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.