Meet Shweta Mallick, IIM Raipur’s ‘super mom’

Shweta, with her children

Update: Shweta Mallick has sent a response. It is at the end of the article.

The hand that rocks the cradle can also burn the midnight oil, when project-work or assignments have to be submitted the next morning. That means finding the seamless balance between being a mother and a student. Shweta Mallick, who is in the first year at the Indian Institute of Management, Raipur, plays both the roles, rather effortlessly.

But what sets Shweta apart from all other ‘mothers’ at other MBA institutes that she has four kids back home, a pair of twins aged two, a daugher who is 7 years old and a younger daughter who is 4. What also spaces her out from others, is that she does not believe in getting her kids or family on campus to stay with her, she rather talk with them on Skype every day.

Indore-based Shweta Mallick comes off as an exceptionally poised woman, far from what one would expect a mother living apart from her tiny tots, to be. Whether the confidence comes from the fact that she is 34 years old, her previous 5 years work-experience in the State Bank of India or because she is the mother of four, is hard to tell.

“My sister and her husband are both doctors in Mumbai, my brother and his wife are both IIM graduates, and my husband holds a high position in a bank so I guess it all rubbed off on me to do something more. And it was my mother who often told me that I needed to do something much more with life along with being a mother and banker,” Shweta said.

Shweta worked from 2001 to 2006, thereafter quit because her first baby was born and she wanted to be a full-time mother. Post the birth of her first child, Shweta took on a part-time job of a teacher and also pursued art in a mjor way.

Shweta’s husband is as permissive in his thinking as Shweta, and the drive behind her pronouncement to resume studies. Shweta is a 1999 graduate in Life Sciences. In fact, during the interview process at IIM Lucknow, she was asked about her decision to come back to academics since ‘studying-fathers’ is common at MBA institutes but studying-mothers is not, that too when there are four children involved. Her only response was that she be viewed as a student, not as a woman or a mother.
Shwetas Common Admission Test score was 99.36 percentile.

Besides her husband and children, Shweta also owes much to her mother. “I lost my father last year and we asked my mother to come over and stay with us to get her mind off the grief. And now that she is at home, she is looking after my kids,” the mother-student informs.

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Shweta, the student

As a student, Shweta is full-time immersed in studies. She takes part in as many activities in the institute and is game for all the excursions and extra-curricular activities. She works late on assignments and is as much involved group work as any other.

So does the mother feel guilty at all? “No, why guilt. My children are in good hands and they are happy I am doing what I want to, so why should I feel guilty” Shweta asks.

Besides, the mother has made ample provisions at home. A huge play room with teaching aids and toys was all set-up before IIM Raipur happened. In that room, a wall which has a list of ‘things-to-do’ and another wall that has a list of ‘mummy-says–things-to-do take place of pride. Besides, two full time maids have also been employed for the children.

For Shweta, getting into an IIM was important, the location was not. “If I had a choice, it would have been IIM Indore but for me any IIM is good enough. The brand works. Yes, I miss my children but this is what I have decided for myself as of now. I missed three of their birthdays last six months,” she shrugs her shoulders.

She has not decided on what to do with her MBA degree. Now, that she is into the grind, a successful career is in her mind but she wants to flow with the rigor of the course and decide later.

Her mind is full-up now. She has her next project to think of and also her student club acitivities.

From the four children, the twins miss her the most and make sure she knows that on Skype. Her second daughter who is the most pampered gets a earful from her mother every day since ‘brushing teeth’ is not one of her favourite activities. The eldest has taken on an interesting role. She is most concerned about her mummys classroom and keeps tabs on her academic performance. And probably, its these memories that keep Shweta Mallick, the super-mom going about her student life everyday because she has met her children only twice after joining IIM Raipur – both during the term breaks.

Shweta plans to take them all on her summer internship.

Below is a mail sent by Shweta Mallick, who is finding it hard to digest that so many (in the comments section) view mothers women and children in such a low light.

Such an irony, considering the current wave that has gripped the entire country, the cry to to treat women with respect and dignity.

Dear Laj,

Thanks for the coverage.

But it is actually taking a toll on me reading some 20 plus people educating me about what ought to be done and why my children were not supposed to be on earth. I wanted to reply but they are not even worth responding to. Alas! this world of male chauvinism sees but what was to be seen, they are unable to accept the success of a female who is living life on her own terms.

Strangely enough people have already reached a conclusion that it was for a male child and my husband was the sole reason behind this, rather than being happy about my bringing up three daughters.

I guess those people who ACCURATELY give birth to one son and one daughter duo or two sons are BLESSED. Some have decided that we are going to kill the fifth child, If we were those sorts we would have had a son in the very first go, 4 werent needed !Its not that anywhere have I preached having more kids, its just that I have been endowed with grace enough not to comment on others personal life.

Its my life and I do not owe an explanation to any one..Second, for those bothered about China, clarify it to them that compulsorily banning second child has lead to a humungous gender disparity in Chin a(with more than a difference of 30 million).

I actually feel sad about people like these who will one day have TWO COMMODITIES…….. and not children, may be their parents didnt love them enough to raise the bond beyond head counting.

And for those bothered about my or my childrens prospects, I have already been placed for summers and my children will prove their worth at all costs rather than counting others children. May be they land at MITs/Harvard and be at a place which actually respects motherhood. I would not have commented even this much but I want to defend my children who have become a topic of discussion, they are too small to answer and when they will they will not answer in words but in action.

I would like you to attach this as an excerpt to the article, both on PG and other sites which have taken the same article.

Thanks n regards,

Shweta

(We have edited the mail Shweta sent to us, and her views are on the comments posted on our site as well as others which have picked up this article.)

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