Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Badettu family started its long journey during the early years of last millennium from a humble agricultural beginning into the hotel business and attained reasonable success in spawning 5 generations of descendants with fairly decent living standards. One has to admire the tenacity and perseverance of Narnappaya, the founder head of this unique family in creating such a vibrant group, from a humble beginning. Traditionally Brahmins belonging to Madhwa community are renowned for their mastery over practices involved in propitiation of various Gods through poojas and other established norms. It is well known that Narnappaya's name is remembered to day not for his business ventures or agriculture but his unwavering service to Goddess Brahmeru at Brahmasthana and the Ganapathi Temple in the Mahalingeswara Temple complex in Padubidri.

The fact is that the second generation descendants did expand the nucleus hotel business started by him in the year 1928 (as some say) or 1938 (as some others aver). The Sri Krishna Bhavan Hotel (SKB as popularly known) in Kollam and Alleppey are well known names even to day, though the last major one wound up business in 2007 due to negligence, mismanagement and years of stagnation. While the set up at Kollam, managed by Vasudeva Doddappa was the only one hotel in the town as well as on the route from Trivandrum to Alleppey serving tantalizingly tasty vegetarian foods, the closure was attributed to the illness like diabetes that made him literally very weak to run the establishment in a decent way. Added to this his first son Sethuram was least interested in hotel business with his focus on becoming a thorough bred professional. He was supposed to be a brilliant student and his passing the coveted C A degree is a living testimony to his caliber. It must be remembered that Charter Accountant degree is one of the most difficult ones those days and the pass rate was very very low, only extraordinarily capable students getting through. Why Vasudeva Doddappa did not consider his brothers like Padmanabh and Gopalakrishna worthy of succession is not known. 

In the Alleppey case after the retirement of Subbraya and Ananthrama for spending their time with families back in Padubdidri, the responsibility solely fell on Venkatramana who gave every thing to nurture the business, in spite of his two elder sons opting for professional life. It was catching up with age that caused him to withdraw from active engagement with the day to day hotel work and this signified the rapid slide in the fortunes of Sri Krishna Bhavan in Alleppey. It was reported that he was some what disturbed by the trend emerging vis-a-vis activities going on in the hotel which was run by two of his junior sons but did not do any thing to correct the situation then, probably because of his helplessness. He could not recall his two elder sons for help as they were well settled in their professions. After his demise in the year 2000, the establishment was to be closed as per the desire of most of the members. It is only because of the likely adverse emotional impact it might have had on the surviving wife of Venkataramana that the closure was postponed. The family took a unanimous decision to bring the curtain down on Sri Krishna Bhavan hotel at Alleppey with utmost regret and sadness as there was no other alternative option available to the family in absence of any assurance that things would change for better. 

After the sale of the property which was delayed for almost two years due to many reasons, most of them avoidable and a few unavoidable ones, those who were running could have started new hotel ventures with the "fortune" they inherited as they were supposed to have "rich" experience in hotel business. Some credit needs to be given to one of them that he at least started a small restaurant in Alleppey though it was not much different in terms of ambiance and other quality parameters from the old Sri Krishna Bhavan, having learned no lesson from his past experience. After running the business for about four years he is reported to have closed it seeking better fortunes else where. At least for those people in Alleppey who were bowled over by the quality and taste of food preparations in the old hotel when it was being run by the second generation members, the presence of a micro version of Sri Krishna Bhavan was a moment for recalling and reminiscencing good old days when they were coming in droves for their favorite dishes. 

Now that this has happened, the link to the past has been unceremoniously snapped and whether any future hotel entrepreneur will ever emerge is a matter of conjecture. As of now no one among the fourth generation or fifth generation descendants of Badettu family seems to have any interest in business associated with restaurants, though Appukuttan one of the third generation members is running a decent catering business based in Kasargod in Kerala without any formal establishment. His children are also professionals and it is unlikely that his business will last indefinitely. Of course late Govinda Rao of BRH hotel chain in Ernakulam, also a part of the larger Badettu family based in Thripunithra has left behind a rich heritage for his off springs that may still remind some of us about the past glory. 

Answer to last Quiz

Late Jayaram, one of the illustrious grand sons of BadettuNarnappaya, born in Kande family of Padubidri, after spending his formative years in Alleppey and Kollam, migrated to Mumbai in 1950s and set up his family there ever since.After his demise a few years ago, his wife venerable Ratnakka is an embodiment of goodness, affection, sacrifice of high quality and ideal motherhood continue to live in Mumbai even to day with her four sons and their families happily and with supreme contentment. An alliance between Ratnakka's son Ramesh and Sukanya, daughter of Vittala has further cemented the kinship that survived for the last six decades.

Quiz for the next issue

Name the first member in Badettu family who was able to obtain an engineering degree by living and studying, 24/7 in Badettu House under conditions that cannot be considered conducive to studying?   

Sunday, December 9, 2012


When one talks about Badettu family, the role of Vasudeva Doddappa, the eldest son of Narnappaya, in steering his younger brothers through the early formative years in Kerala cannot be forgotten. He was the major help for Narnappaya in starting hotel business in Kollam and Alleppey and nurturing them for a number of years, assuring adequate fund generation for the sustenance of the families and households in Padubidri, Kollam and Alleppey. While he was engaged in looking after the welfare of the whole of Badettu family as an able aide of Narnappaya, he did not neglect his own family. His first wife had a premature death leaving behind a son who became over the years a well recognized chartered accountant commanding wide respect. Subsequently after a few years, he married Tulsi Akkaya and raised family consisting of six female and one male off springs.

As Kollam house was the focal point during early days of Badettu family's venture in Kerala, all children from the second generation members used to congregate there often, especially during school holidays. Besides, the family of Vasudeva there were children from Padmanabha family and Gopalakrishna family at Kollam. With the Ashramam ground nearby, which was an abandoned World War II air port, offering a vast area for playing, Kollam was the epicenter of activities as far as third generation children were concerned. All said the Ashramam area was one of the most beautiful areas in Kollam, serene, quiet, cool, scenic thoroughly enjoyable. The Krishna Bhavan was located about 2.5 km from Ashramam and  walking to the hotel was exciting because of the thought of preparations like Poori-masala, Masala Dosa, Sugiyan, Valsan, Alu Bonda, sweets, Badam Kheer etc, though getting into the hotel was a tough task.  Vasudeva Doddappa, being a strict disciplinarian, did not want children to eat hotel foods, insisting that they should eat only home cooked foods so that their health is not affected! Of course walking back was some what burdensome with a full stomach after eating at the hotel!

Vasudeva Doddappa  had a nice house near Ashramam and it was a pleasure for the kids to sit on the veranda outside the kitchen and chat with Tulsi Akka. Those days there was no gas stove but wood fired hearths which generated lot of smoke necessitating frequent blowing of air through a small pipe piece. That means who ever was cooking had to stay in front of the hearth to ensure food is cooked rightly without getting burned! Her six daughters, Vasanthi, Radha, Jayalakshmi ( Bangaru), Haripriya (Apri), Saraswathi (Chachu) and Sunita were always available to help her out with various day to day chores. These six daughters rightly known as "Kollam sisters" were always considered more mature with leadership qualities and they established their own equation with more aggressive cousins in the other two households. Boys always respected Vasanthi and Radha, the two elder ones and used to obey them without any question asked! One of the memories which still linger around is the sweet "Bublimas" fruit tree near the well in the front of the house which used to give plenty of fruits red juicy vescicles and to lay one's hands on a fruit during the visit was indeed a pleasure. Sethuram, the eldest among the children was very senior and no one took any liberty with him.

