There are some Badaga women and men who have sacrificed a lot with the single minded devotion to keep up the family name and traditions. In the bargain, they had to undergo a lot of suffering which they endure in silence. This is especially true with many Badaga women of the earlier generations who were married of at the very young age in a male dominated society.
Everyone of their life history, the pains and pleasures, can make a fascinating story.
One such person is Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj. Daughter of Kundah Kettichigatti B.K.Bella Gowder, she was married to Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder’s only son H.A.Bhojraj at a rather young age of 15 years.
In the initial years of her marriage, apart from taking care of three small children, Rukmani Bhojraj had to supervise everything very meticulously since both (her father in law) Ari Gowder and (husband) Bhojraj were particular about the details on how the guests were treated.
She had to run the household affairs at Ari Gowder bungalow called Panorama, at Coonoor, mostly by herself as there were constant stream of visitors and guests who came to meet Ari Gowder who was a M.L.A and contractor of Railways.
A lot of government officers from Madras [now Chennai] and district officials like the Nilgiris Collector, came often to discuss and dispose of matters of importance. large number of Badagas also came to seek solace and sort out their problems with the Nakku Betta leader.
In the typical Badaga hospitality, all visitors and guests were treated with snacks and food – hasuga and hittu. The kitchen fire at Ari Gowda’s bungalow was always on. ‘Ari Gowdana hittu maneya kitchu endu kathira’.
Rukmani Bhojraj is very warm hearted and makes friends easily with strangers. She is very popular with neighbours of all ages.
Today, 19th Feb 2014, is her 80th birthday and we wish her long life and good health!
Name: MAGESH KANNAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Great Great Great.
Wish her Long Life. Hethe, Ninna Gava maravadhuga mudia. Hethappa slog amake, arathu bandhamaga Annava kodu, Berathu bandhamaga Bekkia kodu. You kept the elders slogam alive. Thanks Hethe Amma.