On the jacket:
At thirty-five, she was a good wife and good mother. She had it all - a loving husband and three adorable children. But she wasn’t happy. It took children from an underprivileged background to help her find herself and discover a purpose so deep that it changed not just her life, but that of generations to come. Principally Yours is the story of how one woman fostered hope in young people. A Hindu principal teaching economically challenged Jewish and Muslim students, enveloping them in love and harmony, instilling in them pride and a belief that commitment is all it takes to make life good. Not an easy task, given the odds, but Bubloo Sen had a steely resolve and a charismatic personality. In her dictionary every ‘No’ was met with a resounding ‘Yes’.
Being a teacher's daughter, there was no way I would have not taken this book up for a review. I've always wished my mother would write about her experiences as a teacher but somehow she shys away from it. I've heard some most interesting tales from her and I knew there will be even more interesting tales coming from a Principal, that too from a generation before my mother's. I mean it's so romantic to imagine someone from my grandmother's generation having a career. Not impossible, I know that. But definitely rare. I was sure it wouldn't have been easy for her, and I was not wrong.
Coming from an orthodox family, Ms Sen had to convince her husband before she could take up teaching and to that too, there were rules which could not be broken. The family couldn't be neglected. Of course.
It's interesting that for someone who always wanted to have a career but never did, even at 35, the enthusiasm was that of a fresher. I had Principally Yours to be collection of stories recounting tales and incidents from Ms Sen's tenures as a Principal. I was amused to see how it is also semi-biographical (her work life) and includes anecdotes about her life during those stages, otherwise too. Over the course of the book, one also reads about the cities she moves to and the schools she is engaged with.
Teachers are very good psychologists, and Ms Sen has taught children coming from disturbed lives. The way she dealt with them and changed their approach towards their lives is a treat to read.
Principally Yours is essentially an ex-principal's account of her career days. But in the folds of these stories lie tales of feminism, sympathy, inspiration, psychology and survival.