If the adult phase of the lives of Kollam sisters is recalled, it evokes only good sentiments and pride as every one of them were married off in a manner befitting the status of Badettu family. Vasanthi is presently in Kollam with her versatile husband L. N . Potty who is a teacher, social wizard, musician, politician, religious, community service expert all rolled into one. Their children are all well off settled in UAE and Bangalore. Radha is in Kottarakara (lost her husband the amiable Sundar Bhava recently), living with her wise son while daughters and grand daughters are settled well in different places. Bangaru lives in Malankuli near Uchila and her husband is a pioneering teacher with lot of reputation for his unusual talents in motivating his students. Apri is in Attingal, Kerala situated between Kollam and Trivandrum and her husband is another highly talented and versatile personality, known for his special ability for building up institutions. His Pittman Institute at Attingal managed by him produced many skilled office executives while he himself once even served as a Syndicate member of Kerala University. As for Chachu she married Narayanan of Kottarakara, a bank officer and is living in Trivandrum. Sunita, the last daughter, was married to Krishnamurthy, then working in Reserve Bank of India ( since diseased some time back and is currently settled down in Trivandrum. One of the common features of these sisters is that their children and grand children have all done extremely well, spread around the world. 

Vasudeva Doddappa got a son after the birth of six girls in a row and was named Narayana, to commemorate the name of Badettu Narnappaya and is currently living in the ancestral house in Kollam happily with his son and daughter, both engineers by profession. Incidentally the name Vasudeva was given to him to commemorate his grand father by the same name. Tulsi Akka passed away in her own house after a brief illness looked after well by her son. Those who were familiar with Vasudeva Doddappa can reminiscence old days when visiting his old house, which of course has been renovated. Seeing Narayan and watching his mannerism one will be reminded of the old charm of Vasudeva Doddappa.but will be missing is the laughter, giggles and shrill voices of the Kollam sisters!

Imagine how lucky were those living in Kollam being able to interact with their cousins frequently (about 15 in number) , almost on a daily basis and only such constant contacts and joint participation in ceremonies, poojas and other family functions can create kinship and bonding. In contrast many members of Badettu family to day whether belonging to 3rd, 4th or 5th generation do not have any idea about those living far and wide and participation in the functions of different members at different times is becoming more and more infrequent and rare. The March 20, 2012 meeting at Udipi was supposed to have generated a feeling of oneness among the diverse members separated by long distances. Unless a couple of youngsters take lead in setting a platform for constant future interaction, the 6th and later generations may never be able to trace their origin to that stalwart Narnappaya who started this family building project long long back! Some of us might be wondering who were our great grandfathers, from where they hailed, the relatives of grandfathers and grand mothers etc as there are no proper documents regarding these details. At least let us in the third generation do some thing to record our history in a proper way. 
Answer to Quiz of last issue

Sreepathi Rao, the spouse of Chummi (Seemanthini or Seema)), (daughter of Subbraya Doddappa), now settled down in Bailur in Udipi retired as Income Tax Commissioner, his last posting being at Bangalore. An upright officer (unlike many of the present breed of officers of doubtful integrity, he earned great reputation for his integrity and transparency during his tenure with income tax agency.

Quiz for the next issue

What is the Mumbai connection of Badettu family?


Thursday, November 29, 2012


While growing up kids never bother about temples, Gods, poojas, homas and such other religious functions as they are more occuppied with their friends, games, playing, etc. This is true with all third generation kids of Badettu family who were growing up in places like Kollam, Allappuzha and Padubidri. But there was a vital difference in that those growing in Padubidri were more God conscious than those growing in urban areas. Vedavyas, Vittala and Seena were typically growing in places where sacred temples like Brahmasthana, Udipi Krishna, Padubidri Eashwara Temple, Kollur Bhagavathi, Annegudde Ganapathi, Kadiyali Durga Temple, Eashwara Temple at Yellur, Kukke Subramanya Temple, Dharmasthala, Kukke Subrahmanya Kshethra and a host of many famous temples in Uchila, Kaupu, Udyavara and others nearby. This constant exposure seems to have distinguished them from their urban cousins and it was always with envy they were looked upon by them. In terms of daily ritualistic practices and mandatory mantras one has to follow every day, these rural cousins were much superior. One of the reasons could be the constant peer pressure which they had to face living in Badettu House under the benevolent Narnappaya and the need to perform daily poojas in the house as well as in the Naga Bhana nearby. Looking back it is only with nostalgia one can remember those old days.

One of the most sacred worshipping places for Badetu family members was the much revered Brahmasthana, where there are no idols or regular pooja as being seen in almost all temples. Probably its special place in the hearts of Badettu folks might be due to the eminent position enjoyed by Narnappaya, the doyen of the family during the last 7-8 decades and even to day he is remembered and talked about by many old timers who still stay or visit Padubidri occasionally. The famous Thambiia and Dakkebali functions that take place even to day attracts many people from far and near who consider Brahmasthana as a highly revered worshiping center in the whole of southern Karnataka. While Thambila takes place every year, Dakkebali functions are held once in two years. One can understand the importance of this unique place when it is known that Dakkebali is celebrated only in any year when Udipi Paryaya is not scheduled.

Badettu Narnappaya occupies an exalted place in the history of Brahmasthana as he was the chief "Pathiri" (Purohit) in that place for a number of years because of his ability to imbibe the spirit of the Goddess presiding over Brahmasthana, Vanadurga. It is said that according to puranas Shakti or Durga used Brahmasthana as a transit point for resting and relaxing after killing the fearful demon Mahishasura.  It appears the Goddess was seen on a swing high on the trees in all Her glory by those Pathiris who are possessed by her. There is no well laid down procedures for selecting a Pathiri but only those who are possessed by the spirit of Goddess come on their on volition wherever they are. During olden days there used to be 10 Pathiris who were performing the ritual which has  come down to 2-3 these days.

Brahmasthana can be accessed through the National Highway # 17, being located between Udipi and Mangalore. From Mangalore and a 37 km drive from Mangalore or a 27 km drive from Udipi can take the visitors to Padubidri town. From there one can travel through a narrow 1.5 km tarred road to reach the sacred grove which has no building or any architectural features to identify except for a thickly wooded place within which the Goddess is supposed to be in. The grove is hardly 500 meters in length and 50 meters in width with no surrounding fence but the boundary being marked by tall trees and shrubs. Eastern side appears like a hillock and the Goddess Khadgeshwari, as She is popularly known or just "Amme" in local Tulu language supposed to be represented by a triangular rock about 9 inches in height, housed in a rectangular rock chamber. The floor of the chamber is white sand and this is the prasada of this sacred place carried home by many devotees.

Those belonging to Badettu family must visit this shrine at least once in their life time, pay obeisance to "Brahmeru" and pray for the health, welfare and prosperity of all the members. If possible a day Thambila also should be sponsored during the visit after prior consent of the management there. There is an office near the entrance of the shrine where bookings for Thambila or Dakkebali can be made. Because of many bookings well advance by people, especially from Mumbai and Chennai, organizing a Thambila or Dakkebali will have to be planned well advance. Besides the auditorium can also be used for functions like Upanayana, marriage, Shashtipoorthy, Shathabisheka etc if early approach is made to the management.

