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?


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