Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The story of Badettu family will not be complete without focusing on one of the mildest personalities borne into this family, the late Ananthrama . He was the twin brother of Kollam Padmanabha and it was amazing that these brothers showed a temperament and disposition remarkably similar to each other. He was famously called "Ginda" though I do not know why he was being referred to by the above common name. For a while I thought Ginda might be referring to his plumb and short physique but this could not be the reason because his twin brother was also equally plumb. Now I realize that he was called Ginda because he always drank tea from a "Gindi" a large utensil as he wanted large quantity of tea whenever he wished to have tea! May be I am wrong! 

Many of us do not know who is elder of the two but it is believed that Ananthrama was delivered of half an hour before Padmanabha and therefore former is the elder brother. One thing is sure, that is both were gentle human beings rarely seen in an angry mood. Interestingly Ananthrama was assigned to the Alleppey operations while Padmanabha got into Kollam business. Since his wife and family were based in Badettu House he used to shuttle between Alleppey and Padubidri. While at Alleppey he used to stay at the Hotel and his duty was linked to that of Subbraya and at any given time only one of the two would be in Alleppey. In contrast to the stern disposition of Subbraya, Ananthrama had a mild manner, never shouting at any one and even children used to like him for his somber manners. With Subbraya he was the co-owner of a property at Chananakkavu in Alleppey which was sold of when they left the town once for all after settling their business share. 

Interestingly Ananthrama married Janaki, his aunt's daughter in the Kinnitu family whose house was located near the Badettu House. This is one of the two alliances Badettu family had with families of Badettu Narnappya's sister and Badettu Radhakka's brother's family. It may be recalled that Saraswathi, wife of Gopalakrishna, the last son of Narnappaya was the daughter of the brother of Radhakka, Venkata Bhaya. Orignal family of Janaki had such illustrious connections with people like Mukkanna who was a legendary hotelier in Madras. Though both Subbraya family and Ananthrama family were staying at Badettu House for quite some time, former shifted to Karkata House at Admar later which was the ancestral home of late Paddakkaya. It was more or less understood that Ananthrama would inherit the house eventually and it was a tribute to the wisdom of Narnappaya that no inheritance problem ever cropped up after his time with all other sons cooperating in keeping the house as a heritage center for the entire family. Thanks are due to Ananthrama and his sons that they treated all their relations with kindness and good hospitality whenever they visited the place. Even to day Badettu House, though not structurally or aesthetically sound, still evokes respect and admiration for the great pioneers, Narnappaya and Radhakka.   

How remarkable it is that Anthrama's eldest son Srinvasa, popularly called Seena was able to achieve an exalted position as Professor of Chemistry in Manipal after obtaining his Master's degree from Banarese Hindu University through sheer hard work and determination. Anathrama was the father of 3 sons and 4 daughters but it was unforunate that one of his daughters, Sushhela passed away at relatively young age due serious illness.  Recently it was reported that the second daughter Mandakini also passed away about a few days ago at Pavancha. Other two surviving daughters are well settled with their families in Padubidri and Belappu near Kaup. Seena, after retiring from KMC Manipal is settled down in Chennai with his son Satish who is a senior executive in the Hyubdai Car company. His second son Ranga is presently in Kochi working as a senior executive in BTH hotel of late Govinda Chikkappaya. The third son Cheeya who worked in the Alleppey Sri Krishna Bhavan for a number of years got back to Padubidri and with his noble wife Rema is managing the property on behalf of his brothers and sisters. 

Interestingly all the fourth generation off springs in the Ananthrama house hold are settled down in life in a reasonably good way. What is amazing is that Sriram, son of Cheeya achieved the incredible in getting an engineering degree recently under trying conditions that prevailed in Badettu House during the last few years. It is a matter of pride for all of us that he is well placed professionally working for an MNC at Bangalore. He along with Satish, son of Seena are the two engineers in Ananthrama family. Seen'a daughter is also an engineer working in Mumbai as a faculty member in one of the engineering colleges there. 

Many may be wondering as to how Seena, the eldest in this family is able to fulfill all the responsibilities inherited by him in looking after the Naga Bhana, Bhootha Gudi, commitments to Padubidri temple and other related customary practices passed on from Narnappaya. He does visit Padubidri regularly to carry out all the duties cast on him including conducting poojas and other functions which were part and parcel of Badettu family traditions. Even to day the three brothers serve panaka to hundreds of devotees during the annual Chariot Festival in Padubidri Mahalingeshwara temple in the month of March, a practice started by Narnappaya decades ago! They have also made arrangements for conducting regular pooja inside the house as well as at the Bhana daily without fail whenever all of them are out of town.  It is hoped that Seena and his brothers will be able to restore Badettu House to its old glory and every member of Badettu family will have opportunity to visit, stay and experience the thrill of being close to the souls of all their ancestors regularly. 

Answer to the last Quiz

The only surviving second generation member in Badettu family is KollamLakshmi Chikki who is approaching 90 now and enjoying good health for her age. She is now in Udupi visiting Kicha for about three months and I had the previlege of speaking to her just yesterday. Let us all pray that she outlives all her contemporaries and cross the hundred year mark without much hiccup.

Quiz for the present Blog

What is the connection between the three Rams-Sethuram, Jayaram and Raghuram? What is their relationship?            

Flash News

I feel terribly depressed to recall the sad demise of Mandakini, second daughter of Anantrama Chikkappa, recently, a few days ago at Pavancha, near Padubidri. It was a terrible shock as I met her on April 28 2013 when she came to participate in the obsequies function of lete Paddakkaya at Raghavendra Muth in Uchila. She was looking perfectly normal and healthy and cheerfully invited me to visit her home at Pavancha. Very sad indeed. Let us pray for her soul to rest in peace.