Answer to the last Quiz

Professor Sreenivasa Rao, the present caretaker of Badettu family properties and the eldest son of late Ananthrama who retired as a full fledged Professor of Chemistry Department in Manipal University. He is presently settled down in Chennai with his son Satish and family but visits frequently to carry out all the functions originally being done by Badettu family when Narnappaya was alive.

New Quiz for the current issue

Who among the Badettu family son-in-laws of second generation members rose to become an Income Tax Commissioner at Bangalore?


Sunday, November 25, 2012


Badettu Narnappaya's six sons were different personality- wise and one must admit that each one of them was character by himself. Two of the sons who stayed with him with family at Badettu House were Subbraya and Ananthrama. Though they spent part of the year in Alleppey to run the family business of the hotel Sri Krishna Bhavan, their wives and children stayed back at Padubidri for helping Narnappaya to manage the house hold. It is tribute to the two ladies, Paddakkaya, w/o Subbraya and Janakiakka, w/o Ananthrama that Badettu House remains even to day for the generations to follow to at least visit and take pride being a part of this ancient family. Unfortunately the pitiable condition of this house, due to neglect after the time of the second generation stalwarts, is some thing unbearable for every member of this large family. One can only hope that better time is ahead for this ancestral home for over 700 badettuans and their relations presently living.

Subbraya was a unique personality with his own idiosyncrasies and of all the sons of Narnappaya, he inspired some scare among the children because of his stern disposition. But by heart he was a simple person filled with kindness and sympathy for others. It appears he was one of the sons who was educated up to pre-degree level (called Intermediate, those days) and promptly joined a private firm for earning his livelihood. It was at the instance of his father he left the job and joined the Alleppey hotel management group. After partition of family property during the time of Narnappaya, he moved out to the property of his father in law, late Yogendrayya at Admar. He spent his life commuting between Padubidri and Alleppey, leading a life of contentment. Imagine
a married person living alone in a place 500 km away in a room barely furnished and that is called sacrifice for the sake of the family. Many people to day cannot even think of such a situation in life.

It is amazing to see the working arrangement at Alleppey to run the hotel efficiently. Though there were three partners on paper, at any given time only two were available for actual management because only Subbraya or Ananthrama only would be available at a time, the other being in Padubidri to spend time with his family. The portfolio of work between Venkatramana and one of the brothers in town at any given time involves opening of the hotel early morning by the latter and overseeing activities like food preparation, milking of cows and buffaloes, numbering about 20 and cash collection at the counter. It is only during late morning venkatramana, the in-residence brother at Alleppey would arrive at the hotel after his morning chores at
home including a lengthy pooja lasting about 2 hours every day. Subbraya was then relieved for his daily personal routines and taking rest only to return to duty in the late evening that includes cash tallying and closing of the establishment around 9 pm.

It appears that Subbraya suffered a serious Typhoid attack when he was about 50 years of age, probably due to the severe mental and physical strain experienced by him by frequent travels between Alleppey and Padubidri and dependence on hotel foods for his survival. Due to devoted attention he received at Admar where his father-in-law had clout with local community and sustained treatment by local doctors he recovered after a long time of suffering. The severity of the disease can be gauged from the fact that it caused some damage to his speech faculty besides some minor problems. By the grace of God he recovered almost totally in 2-3 years and continued his "prayana" to Alleppey unfailingly and unflinchingly. He was a terror to those who did not do their work properly or others not paying their bills promptly
after eating the food at the hotel.

It was remarkable that he was able to raise a family of three sons and five daughters (only three presently living), got most of them educated and married of all his daughters to reputed families in Madras and Mangalore area. His first son Vedavyas is a recognized expert in fisheries while his second son Vittal is settled down at Alleppey as a recognized Chartered Accountant of some repute. His third son Raghupathy is settled down along with his mother in Admar, looking after the ancestral property inherited by his mother from Yogendrayya. Subbraya's grand children are well settled professionals working in Bangalore, Mumbai, Udipi and Trivandrum. His son -in laws also are well known professionals with great repute.

When he moved to Admar after partition of Badettu property, the place saw a lot of improvements as he invested heavily in renovating the house and surroundings. His father-in-law was basically an agriculturist and was not in a position to invest for improving the property to any great extent. The fact that his wife was the only off spring for her father, she was to inherit the property eventually after his time. Though he worked hard in the garden to keep himself fit, his health started deteriorating after some time. His magnanimity in leaving the business to his brother after settling the partnership was indeed noble and must be lauded. Probably sheer boredom and living in Admar without the usual work he was used to at Alleppey and some pressure to fulfill his aspirations to bring about more improvements in the property, might have been the main causes for the gradual slide down of his health during his final days. He suffered a stroke making him unconscious and after being hospitalized for a week he had a peaceful death in the year 1984. His own family, members of whole Badettu clan and close friends remember and salute him for his innocence, humility, simplicity, humaneness and loving

Answer to last quiz

The one and the only genius in Badettu family, as measured by the versatility of the background, is Sunil, son of Mohan (son  of Padmanabh of Kollam), presently working with Tata Motors at Hosur who is an automobile engineer by qualification with considerable strength in inter phase electronics. He can give a discourse for hours on any topics in Hindu Philosophy. He is a versatile cook capable of making a full meal using Microwave oven with one hour, all preparations being very tasty and authentic. With high proficiency in computer hardware and software he can tear apart a PC and reassemble it in no time. In his personality one can see streaks of traits of spirituality of Swami Vivekananda, scientific genius of Sir C V Raman, entrepreneurial  glimpses of Bill Gates of Microsoft and culinary experience of Thankam Philips, all stalwarts in their own chosen field. May God bless him with more talents and long life.

Quiz for next issue

Who in the badettu family rose to become a full fledged Professor in a reputed University?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Badettu family of yesteryear thrived mainly on hotel business in Alleppey and Kollam and by the time the third generation youngsters arrived, interest in this activity had considerably diminished. A couple of third generation members who joined the hotel business could not cope up with the modern trends in this field and to day there is practically no visible presence in this sector though from the Tripunithra branch of Badettu family there emerged a powerful hotel chain centered around Ernakulam now being looked after by the third and fourth generation members in that group. Interestingly from the Padubidri branch not even a single person got into catering training, all opting for conventional university education or professional courses. It is another matter that there are many third, fourth and fifth generation members establishing their credentials in their chosen fields. A larger question is whether genetically there is a lack of entrepreneurship in the blood of Badettu family members? The answer is a "no" if one considers the early childhood pranks of some of the third generation members are taken into consideration.

Badettu family in Padubidri during early years had two separate nucleus families belonging to Subbraya and Anantharama and all were living in harmony as far as one can guess to day. Both Subbraya and Ananthrama spend a major part of the year in Alleppey, joining their brother, Alleppey settled Vankatramana to run the hotel business which was based in a 62 cents land opposite the renowned Boat Jetty. To days seniors in the third generation including Vedavyas, Vittala and Srinivasa were born and brought up in Badettu House. They had their education till matriculation in schools in Padubidri and there after joined the famous SanatanaDharma College in Alleppey for their higher education. Here is a small episode in Badettu family involving one of the youngsters, hardly 12 years old then venturing into a business not usually done by Brahmins.

