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Being a passionate runner, she wanted to participate in the Bangalore Marathon 'come hell or high water' and trained on the hard surfaces of Bangalore despite the doctor’s instructions to the contrary.

Black and white world

"Rekha has very strong views on what is right and wrong," says Vijayan. "She has been scrupulously honest in everything that she has done and whatever challenges the workplace has dealt her.

Her attitude to put it mildly is non-compromising. Holding this together is enormous self-belief, which means that she does not give up, sets high standards for herself and her team and leads by example."

Charles Handy the renowned author and philosopher, who specialises in organisational behaviour and management, is someone whom Rekha admires enormously. His works include The Empty Raincoat and The Age of Unreason.

He said, "A portfolio of activities -- some we do for money, some for interest, some for pleasure, some for a cause… the different bits fit together for form a balanced whole greater than the parts."

Rekha is a strong believer in this, as she is certain that it cannot be one interest at the cost of another. She has taken time off work to look after her children, did not complete her PhD as Vijayan did not get a US visa and still finds time to hike, do long distance cycling and photography, not to forget social causes like working with underprivileged children.

"I changed the balance of my work portfolio as life changed," said Rekha in an interview as she reflected on the various stages in her life.