Remembering you, Mother

Even at the age of 99 years and ten months, your memory was sharp. You would not only recognise, the relative who had come to see you, but would pleasantly surprise the person by recalling many incidents that were associated with the persons’s parents and grand parents.

You would insist, in typical Badaga style, that the guests be served food. ‘Hittu thindhuttu tha oppadhu – leave only after having a meal’, you would order.

For, major part of your life, you were the unifying force of the family that included your brothers and all children. You were, as most of them would call, a mother-‘awway’.

Unfortunately, you were born in the era when girl children were not considered equals. But you took it all with a smile. Though born as the only ‘princess’ to the Nakkubetta uncrowned king, Rao Bahadur Bellie Maistry, who was probably the richest Badaga during his time [in early 1900s], fate treated you otherwise.

Your steely determination, will power and perseverance is still talked about.

To your eight children, three girls and five boys, you gave everything – the most precious being education.

Four of us are alive today and along with the grand children and great grand children, we remember you ever so fondly, on this day, 13th July, the day you chose to leave this world quietly in your sleep.

We remember you with love and respect, mother!

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