Young Vedavyas who was a mischievous kid had many bright ideas about business but finally found poultry farming an attractive one. This may be probably due to his friendship with some of his class mates hailing from nearby who aspired to have regular income for buying things they wanted for which their parents would not give. The objective of his venture was not to kill the birds but raise them for laying eggs and earn some money in the process. Bear in mind that those are the days after the World War II when there were shortages of every consumer items and young Vedavyas has to be admired for his thinking about making money selling eggs locally though he never factored the likely reaction this would have elicited from elders if they come to know about it.

A layer bird those days costed about Rs 10 and initially the kids targeted for buying two of them for which some capital was required besides a place to rear them. Being a Brahmin house hold it would have been unthinkable that they could do the business from their homes. They hit upon an idea to make use of the tenants of Badettu family who were staying nearby being the crop sharers of the Badettu family. They entered into an agreement whereby they would pay Rs 20 to him as a capital investment and pay regularly a small amount daily towards feed expenses. Of course these sums were princely by the standards prevalent then though it is peanuts for to day's kids who get regular pocket money for buying all their needs such as candies, chocolates, ice cream, soda etc. It is interesting to know how the young business kid Vedavyas went about collecting the needed money for his egg venture.

As it usually happens in any group of kids there would be one who is splurger on whom the entire group leans heavily and in this case Vedavyas was a splurger with no hesitation to open his purse for any thing he feels right. This trait continues even to day in spite of frequent advice from elders that he should be more careful with money! Those who do not consider money as the supreme factor in life over riding all other qualities, are invariably magnanimous in all spheres of human endeavor. Breaking his head over the immediate need for money for giving shape to his egg business, he hit upon an idea and that was to tap his Ajja (BadettuNarnappaya) who was also very liberal in money matters and he invariably kept his purse in an open place, not hidden from other family members. For quite some time Vedavyas had a nice time literally helping himself from his Ajja's unguarded treasury and started his business.

It was later he realized that depending on one source for his need might not be wise and started using the same tactic with his father's valet. His father Subbraya was not as careless as his Ajja and had a better grip over his money. Though he knew that some money was missing he assumed that his wife had taken it for purpose. However this did not last long and poor kid was caught red handed one day. One can imagine the consequences there after with Vedavyas receiving severe punishment for his courage to start a poultry unit right behind the house, contrary to the tenets of Madhwa philosophy. Still Vedavyas comes out of this episode as a courageous kid with firm conviction on whatever he takes up, a trait not frequently found nowadays.

Same Vedavyas, by a twist of irony, became one of the foremost fisheries scientists through his hard work in the college and in institutions where he was employed for almost 3 decades. A long journey for this Icon of Badettu family and that too a successful one for which we all salute him. Long live our dear Vedavyasanna!

Answer to the last Quiz

Dr U Sridhara Rao of Madras who married Sarojini, eldest daughter of Subbraya, second son of Badettu Narnappaya. was a renowned Skin Specialist with high reputation. Though he is no more his noble children are continuing his service oriented ideals at Madras even to day.

Quiz for this Issue

Is there a wizard in Badettu group who is a versatile professional with expertise in automobile engineering, electronic engineering, ancient philosophy and modern cookery?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Badettu family is blessed with some geniuses though they might not have become world famous. Here is a narration of the evolving of a genius whom many of us do not recognize easily. Without mentioning his name for the time being, a brief critique will be in order.

Recalling the period when the third generation descendants of BadettuNarnappaya were growing mainly in Alleppey and Kollam, the three Rams were the most prominent as they were senior to others at least by a decade. But they were relatively docile compared to many juniors who had lot of energy, enthusiasm and mischievousness oozing all over. Those are the days when the growing kids had no inhibition about anything though they were punished severely for any wrong doing. Using the cane was a standard practice and many of them would recall those days, not with any regret but with lot of admiration for their parents for correcting them and making good citizens later in life.

There is a specific instance of a youngster in one of the second generation families who was literally a prodigal with enormous self confidence and courage to do what ever he felt was correct. This family was not financially as sound as others and with cash flow into the family coffers severely constrained, carrying out day to activities was itself a burden. In such an environment studying to become a graduate or engineer or any professional was unthinkable. It used to be the norms those days that the children of hoteliers must eventually take over the business from their parents. It is remarkable that under such circumstances some of the third generation kids in Badettu family got educated becoming chartered accountants, professors, scientists, engineers etc. One of the reasons could have been the fact that there were too many off springs in the family and the business as it existed those days was not big enough to accommodate all of them!

Speaking about this youngster being focused in this Blog, he had a saintly father with an infectious and benign smile on his face who could never loose his temper while his mother was a stern matron with determination written all over her face to make up for the soft spoken father. As they were not able to have sufficient surplus funds to give higher education to all their children, only those who showed promise received adequate support for higher education. In spite of such financial constraints this family produced a chemical engineer and a chartered accountant who brought name and fame to Badettu family.  Unfortunately one among them did not have any inclination to go through the traditional education system, always looking for doing some thing different.

Even before he could become a fully responsible adult he left his home seeking fortunes else where doing things different on his own way. With his casual training in family restaurant services in hotels locally, he first approached one of the most reputed and well established hotels in madras where he spent some years as an accountant proving his mettle unequivocally but left there because of his perceived feeling that his merit and ability were not recognized by the management. It was then that he saw an opportunity for serving the country when Chinese aggression was at its peak and appeals to youngsters from the government for recruits to join Air Force. With no hesitation and a dreamy face he joined the Air Force, got trained for aircraft servicing as a ground service technical personnel, did meritorious work and left the Air Force later to lead a civilian life. Remarkably he was picked up by Air India, the Flagship of Indian civil aviation sector, to become a senior service engineer eventually retiring from service later. He is an inspiration to other youngsters who cannot attain high educational qualification due to fund constraints.

Interestingly this person is a versatile specimen of humanity having high spiritual knowledge, well versed in palm reading, horoscope interpretation and religious discourses and Hindu philosophy. Though he was involved in a ghastly car accident in which the car was a total wreck, crippling him for an year, he regained his physical health in no time through sheer will power and determination. Such an accident would have persuaded any ordinary mortal not to drive an automobile any more but this person drives his car even to day with no fear or inhibition, covering hundreds of kilometers every month, visiting more than 4000 temples in different parts of the country during the last several years. He is blessed with a son who can be described only as a genius of great capabilities, excelling his father in many walks of life. His daughter is also well settled with her husband possessing a versatile personality with multifaceted abilities including cooking and electronic wizardry. This is how God blesses those who pursue a life style like this person has followed during the last 5 decades.

Who is this gentleman? If you have not guessed correctly, here is the answer. The prodigal son is none other than Mr Mohan of Kollam, the saintly father was late Padmanabh (son of BadettuNarnappaya), the stern mother Lakshmi. He has settled down in Trivandrum after retiring from Air India. As he is a prolific traveler and a jovial social extrovert, members of Badettu family can see him one day or the other when he knocks on the door!

Answer to the Quiz of last issue

Dr Pangal Sheshagiri Rao was the reputed dental surgeon, practicing for more than 5 decades in Madras who married Vishala of Badettu family (Venkatramana branch). He is presently settled down in Paniyur near Uchila (UdipiTaluk) about to complete years soon with good health and peaceful life.

