, a day after I was getting married. There was no chance of us attending and receiving our degrees together. It was disappointing for us both,”
Both mother and daughter went to university on March 15 to collect their degrees.
“We finally realised our dream and collected our degrees together. Officials there said that we would have made news headlines if we had received the degrees on the day of the convocation. But it doesn’t matter because now my paternal grandparents and my husband are here to share this unique feat,” said the daughter.