Monday, May 6, 2013


The oldest of the bahu ranis of Badettu Narnappaya who was a beacon to all of us so far, Paddakkaya passed away on April 17 2013 at 4.40 pm at her Admar residence peacefully without suffering too much though she was aged 96 years. It is a tragedy of great dimension and she belied all our hopes of completing the much coveted century as fate had willed otherwise. This is the second disappointment for many of us after the earlier demise of Narnappaya himself who missed the century mark by a few months. To some extent Narnappaya's death was brought upon by his stubborn insistence to come to Padubidri from Alleppey where he enjoyed a healthy life. This is not to blame those who looked after him at Badettil after his return to Padubidri but to lament about the situation brought about by his return to a place where medical access was rather limited and time consuming. But the wishes of senior people especially during their old age cannot be denied and no one can blame any body for this fateful event.

Paddakkaya's situation was also same as she was weak, especially during the last 5-6 years with some pain on her knees making her mobility some what restricted. Similarly her stubborn reluctance to move to Alleppey where living conditions are some what better and medical facilities are reasonable might be one of the reasons for her health deteriorating fast ending up with her demise eventually. Here again no one can be blamed for this situation because being a very senior elderly person it is difficult not to succumb to her wishes and force her to do what she did not want to do. All said and done, it cannot be denied that she enjoyed her life at Admar with her son Raghupathy and daughter - in- law Madhavi providing her succor and relief during her stay there. Besides she had all her daughters, living nearby visiting her frequently while her two sons from Alleppey frequented the Karkate Mane at Admar as often as possible. What more a mother wants but to see her children and grandchildren as often as possible! 

She was cremated near the house itself and this is a small luxury we living in towns and cities cannot hope for after our death. What a comfortable feeling for all those living as well visiting the Karkade Mane will have when they can feel her presence there reminding all of them about the indomitable spirit and fighting qualities she embodied during her life time. It was on March 22 this year I had the unique privilege of seeing her personally with Radhu during my visit to Udupi for the Brahmarathothsava and Chandika Homa. It never occurred to me that she would be no more in less than a month! Also I talked to her on the Ugadi day on April 14, just 3 days before her demise for seeking her blessings. Though she was some what incoherent at that time but still cheerful enough after walking to the hall from her room crossing a high threshold door. It is indeed a personal loss to me because I have lost an icon whom I could always depend on for advice when I needed about Badettu family.

One of the remarkable things about the obsequies functions organized by her children is the meticulous way they were planned for 4 days beginning April 26 with Dharmodhaka and ending on April 29 with Vaikunta Samaradhane at the Uchila Raghavendra Swamy Muth. No efforts were spared by her children to make these functions as religious as possible and it is a tribute to their sagacity and perseverance that they stayed in the Muth for almost a week under conditions that cannot be considered satisfactory for urban folks like us! It is to be noted that Vedavyas and Vittal are in their seventies while others were late fifties and sixties! While about 50 close relatives participated during the first two days, more than 200 people, all well known to Padakkaya during her long innings on earth, took the trouble of coming to Uchila from different parts of the country. I, along with Govinda, Mohana and Kicha were fortunate enough to attend all the four days' functions. Padakkaya would must have been a happy soul to see 25 cousins belonging to 3rd generation who were present for seeking her blessings during one or the other day of the obsequies. Remarkably almost 90% of her own family branch spread over third, fourth and fifth generations were there to pray for her soul. 

What struck me as unique was that in no single function in the past, 25 cousins gathered at a place like this and in a way she was instrumental in making this happen between 26 and 29 April. It was in June 2005 that another iconic daughter in law of Narnappaya, Kaveri passed away in Alleppey. The 3rd generation members who participated include Bangaru (Vasudeva lineage), Vedavyas, Vittal, Raghupathy, Chummi, Sunitha, Radha (Subraya lineage), Vishala, Sunanda, Harihara, Jagadisha, Nataraja, Radhu, Giridhar, Vicha and Nandini (Venkatraya lineage), Seena, Ranga, Cheeya and Mandakini (Anantrama lineage), Govinda, Mohana and Kicha (Padmanabha lineage), Chetha and Appukutta (Gopalakrishna lineage). I am sure others also would have attended but for some personal inconveniences.   

My visit to Udupi also took me to Chummi's house at Bailoor where Mr Sripathi Rao, her husband is recuperating from some ailment. To my knowledge he is one of the most honest, brightest and brilliant son-in-laws in Badettu family who retired as IT commissioner in Bangalore a few years ago. A person of high integrity, in spite of the fact that this department is ridden with corruption he was standing tall         
as one of the gems in that department being a friend of honest tax payers and a threat to others who indulge in tax suppression and evasion. It was interesting to see him in high spirits watching the traditional "Atta" performance on the TV with rapt attention following every move of the actors. May God bless him with long long life.

Answer to the last Quiz

Atulya is a PUC student, daughter of Sarada (daughter of Gopalakrishna of Kollam and wife of Mr Sahadevan at Kollam) is an accomplished dancer with national credentials. She gained early recognition from her peers in this art and every Badettuan should be proud of her, being the only practicing dancer. Badettu Narnappaya would have been happy to see one of his fourth generation descendants making a mark in an unchartered field like dancing. 

Quiz for the current issue

Who is the only surviving second generation member of Badettu family?