Quiz for the current issue

Who was the one and only skin specialist of repute and who was one of the son-in-laws in Badettu family?


Monday, November 5, 2012


How easy is the life for to day's generation to buy things of daily life with all the super markets and malls offering every conceivable need of the consumer under one roof. Added to this on almost all packs, well sealed and tamper proof, the MRP ( maximum retail price) is printed and no buyer needs to pay more than the prescribed price with the knowledge what is inside the pack and the quantity. It is another matter that many packed goods are sold by the retailers at prices significantly below the MRP, giving an empty satisfaction of being a good bargainer for thousands of consumers. But just 3-4 decades ago there was just ordinary shops and there were road side vendors offering goods with high bargain potential.

In a story told by Vedavyas, presently the senior most icon in Badettu family, late Badettu Narnappaya was an excellent bargainer, especially with small scale vendors and can get many things at seemingly low prices, unimaginable to many. In one instance his bargaining ability was brought out when he was returning from Alleppey along with Vedavyas, probably in 1950s. Here is take on this interesting episode.

From Alleppey to Padubidri, during those days one has to really take too much efforts requiring high stamina to reach Padubidri. The journey involves catching a bus or a boat from Alleppey to Ernakulam and the bus route has a ferry to be crossed at a place called Aroor. After arriving at Ernakulam, the next leg of the journey is by overnight train reaching Mangalore late morning of next day. Private buses plying between Mangalore and Udipi had to do a "relay" journey with separate buses at three river crossing points to reach Padubidri. The famous Taj Mahal Hotel, which exists even to day at the historic Hampenkatta, was a "must stop" for travelers coming by train for break fast or meals. It was during such a trip that Narnappaya showed his bargaining skill to Vedavyas.

Hampenkatta was a central market place for road side vendors and flower, especially jasmine was being sold by Christian women known popularly as "bais" who normally quote a price which is uniformly followed by all. But there was sufficient leeway for each of these bais to sell at prices decided between the seller and the buyer. Narnappaya, with his typical "juttu" (pony tail like tuft) approached one of the bais, while crossing the road going to Bus Stand wanting to buy a "Chendu" (about 1 meter long stringed flower). Almost all bais started calling him "Batru" (revered brahmin) inviting to buy from them. Against Rs 2 for a chendu, Narnappaya coolly offered 4 annas (quarter of a rupee) and probably Vedavyas was covering his head not able to stomach this ridiculous price offered by his grandpa.

Not bothered about the likely the ridicule he might face, Narnappaya patiently approached the bais one by one making his Annas offer and finally he struck a bargain for 8 Annas ! The art of bargaining as reflected by this episode seems to have disappeared to day with people flush with money give whatever is asked for without realizing the actual value of the item purchased. This is not to say that no one does bargaining any more in the modern society and it is true that there are many house wives existing even to day endowed with such a skill.

One wonders how bad Narnappaya would have felt, had he lived long enough to see the supermarkets of to day where prices are fixed with no scope for any bargain!

Answer to the last quiz

No one in Badettu family has a flying license though Mr Mohan, son of late Padmanabh of Kolam, was the first person who served in Indian Air Force as well as Air India in the aircraft engineering service.

Quiz for this Issue

Who was the first son-in-law of Badettu family who became a successful dental surgeon of repute?


Thursday, October 25, 2012


Who in the Badettu family did not know late Govinda Rao, the doyen of the Tripunithara branch of Badettu family, who single handedly built the Bharath Hotel chain in Ernakulam which to day is one of the most admired hotel ventures in Kerala? But many of the 4th and subsequent generation descendants may not be knowing him or might not have met him during his life time. He passed away last year peacefully after satisfying himself that he had done what ever is to be done for the family as well as the society at large. The first death anniversary functions were organized on October 17th at his house by his noble children befitting the stature of their father but without any ostentatious events. 

Late Govinda Rao chose to establish his hotel business in Ernakulam, possibly during nineteen forties, having seen his cousins in Narnappaya family doing well in Kollam and Alappuzha. He not only made name for himself but also set up separate hotel units for his brothers also in Ernakulam. Though Govinda Rao was one of the five male children of Badettu Srinivasappaya who was the brother of Badettu Narnappaya, his extra ordinary vision and hard work helped the families of all brothers to live comfortably. With limited exposure to them during their heady days, I had seen from close quarters the bon homie among the three brothers viz Govinda Rao, Narayana Rao and Vasudeva Rao who behaved as if they were friends rather than brothers! Unfortunately Vasudeva Rao also passed away within two weeks after the death of Govinda Rao. Badettu family groups are indebted to Govinda Rao for his benevolence in rejuvenating the Padubidri Temple and involving himself with Brahmasthana activities.

At least for one of the branches in Badettu family of Padubidri ( of Venkatarao), Govinda Rao is literally a savior when he liberally helped to buy the Krishna Bhavan Hotel property in Alappuzha in 1980-81 and the 10 children of Venkatrao literally adore him for his help, affection and benevolent attitude through out his life. I have faint memories of yesteryear when, as a youngster of about 16 years of age, I used to take a night boat from Alappuzha to Ernakulam, reaching the destination during early morning around 5 am. The hotel near the Boat Jetty would open only at 6 am and since I did not want to disturb the sleep of Govinda Rao, I would sit on the steps of the Boat Jetty hotel till it opened. Only after a sumptuous breakfast did I go to his house. He was kindness personified unlike my own father who was always serious with strict disposition. It was a pleasure to go along with Govinda Rao to all the hotel units he had and I used to admire his meticulous practices watching from close quarters. His house was a transit point later in life as and when I go through Ernakulam to Alappuzha. Good old days indeed they were!  

It was only during his first death anniversary I got enlightened more about this remarkable personality when during the dedication ceremony at the Sarovaram Hotel his son Gopinath narrated a few sweet episodes involving his father. The facts that he was close to Kochin Royal family, he served as a cook in Bombay, he was close to many Kerala leaders, present and the past, his hotel was the first choice for many famous Indian leaders were all news to many of us who attended the function. His well educated sons with engineering and chartered accountancy degrees are able to live up to the standards set by their father is itself the best tribute to the soul of Govinda Rao! Probably Govinda Rao would not have imagined that two of his grand children would become catering specialists involved in close management of the hotel chain, lending it a technical edge over other hotels. He was responsible for changing the image of Udipi hotels. often dingy places with just functional facilities.

While the Tripunithra branch of Badettu family can be rightly proud of the achievements of their pioneering "son" we in the Padubidri branch can also be happy through the reflected aura from this great man. May the Gods in Padubidri Temple and Brahmasthana  shower happiness and prosperity to all members of Badettu family.

Answer to the last quiz

Ms Lakshmi, daughter of Nandini and grand daughter of Vankatrao family graduated from IIM Kolkatta after getting her engineering degree and is presently employed by a reputed bank at Mumbai. Part of the credit should go to Ms Archana, daughter of Jayanti and grand daughter of Venkatrao family who graduated from BITS, Pilani with a combination of Science and management (integrated course], presently in the US with her family working as a consultant.

Quiz for the current issue

Who is the first person in Badettu family group with a flying licence?


