Thursday, January 19, 2012


After his exciting "adventures" in Malayalam land Narnappaya returned to Padubidri leaving the businesses there to his sons, who between them managed the hotel ventures in Kollam and Alappuzha with reasonable success. The Badettil was renovated and further properties were acquired nearby. Narnappaya had an ambition to start a business in Padubidri-Udipi area and his dream materialized when he got an occasion to set up a grocery store at Padubidri in partnership with one of his son's in-laws. Though he worked hard to make it a flourishing activity, expecting substantial gains soon, unfortunately the business came to a grinding halt due to unsustainable financial losses. 

The imagination and the urge to make it big in business was such that he ventured into a rare area, that is organizing and running a movable tent house theater at Padubidri. Not much is known about the logistics of running such a theater and how long he managed to run the same but it did not last much when he decided to close the same probably for want of a viable viewer base. Lot of information gap exists regarding his other activities there after. It is also known whether Narnappaya did any supervision of the business activities in Kerala (remote controlling), though it can be presumed that there was not much discordant voices against him. Probably his success can be attributed in hind sight to his imposing personality and cunning nature that invited the nickname "The Fox" or "Kudikke"  by the local people. 

It appears Narnappaya had gained considerable status as a regional "satrap", commanding attention, adulation and even fear to some extent from the local community in and near Padubidri. People approached him to settle disputes, general as well as personal and he seemed to have performed his duties with considerable skill and fineness. Most of these disputes pertained to land ownership, internal family wranglings and local groupism. The episode at Brahmasthana when he transformed the Pingara flower into horse gram, threatening to throw them to cause small pox disease if the two warring groups in Padubidri did not bury their hatchet is still remembered with awe!  

Though he had unquestioned control over his pious, God-fearing wife and his six sons, as he grew old he did realize the realities of life and the nature of human desire to establish individual identity and partitioned his movable and immovable assets, one supposes equitably among his sons. As it happens often, his old age was not much to speak as he lost his control over his sons and after the demise of his wife he spent his time among the families of his sons in Kerala. Finally he could not resist the "call of his land" and at the fag end of his life returned to Padubidri to spend his remaining time in the Badettil with one of his sons to whom the property was bequeathed. His end came in a bizarre manner after he was affected by dementia, unstable behavior forcing him to be confined to bed breathing his last without completing the coveted century, missing it by just 2-3 months. His standing among the shivalli brahmin community is reflected by the presence of Revered Swamiji of Admar Mutt during his Sahasra Chandra Darshana Ceremonies. 

Answer to the last Quiz:

Dr P. Vedavyasa Rao, first son of late Subbaraya Rao, was the first Doctorate who obtained his Ph.D and went on to become a Senior Officer under the Central Government. To day he leads a contented retired life at Alappuzha and being the eldest member of Badettu family guides the younger generation members with his wisdom and experience. 

Quiz of this Issue;

Who was the first engineering graduate in Badettu family?


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