I first met Teresa probably in 1995 and she had a big smile on her face. That Smile is something I have associated with Teresa for the next 10 years until 2004, during the period when I had the privilege of working with her. I learned yesterday from her family that Therese had passed away peacefully on the 22nd of January and that she was suffering from a neuro-degenerative disease called ALS for the last 3 years. She had faced the disease with an incredible optimism and courage and passed away gracefully two weeks ago.
I remember Therese as always very kind and would often go out of her way to help people in need. I recall the three dogs she adopted while living in India and she would always take in the weakest of the dogs. She felt very strongly for the street children begging for money at traffic intersections in Delhi and taught me not to give them money but chocolates, toys old cloths etc. While in Pondicherry, Therese was always at the forefront of any socially oriented initiative that the company IT Power organised. I recall that once, she got a professional troupe from Mumbai to Pondicherry to go around performing at schools in Pondicherry to create awareness on environmental protection.
An incident which I recall during our time at IT Power being is something which defines Therese. We were both interviewing several candidates for an open position. One particular interview wasn’t going well and when we were about to complete the interview the candidate broke down. He said he had appeared for a large number of interviews and has now lost hope of ever finding a job. My instinct was to console and thank him but select another candidate who was the best recruit. Therese however impressed on me that as a company active in sustainable development, we had a responsibility to select and mentor such professionals as well. I reluctantly agreed and for the next several months I thought we had made a mistake. But over a period of time, the employee shed his inhibitions and bloomed. Now he is employed in another reputed company, has started a family and remains a friend. It’s possible that the story might have been different, if not for the role Therese played.
I was in touch with Therese over the past year about a get-together and treatment in India but did not realise that she was unwell. I had suggested few months ago that we meet the next time she would be in India but I now realise with great sadness that there won’t be a next time…
Let’s celebrate the life of Teresa Marston for the kindness and support she has shown to everyone she came across. I’m sure that she has influenced several people like me to be more accommodating and kind. So thank you for the privilege of knowing and working with you Teresa.
Rest In Peace.