Friday, September 14, 2012


Kollam was the focal point of major activities of Badettu family till the time of Vasudeva, the eldest son of Narnappaya. Of course the shift to Alleppey started a lilltle bit earlier with Vasudeva's health failing due to daiabetes and other ailments. Till his death in 1966 Vasudeva was literally the kingpin controlling the family related matters as Narnappaya was getting aged and not involved in business. The Sri Krishna Bhavan Hotel at Chinnakada, Kollam was doing good business till the labor problem started telling on its profitability and the focus then started shifting to Alleppey. While Vasudeva was literally an uncrowned king in Kollam, he had a house in the Ahramam area, a good one by the then standards and all third generation members used to visit the house regularly. It was more like a family head quarters outside Padubidri.

Most famous third generation descendants and associates of Badettu family were three Rams, Sethuram, Jayaram and Raghuram. Sethuram was the eldest son of Vasudeva, Jayaram was the second son of Kande Kridhnanna (son-in-law of Narnappaya) and Raguram was related to Radhakka (wife of Narnappaya). These three youngsters were studying in Kollam staying in Vasudeva's house, also helping in hotel business. They were so close to each other that they were literally inseparable. No one would say that they were belonging to different families because of their unity and day to day to activities. Interestingly Sethuram was the most handsome with light colored skin and an ever smiling face on his shoulders. Jayaram was a fantastically hilarious young man capable of cutting incessant jokes without any sign of laughter on his face. Raghuram was some what more serious but very intelligent young man. During the years they spent together at Kollam, their behavior and unity could have been the envy of any one.

In one of the incidences narrated by Dr P Vedavyasa Rao, currently the senior most living member in Badettu family who was a shishya of these "three musketeers", fun and frolic were the hall marks of their day to day life. The house in ahramam area in Kollam was about two kilometers from the center of the town and walking was the only mode of transportation available then. For those who lived in that area, it was a sight to see the three Rams walking across the big Maidan to reach their house after the hotel is closed, joking and laughing all the time! Like to day's youngsters they also had the habit of cracking jokes at others, irrespective of the gender and making fun of people who behave in different ways. Of course for other younger boys like Govinda, Mohana, Subba, Ambi and others growing up in Kollam, the three Rams were role models.

It is a tribute to the God-minded Rams that they all were adequately educated to reach good positions in their life. Sethuram became a senior Official under government of India while Jayaram joined Air India to retire eventually as a senior executive in erstwhile Bombay. Interestingly Sethuram and Jayaram even stayed a while together at an apartment in Kings Circle though Sethuram shifted to Bangalore for leading a retired life later. His five children, all males, are in Bangalore to day leading their own lives. Jayaram was able to buy his own apartment in Koliwada near Sion where many youngsters seeking fortune in the fertile land of opportunity, were able to find temporary refuge and hospitality. Ratnakka, his amiable wife was joyfully cooking delicious food for all these "guests" in a house which was made up of just two small rooms! Jayaram's children, four in number, all males are settled down in Mumbai, Dubai and United States, blessed as they are giving support to their mother. Raghuram, being an industrious person, was able to enter India Railways, retiring at Chennai, the erstwhile Madras.

For those who were close to the Rams, their time was some thing cherished and remembered and it is unlikely that such a time will ever be possible under the modern fast moving living style of to day. This is not to say that the youngsters from the fourth, fifth and subsequent generations are in any way inferior to the three Rams but the environment they are living is totally different. God bless all.

Answer to last Quiz

Rishab is a fifth generation youngster born to Nagin ( grand son of Pangal Srinivasa Rao and Badettu Venkatrao) and Anu, settled at Chennai who has a passion for western music and he is going to be graduating in music from a reputed music academy in Russia. Hopefully another Beethoven in making.

Quiz for this Issue

Who is the first female IIM management graduate among the Badettu family descendants?


Friday, August 17, 2012


Badettu family had substantial interest in Kollam and Alleppey is well known. However what is not known is how Badettu Narnappaya landed in these places and what did he see here for making his fortunes. Whether the hotel business was first started in Kollam or Alleppey is also not known. In all probability the Kollam venture must have been set up first because most responsibility here was vested on Vasudev, the first son of Narnappaya and Alleppey must have been the later initiative to settle other sons. Some consider Kollam venture was started in 1929 while that in Alleppey was established in 1932. Eventually the Kollam establishment located at a prime place called chinnakada was handed over to the sons Vasudev, Padmanabha and Gopalakrishna before the grand old man shifted back to Padubidri to manage the affairs at Badettumane. Alleppey establishment was handed over to Subbraya, Venkatraya and Ananthrama who among themselves managed the business reasonably well.  

The business in Kollam was so lucrative that all the three brothers acquired enough economic strength to buy their own houses and by all accounts thrived well with good standard of living. Under what circumstances the hotel venture got consolidated in the hands of Vasudeva is a matter of speculation and one would be courting controversy if any guess is made on the issue. But both Padmanabha and Gopalakrishna eventually left the  main hotel, starting their own hotel business which however failed to take off due to reasons not very clear. Their properties were sold and both the families moved out of Kollam over a period of time. Full credits to them for managing their own families with scores of children to look after, having no dividends from the main hotel. Probably Vasudeva must have settled their share on terms not known to later generation. Vasudev who had the misfortune of losing his wife during his early years of life, later married Tulasi, a genial and amiable lady from Pavanje, near Udipi. Thanks to God's grace all children of Vasudev are doing well with scores of children and grandchildren to boast of.

It was during the independence struggle that communism raised its head in Kerala and it began as a movement against the Travancore King. The so called left parties like Communist party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) had considerable followings in Alleppey and Kollam. Their early philosophy was that all those do business are bourgeois, always exploiting the labor. It was later that the main communist party split into two factions, one allied with China and the other one linked to Russia. Kollam was a bastion of RSP and it was the trade union affiliated to RSP which became obstructionist to Kollam Sri Krishna Bhavan by fomenting strikes and sit-in agitation. As the hotel could not be run properly, the management was forced to close it down for some time. In came Mr Lakshminarayanan Potti, popularly called L.N.Potti, to help Vasudev in facing the strike boldly and eventually winning over the trade union. It is another matter that Vasidev not only won his battle against the striking labor but he also got his first son-in-law in Mr L.N.Potti in the process.

Why the Kollam Sri Krishna Bhavan was closed is still a mystery as it was located at a prime location with high business potential. Interestingly those who started hotel business subsequently in that building were able to thrive well for a number of years. Looking back one might wonder whether closing the hotel business was really a desirable thing to do but God knows what were the compulsions for Vasudev to do it at that time. What remains to day in Kollam is just a small property which was acquired by Vasudev and where his grandson and family live to day. Thanks to the blessings of God all later generation members of the Vasudev branch of Badettu family are quite well of with no regrets looking back the the route they all traveled to reach where they are to day. 

A moot question that may haunt the later generation members of Badettu family is whether the two prime business establishments in Kollam and Allepey could have been saved if adequate efforts were made by the 2 gen members to bring in their 3 gen members for help and assistance. Fortunately or unfortunately the eldest sons of all 2 gen members were pushed to educational institutions for becoming professionals as hotel business was not considered suitable for educated people! Vasudev's first son became a chartered accountant of repute, Subbraya's eldest son became a much respected national expert in fisheries, Venkatraya's eldest son became a recognized food technologist, Padmanabha's eldest son became a senior tyre expert and Ananthrama's eldest son rose to be a professor in a renowned University. Would it have made any difference if these senior sons in each family had chosen to become partners in these ventures. God knows!

