Friday, August 1, 2008
Meet Mosquito writer Nutan Chandra
In 2007, when Nutan Chandra came across an ad in the Mosquito for newspaper reporters and writers, her first thought was, “I love to write.” With that in mind, it wasn’t long before she submitted an article to Carlisle Comments – “Playing It Fair,” the experience of two kids
squabbling to get their mother’s attention. Feature Editor Ellen Miller remembered the article and contacted Chandra, urging her to come to a staff meeting, where she would get ideas for articles, as well as those that Miller and News Editor Betsy Fell would later suggest from time to time. That was a year and half ago. By now, readers of the Mosquito have become accustomed to reading Chandra’s articles once or twice a month in this newspaper.
Family and a full-time job
Chandra doesn’t have a lot of free time to write. In addition to her husband and two daughters – Anagha, 11, and Namita, 8 – she has a full-time job at PNC Bank in Westborough, where she is director of project management, a financial division of the bank. She works five days a week, one of which she spends working from home. Chandra usually starts writing during the day on Saturday with hopes of finishing by Saturday night. She submits her articles by late Sunday afternoon. “The editor tries to work around my schedule since I am not reachable during the daytime,” she explained.
Growing up in India
Chandra is from Bangalore, India. She grew up in an agricultural area. Her father was a university professor, “who had a flair for writing and turning out research papers,” is the way his daughter described him. Chandra was in her third year of college in Bangalore, studying electronics and communication when she was married. It was a typical Indian arranged marriage. In 1993, after finishing her engineering degree, she joined her husband Madhu Chandra, who was living in this country and working at the Boston University Medical Center.
The Chandras first lived in Winchester, but while accompanying a friend who was looking for a house in Carlisle, she fell in love with the town. “I wanted to live in the woods,” said Chandra. “I had grown up more in touch with nature. We had a Jack Tree on the side of our house, a coffee plantation in the front and black peppers on the vine next to the garage,” she added.
A move to Carlisle
In 1999, Chandra, her husband and daughter moved to a house on Craigie Circle, where she was warmly received by her neighbors Jeanne Rourk, Marcella Shepherd and Anna Nerenberg. “My neighbors were so warm and affectionate,” said Chandra. “They had a house-warming party for me, just like they do in India. They have made a lasting impression on me, and I’m still friendly with them, as much as I can be.” In 2004, Chandra and her family moved to their present home on Rutland Street abutting Great Brook Farm State Park.
“I always loved to write. I wrote poems as a teenager and received a couple of awards,” she remembered. “As an engineer, I gave that up for technical writing, but people liked the fact that I added more interesting details, something different from the writing of most engineers,” she added.
Chandra has always been an avid reader of the Mosquito. She has liked the articles for teenagers and the fact that the newspaper speaks to all age groups. “The Mosquito has provided me with a dedication to write. It is my stress reliever,” she explained. “I was a novice and they took me on, and I appreciate their confidence in me.”
Chandra writes on a diversity of subjects for the Mosquito – energy conservation, Hands On disaster relief, CCTV updates, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, new librarians at the Gleason Public Library and adding spice to the Thanksgiving feast. She also occasionally compiles “News from Surrounding Towns,” and at present she is working on interviews with returning college freshmen and with ham radio operators. ∆
© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito