Nalini Chandran

The heart of a teacher

Nalini is the Founder, Principal, and present Director of one of Kerala’s best-known ICSE/ISC schools, Hari Sri Vidya Nidhi School. The school, which was founded in 1978, has seen several batches of students who have been trailblazers in their own ways and found their niches in the world.

Thousands of students have passed through her loving arms and have proved to be citizens of the world. For them, Nalini Miss is the person who held their tiny hands and walked along with them through their school years. She is a mentor who smiled encouragingly when they did well academically but smiled even brighter when they did something good. She boosted their morale and built up their self-confidence through various co-curricular activities, which made them hold up their heads in this competitive world.

Nalini was born into a traditional Nair Tharavad. From an early age, she was aware of the matriarchal system followed by certain sections in Kerala. As the eldest and the only daughter of a broad-minded father, she grew up, strong-willed and confident of standing on her own feet. He fostered her love of reading, as he was an avid reader himself, and despite being a metallurgist, she could recite passages from holy Gita and Bible, as well as classic poetry. In 1960, Nalini married her best friend, Eashwara Chandran, who was a young second Lieutenant, posted in Pune. She travelled around the country, teaching in various schools, leaving a bit of her spark wherever she taught. History and English were her pet subjects, and she also choreographed dance items for the annual functions and unique drills for the Sports Days.

In 1978, Chandran and Nalini started their school, 'Hari Sri' with six students. Unfortunately, the next year, on the 29th of January 1979, Chandran passed away, leaving Nalini a young widow with three young daughters. The initial days were traumatic for her as a young widow running a school, but she proved that she was made of sterner stuff. She was determined to make Hari Sri Vidya Nidhi, which was what the school was called after the fourth standard, an institution of excellence. She instilled in her students, and in their parents, the idea that academics and co-curricular activities were two sides of the same coin. She also emphasized on instilling the basic values of life in them - respect for everyone, discipline, honesty and sportsman spirit. The motto that 'Hari Sri' follows is embodied in the slogan “Let the peal of harmony be the appeal of all religions.” For each of her students, she is Nalini Miss or Nalini Valiamma (meaning 'big mother'). The one teacher whom they treasured deep within their hearts, especially when they won laurels when they met old friends and talked about the good old ‘Hari Sri’ days. She represents the mother, the guru, the mentor, and above all, the friend who could create magic in their lives.

Today, her students around the world who have blossomed forth, thriving in their careers, and who have created families in perfect love and harmony in each of their hearts, Nalini Miss reigns. May her tribe increase!

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