Answer to the last quiz

The first Badettu family member belonging to 3 gen, who joined Indian Air Force was Mr Mohan Padmanabh, as an aeronautical technician and after working for several years joined the national carrier Air India from where he retired.

Quiz for this issue

Who is the one and only descendant of Badettu family heading to become a western classical music expert soon?


Sunday, June 10, 2012


One question that bothers many of us is whether Badettu Narnappaya lived up to his real potential to become a giant among the community and this becomes all the more relevant when we compare the lives of Madhwa/Shivalli stalwarts of his contemporary time, like Seetharam Achar of Dasaprakash fame or Krishna Bhattar of Woodlands fame. The answer could be yes and no! Yes because he did build a small empire single handedly which was not nurtured by his sons to the extent possible. It could be no if the vast opportunities available in places like Madras, Hyderabad or Mumbai were not recognized by him for real growth. Probably the place he chose, Kerala could be the culprit in his under performance. It must be remembered that the royalty in Kerala (Travancore) was more fascinated (obsessed) with Tamil priests and local Nambudiris than Udipi Brahmins who were at the lowest rung in the ladder of heirarchy. Over all he was able to amass sufficient fortunes for a generation and it should have been the onus on the next generation to build up on the foundation which unfortunately did not happen. But it is a consolation that the 2nd generation members to follow him, at least did not destroy what was earned by the founder.

What really prevented the 2nd gen members to let go many opportunities for building up more assets? Probably there was a paradigm shift in the environment for business in Kerala with communists gaining ground and the labor movements becoming more and more aggressive. One has to recall how many strikes were witnessed in Kerala against capitalists (hoteliers were capitalists) blaming the latter for the exploitation of the labor class. Another factor was the limited ambition that drove the minds of the 2nd gen members which naturally inhibited their asset making instincts. Late Vasudeva, with the Sri Krishna Bhavan Hotel at the center of Quilon could not hold on to it in spite of the help from his two brothers Padmanabha and Gopalakrishna. Similarly Sri Krishna Bhavan at Alleppey remained a one-hotel wonder without any appreciable growth for almost 70 years though some efforts were made by the brothers headed by Subbraya to start a Bus Stand canteen and a hotel in Kayamkulam. Unfortunately both had to be wound up in course of time due to reasons not very clear. When this is viewed against the growth of other Madhwa/Shivalli families in Alleppey, it is just heart breaking! If Bhima family of Jewellers own half the Alleppey to day and have more than 18 jewellery shops in the South worth billions of rupees value, probably it speaks well about the visions of Bhima Bhattar and his sons. What the 2nd gen members of Badettu family could buy, in contrast, was just peanuts compared to this.

Why is that the two flag masts, Sri Krishna Bhavan hotels in Quilon and Alleppey had to be closed for ever when there were at least a dozen 3rd gen male members available to carry the torch forward? Whether one should fault the policy of the 2nd gen members in giving high education to their sons or declining entrepreneurship in the family, the fact still remains that there was not even a single 3rd gen member who could run the restaurant business even half as efficiently as their fathers. While the Quilon venture folded up very early due to crippling labor strike, the Alleppey venture was closed 6 years after the death of the last of the 2nd gen member Venkataramana in the year 2000, solely due to the incompetence, mismanagement, financial irregularities and ignoring family interests by some of the 3rd gen members who had their fingers on the levers of power. The hotel enterprise became "famous" in Alleppey for all wrong reasons, becoming a butt of ridicule in the town, forfeiting all the good name earned during 7 decades of its existence and sooner it is forgotten better it will be for all present Badettu family members.

Considering the present situation, many members of 4th Gen are atoning for the past under performance and it is really a matter of pride for all that about 10% of the descendants of late Narnappaya belonging to 4th gen and 5th gen are keeping the flag of Badettu family flying across the world engaged in high quality professional jobs. Compare this with the latter generation members of Bhima family, where almost all of them are successful business entrepreneurs achieving laurels in their own chosen field of endeavor. In other words if Badettu family members failed to click in business, this lacuna is more than compensated by their high academic and professional achievements in contemporary time. As for future the 6th gen members may even surpass the achievements of their predecessors in the coming years. Probably the old saying that education is ever lasting in life while business fortunes can be wildly with no lasting effect! Hail Narnappaya for spawning a great family with far reaching visions in educating youngsters to achieve excellence in preference to dragging them into hotel business.          

Answer to the last Quiz

Mr and Mrs Radhakrishnan ( 3rd Gen member of Venkataramana branch) along with Nagin (4th Gen member of Venkataramana branch) undertook Kailash Yatra in the year 2011. His experiences have been pictorially presented in the Facebook of Vani Radhakrishnan.

Quiz for the present issue

Who is the first Badettu family member who joined Indian Air Force?   


Friday, May 25, 2012


Old age is catching up with the members of Badettu family and yesterday's young and handsome members of 3rd generation are becoming a graying community with wisdom and patience writ all over their face. During earlier days reaching an age of 60 was considered some thing special, then the threshold got raised to 70 years, then to 80 years and now 80+ is considered normal! In Badettu family there are only a few members living beyond 80 years and their living presence among us is indeed a blessing.

While Badettu Narnappaya completed almost a century, if the cricketing terminology is used, while one of his sons Venkatramana could only reach 93 years. Among the second generation "bahus" two are still among us with 80+ and we can hope for their continued presence at least till they reach 100 years. Pray God for the same. Besides most of those who are not with us to day died after crossing the 80+ age mark. Thus longevity seems to be the "trait" passed on to succeeding generations by Badettu Narnappaya and his spouse, the ever smiling Radhakka.

How about the 3rd generation members. In the male line no one has reached the magical figure of 80 still but one can hope that within this decade there will be a few octogenarians emerging. Here again all must pray for this to happen. Among the female line also there are a few septuagenarians vying for the honor of achieving sahasra chandra darshana. Let us pray for their longevity also. One always wonders regarding the secret of longevity. Some say it is the life style that decides about one's life span, not the horoscope! But God fearing as we all are, our faith in horoscope should not be shaken. Scientifically it is being postulated that calorie starvation could be the key to longevity and probably our forefathers practiced more disciplined eating unlike the modern generation.

Latest to join the octogenarian club will be Mr Madhava Bhat, son in law of late Badettu Padmanabha and Lakshmi Akka, and husband of Ms Leelavathi who will be celebrating his 80th birth day on 4th June at Sri Anantheshwara Temple in Udupi. Those who attended the March 20 meeting of Badettu family descendants cannot forget Mr Madhava Bhat who was the chief guest, being the senior most member among those attended on that day. He was nobility, sincerity, wisdom and charisma all rolled into one and his active participation was well appreciated by one and all. If possible all members of Badettu family must attend this function on 4th June without waiting for an invitation. This blogger is not lucky enough to attend the function because of some commitments of travel outside the country. Here are the wishes from the heart of all those who might miss the function and prayers for his reaching the century mark without any hiccups. 

