About the Founder
Mrs. Vijaya Harry (11th April 1926 to 11th January 2009)
Vijaya was born on 11th April 1926 in Perinkulam, a tiny village in Tamil Nadu, in an illustrious family of academicians. She spent her childhood in Ootacamund (Ooty), a quiet hill station nestled in the Nilagiri mountain range in South India.
Vijaya studied classical & devotional music, and could sing and play the Veena simultaneously. Despite being very good at music, she declined to give public performances as her family was her top priority. She was also very fluent in four languages – English, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam.
Vijaya got married to Hariharan (affectionately known as Hari). As he working with an American company in British India in the pre-independence days, her husband’s name got transformed to ‘Harry’. Vijaya Hari thus became Vijaya Harry.
On 13th December 1950, her world came crashing down. Her husband died in a plane crash, when she was just 24. She was widowed with four children, ages ranging from 11 down to 6, financially bereft. Her husband had just invested all his money in a factory and struggling to make ends meet.
Displaying exceptional grit, she single-handedly took up the challenge of bringing up her children. She took up an assignment as a Matron in the Lawrence School, Lovedale. Being a boarding school, she had to look after the welfare of about 100 children in the hostel from about 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day. She enjoyed her work. Till date, her students (now aged over 50 years), still remember her fondly.
She strove to ensure that her children got the best of everything in life. She filled up the vacuum of a father too. Once they had graduated, her children soon found successful positions in life.
In 1968, her seagoing son, Capt Subramaniam took up a shore job & she moved in with him permanently. The devotion her children had for her was the envy of many and admiration of even more.
During Capt Subramaniam’s early days as a lecturer at the L.B.S. Nautical College, Vijaya saw his dismay as he had to refer to one book for instruments, another for coding & decoding weather reports, another for Tropical Meteorology & yet another for Temperate latitude weather, to teach Meteorology. She started the legacy with a simple question to him, ‘Why don’t you write a book of your own?” She took a loan from a bank to publish the first book, ‘Practical Navigation’.
Thus was born Vijaya Publications, with the ideology that everything can be made concisely available in a ‘Nutshell’. There was no looking back and the rest is history.
All good things must come to an end and Vijaya eventually departed from this world on 11th January 2009 at a ripe age of 82.