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About Suniti Deshpande

Talent + Hard Work was her Recipe

Right from school, Suniti was a quick wit and a passionate student of languages. She enjoyed various languages like her mother-tongue Marathi, the ancient language of the Hindu scriptures - Sanskrit, the national language - Hindi, the business language - English. and the new-found gift of Russian! Her aptitude at languages yielded great results early on. She stood out with flying colors in Hindi, English and Sanskrit at her final state-wide high school graduation (S.S.C.) examination.

Suniti's love for the languages was strong and with her mother's support, she marched on to study, teach and write further. She was a prolific writer and regularly wrote for popular Marathi publications such as Samana, Loksatta, Maharashtra Times, Dharma Yug, Sakal and many others. She developed a loyal readership with her rich, lucid and entertaining writing style. She wrote 7 books, over 400 essays, short stories, gave voice-over to documentaries and commercials and delivered speeches while keeping a demanding work schedule.

Growing up in Kolhapur    Growing up in Kolhapur

A Juggernaut in the Conservative Indian Society

Suniti did not allow the outdated Indian social customs of limited educational opportunities and a subservient role for women born in the Indian society. She often spoke against arranged marriages, dowry, husbands changing wives' first names and others that were degrading to women. She defied those customs, resistance, financial hurdles and set out to conquer what no man or woman in her or previous family generations dared to try.  Her eyes were set on breaking out of a stereotype and gaining independence to make her own destiny. Her life story has shown that she succeeded!

She was a valedictorian throughout her high school and college years. After pursuing two masters degree programs simultaneously in two universities, she won a full scholarship and left for her doctoral studies at Pushkin University, Moscow in August 1981. She completed studies early to return to India in 1985. She frequently traveled to many countries in the years to come but never forgot her roots and love for India.

Suniti's legacy is breaking out of senseless customs, academic achievements, gaining independence, excelling at work to earn respect of students and colleagues nationally and internationally and being a great daughter and sister. Not bad for a girl growing up in a small Indian town in the 1960s.