Answer to the quiz in the previous Blog

It may be difficult to identify the first person from Badettu family married to a caste or religion outside shivalli brahmin community. If any one has this information, same may be stated in the comments section. This Blogger does not consider such marriages unhealthy and from a biological point of view it provides a route for gene diversification unlike inbreeding that takes place within a community. Only point that may have to be considered is the compatibility between the bride and bridegroom who after all have to spend their entire life together.

Quiz for this Blog

Who among the Badettu family descendants made Kailash Yatra first?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It is almost a month since the successful conclusion of the 3rd generation meeting of Badettu family descendants at Udupi on March 20, 2012. Those who attended the meeting has had sufficient time to brood over its implications and impact. It may be time to dwell upon what future holds for this group in the coming years and what needs to be done to carry forward the dialogue and interaction. One good thing is that it is almost two decades since one had the opportunity to see many fellow relatives and their images are likely to remain at least for some time. What the participants missed was the presence of two elderly 2nd generation "bahus" of Narnappaya viz Paddakkaya and Lakshmakka, both unable to come due to health reasons but every one remembered them on the occasion. Probably every member of 3rd generation and their descendants must visit Admar whenever they come to Udupi side for seeking the blessings of Paddakkaya who gets animated and thrilled by reciting past stories of the Badettu family. Similarly periodic visit to Lakshmakka who stays now at Chintamani will also be of an humbling experience.

Looking back the event was an eye opener for many participants with almost 85% of the male members present and most of them savored the moments to mingle with their relatives from six branches of 2nd generation stalwarts. What caused some disappointment was the fact that most female descendants among the 3rd generation did not respond to the invitation even though many of them were staying nearby. Probably lack of warmth in the past or some internal misunderstanding within their families must have caused this distortion. In future these members also should be roped in for getting real representation. One female member from Vasudev family, one member from Subbraya family two members from Venkatramana family and one member from Padmanabha family deserve special praise for attending the meeting. Of special significance was the presence of two 4th generation members of Vasudev family, one 4th generation member of Padmanabh family, one 4th generation member of Venkatramana family and one fifth generation member each from Venkatramana family and Padmanabha family. Special kudos to them.

While the meeting itself went off well with Sri Madhava Bhat, an octogenarian and son in law in Padmanabh family being the chief guest and Vedavyas, the senior most 3rd generation member presiding over the function. It was gratifying to see all participants united on the issue of cementing the ties among the members through concrete measures and found an urgent need to opt for involving 4th generation youngsters as nodal points for keeping the network active and vibrant. Kicha who took the initiative deserves full praise for arranging the event and one can be sure that he will keep the "fire" burning. The feasibility of organizing a convention of all members and descendants of Badettu family, numbering over 700 must be explored though such a mammoth event will pose logistical and financial challenges. Probably some clarity can be expected in the coming weeks on this issue.

Many members savored the opportunity to witness the Vajralankara seva of Lord Krishna on the same day morning and the Suvarna Rathotsava in the evening which were unique experiences one gets in life. Blessings of Lord Krishna will always be available to them for generations and helping others in need must be the motto of the Family. Each member must take pride in being a part of the great Badettu Family which had once dominated the landscape in and around Padubidri. Some took time off to visit the newly consecrated  Indrani temple where Panchadurga Parameshwari, the Kula Devaru of Badettu family is the presiding deity. Next day some were able to participate in the famous Padubidri Temple Rasthotsava which was an experience to remember. It is gratifying to see the Panaka service, started by late Narnappaya for cooling the soul and body of hundreds of devotees attending the event, is being continued even to day by the family of Ananthrarama, now being headed by Seena. 

While there is an immediate need to bring out a directory of all members both in hard and soft format as an immediate measure it is suggested that each family create a Skype set up so that there can be periodic "face to face" meeting to keep the relationship going strong. Already there is hectic activity in the social network Facebook with a 4th generation member in the US setting up a page in the name of Badettufamily. It is gratifying that already 70 members are participating in the network and it is certain that others will also follow the cue in the coming days. One must give full credit to Govinda of Padmanabh family for devoting considerable time in providing valuable inputs about his relatives. Satish the 4th generation member from Ananthrarama family took the initiative to publish beautiful and graphic details of Badettu House,  its "Devarakone", Nagabhana and "Bhoothagudi". Every member must see these photographs and save them to pass on to future generations.

Quiz of the issue

The first mixed caste marriage in Badettu family?

Answer to Quiz from the previous issue

The only person in Badettu Family following the hotel business of the forefathers is Giridhara, son of late Venkatramana who is running a small restaurant in Alappuzha, Kerala. Besides Appukuttan, son of late Gopalakrishna is running a successful catering business near Kasargod, Kerala. 


Many members of Badettu family must have seen the gracious photo of Lakshmi Amma flashed across the Facebook recently by his eldest son Govinda. How serene and composed she looks in this unique photo! It is a fact that she is the most active 2nd generation members at present though at her advanced age she has some minor health problems. During the recent meeting at Udupi an attempt was made to persuade her to attend but the efforts did not bear fruit because of her reluctance to undertake long journey, that too in this hot summer from Chintamani to Udupi. Same applied to Padmavati of Admar who finds it difficult to move around without physical help, besides being frail in health. 

It was the brain wave of Badettu Narnappaya to have an alliance with the family of Adiga Subbraya Bhat, father of Laksmi Amma after knowing them well through business association. Besides Subbraya Bhat was closely connected to the Eashwara Temple at Padubidri, his house being part of the Temple Complex with the front "ankana" leading to the Temple pradakshina area. Both Padmanabha (Paddanaya to many), one of the twin sons of Narnappaya and Laksmi Amma must have been a pretty couple in their younger days with the latter oozing "lakshana" all over! Who can forget the unforgettable and infective "laughing" of Paddanaya who should have been a part of Guinness Book for his record of never losing his temper! The couple had a set of "navaratnas" as children with each one excelling the other in self priming and achieving success in life in spite of hardships during childhood. The difference between a "Ratna" and the off springs of this couple is that while the former reflects light from its outer surface, the navaratnas radiate brightness (goodness) from inside. 

What Lakshmi Amma has undergone in real life can be an unparalleled story rarely encountered in real life any where in the world. Among the six sons of Badettu Narnappaya, Paddanna was the most modest and unassuming with no brashness or ego and probably this trait made Laksmi Amma a solid house wife -cum-strict mother, assuming the house hold responsibility with considerable determination and patience. She had to face severe tests in her life in carrying her family on her shoulders because of financial difficulties following disintegration of the partnership hotel business at Kollam and subsequent losses incurred in independeny business ventures. How she was able to educate her children against these odds is a story worth writing in gold. Without exception all her children were graduates and above and they served as managers, engineers, chartered accountants, air force technician and other lucrative jobs. It is tribute to her sagacity and wisdom that she shook of the early loss of one of her brightest sons due to a road accident, untimely loss of her first daughter-in-law recently and similar shocks with considerable aplomb. 

One of the bright spots in her life was the constant support she received from her own brothers and cousins but for whom the story would not have been as rosy as to day. All members of Badettu family must salute this admirable lady and pray for her good health and continued presence among us for years to come.      

Quiz of this issue
Is there any hotelier among the present members of Badettu Family and if so who is the person and where is his operational area? 

Answer to Quiz of the last issue
No there is no marine engineer in Badettu family so far. One can only hope that one of the fifth generation members will become a marine engineer.