Alka is my mom’s name. My mother is a rockstar. An inspiration in my life, and in many, many others’. Alaka (Ghatak) Sanyal is funny, and deep, and clueless, and incredibly clued in. She rattles off Sanskrit verses that are a perfect fit for whatever drama is happening around her and then talks about how she forgot to put actual food in the pressure cooker and boiled just the water. She is, hands down, one of the wisest and coolest humans I know. Here’s a recent picture of her, deeply emblematic of her free spirit and her infinite wisdom (Sikkim, October 2018):
Devika is my daughter’s name. I have had the incredible privilege of three pregnancies, and the life-changing experience of three miscarriages and saying goodbye to each of my children. And in death has come new life in the form of AlkaDevika. I named all three of my (non-living) progeny: Aditya Sanyal (Adi); Siddharth Sanyal (Sid), and Devika Sanyal. They were real for as long as they were with me. They will always be real. And they have given new life in their non-being.
Devika and Alka combined are the core fountain of inspiration for me to intentionally and passionately do the life-nurturing work I do every day in my professional and personal life. Those who know me know how driven I am about this life purpose. As I get older and realize life really is a limited-time asset, I am called to do this work as best as I can, as long as I can. Meet super cool people along the way, and have good fun and belly laughs and shared tears of joy and grief.
AlkaDevika is a life project. I have been given life, literally and metaphorically, through motherhood. In this, I am truly privileged. And I nurture life through your path to success, academically and professionally. Please reach out to me. I will, in turn, reach out to you.