While accompanying her husband, as an Army wife, she worked in several schools and took active part in Army Welfare centres across India. History and English were her pet subjects. She stood out wherever she taught, as students sat riveted to the way in which she made Shakespeare and History come alive through her dramatic skills.
When her husband decided to take premature retirement from the Indian Army, he persuaded her to start a school of her own – a school in the tiny town of Thrissur in Kerala, a school which he named ‘ Hari Sri ’, a name so meaningful – the first two words a child is made to write when he or she writes for the first time. In 1978 ‘Hari Sri ‘ Primary school was born with only six students. Unfortunately, the next year, on the 29th of January 1979, her husband passed away, leaving Nalini miss a young widow with three young daughters. She realized that her work could bring her solace and she went on with fortitude, moulding Hari Sri with patience, working relentlessly to make it the best in the city, pouring into it all the wonderful skills that she had picked up over the decades.The initial days were traumatic for her as a young widow running a school, but she proved that she was made of sterner stuff.
The result of her determination and struggle is ‘ Hari Sri Vidya NidhiSchool ‘, an institution of excellence, which was inaugurated in 1983.
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.”
The numerous awards that have their pride of place on her mantelplace include
• The Rangojwala Award in 2005
• The Guruvar Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009
• The Kerala Sangeet Nataka Akademi Award 2013 for excellence in Choreography
• The Charter of Honour (by the Indian Medical Association, Thrissur)
• The Manorama-Air India BOLT Award.
• Nalini miss is the first Keralite to win the Derozio Award. ( The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations has instituted the award for exemplary service to school education and human enrichment)
• The Incredible Woman Award. (an online award by the Incredible Women’s Foundation)
For each of her students, she is Nalini Miss or Nalini Valiamma (meaning ‘big mother’). She represents the mother, the guru, the mentor, and above all, the friend who could create magic in their lives.
Today, she has 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!