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? 


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