Kid gloves treatment !!

My brother having moved to a boarding school in Bangalore a few years earlier, it was only a matter of time before I followed suit, but with a difference πŸ€—..

I had got admission at Bishop Cottons all right but the waiting period to be a boarder was 6 months. In the interim my aunty, Susheela graciously hosted me.

So it was Railway Parallel Rd, Nehru Nagar, but how do I commute?. The local bus was simply out of question.🀣.. My parents decided that I need to go by auto; not the ones were parts of your body are hanging outside or if you are lucky enough pressed between other kids and their bags.😲.. After all I was going to an elite school and had to arrive in style😜..Dad’s Mercedes was stationed in Madras and was out of question πŸ˜„. Yes you got it right, no one else , me and my auto chauffeur!!πŸ˜‚.. He would pick me up at the appointed time and drop me in school well before the gong went up. Evenings though he could be late by a few minutes and at times I would have a co- passenger.πŸ˜•. How much did it cost me back then.? For comparisons a one way fare today on Uber from Nehrunagar to Bishop Cottons is showing 120 bucks while I paid 60 for an entire month and that too, two and fro.!!πŸ€—.

All good things come to an end sooner or later. A year later, homesick, I was back to Madras, travelling in a school bus.😩. You can’t have the cake and eat it too!!πŸ€ͺ

Marriages are made in heaven -Part II

While I was writing on this subject it slipped my mind that there were a few more instances that needs to see the light of the day. So here we go.

My maternal grandfather’s nephew’s wedding was called off on the marriage mantap, in typical filmy style, when the bride’s party realised that the groom could be suffering from Parkinson. His hand began to shake when holding onto a coconut. 😩. Marriages being called off was a black mark in those days and that too in this fashion. Crestfallen, they returned to our village, Halla Dodderi.. My grandpa, Srinivasanna couldn’t see their plight and immediately offered one of his daughters in marriage.πŸ€—. Children never had a say in these matters, and even if, weren’t matured enough to have an opinion. πŸ€”.. This was my aunt Draupadi, who lives with her in-laws in Bhadravati ( her husband, Srinivasmurthy died long time ago).

From Dodderi, let’s move to Ramohalli. The strange case of my paternal aunt, Jayalakshmi whose wedding to Hariappa happened under extraordinary circumstances. Hariappa’s father, Linganiah Sr, was in great predicament as his son lost his 1st and 2nd wife soon after marriage. Was Hariappa destined not to have a life partner?. No. It so happened that Sr. Linganiah ran into little Jayalakshmi ( I do not know how and where) and looking at her hand ( was he a palmist?) saw longevity in her. He convinced my grandpa ( may be both referred the matter to a third umpire, I mean an astrologer 😜) and it was settled. The matter doesn’t end there. There were initial hiccups in the marriage as aunty was being ill treated by some women in the household. The stern warning of my grandfather that he was prepared to take his daughter away, and the sagacity and wisdom of Linganiah saved the marriage. Thereupon aunty was looked after very well. And as the saying goes, they had a long and a happy married life.πŸ™πŸ™

Lets move forward to 1947-48 and the setting is our home, Bharat Dairy, Basavangudi. The marriage of Rajanna , who has just completed his engineering, to Rama was a fait accompli; dad having played his cards wellπŸ€—.. His parents had to come all the way from Bhadravathi to stich an alliance for their son. With many a girl being rejected and Rajanna having got a job with Southern Railway in Madras, time was running out. So they agreed to my father’s suggestion. Not many would know that Rama’s father, Narayan muthanna and my father are first cousins and Chums( their mothers are sisters). When dad broached the subject with Muthanna, he was delighted. Rama, a spritely little girl of 14 years is oblivious to the fact that this is serious stuff; choosing a life partner. She rather play hop skip and jump with the young girls around ( my sister, Leela included). πŸ˜„ Dad has not finished yet. I have reason to believe that he took Rajanna to Chellarams in Madras to have his suit stitched. Having decided his nephew’s life partner, this was child’s playπŸ˜‚

We uncles, my brother and I are very pragmatic and decided early on that we will not interfere in these matters unless called for😜.

Marriages are made in heaven!!

So the saying goes, but it’s celebration is always on mother earth with all its rituals, pomp, glamour and even idiosyncratic customs.πŸ€—..

That must have been the case even 125-130 years ago when my paternal grandparents got married. While not much is known or recorded of those times, what we do know is that my grandma, all of 6/7 years, used to doze off on the marriage mantap and grandpa had to wake her up!!πŸ€ͺ. Marriages in those days was an elaborate affair, stretched for a week and invariably within relatives.

Fast forward to my aunty, Susheela’s wedding at the height of the 2nd world war. I remember Susheela recalling that her brother ( my dad) had just sold his car( was it to fund her marriage?. After all Thatha had retired by then), and yes, the Bridegroom’s suit was tailored by Magesha( the same fellow, many years later, did our uniform honours while at Bishop Cottons!!)πŸ€—.. The marriage party was totally ignorant of the fact that the war was being waged far far away from India, and fell for rumours that a bomb would fall on Bangalore 🀣..So immediately after the rituals got over, they ran away to their respective villages.πŸ€ͺ.

The marriage of my chikappa, Subbu happened at Hunsur, a small town on the way to Coorg. Mom would say in jest that Lakshamma fell for his good looks( he was a handsome fellow is obvious from some of his old snaps), little knowing the hardship of village life. πŸ˜‰The fact that her husband was a tough task master was a double whammy πŸ˜•. Dad who ran a flourishing Dairy business, transported the marriage party in his milk van.. There was a skit made on the eve of the wedding and Amma could remember only the first line; it went something like this( verbatim translation of kannada)’ Subbu’s wedding is in Hunsur. The van taking them is riddled with holes( remember it is meant to transport milk, not humans.😜). Narayan Rao( my grandpa) begins his philosophy’.πŸ˜†. Had I been invited, would have recorded the entire proceedings 😁..

Let’s move now to the 50’s. My cousin’ Kit swamy’ marriage is fixed with Chandramati, An alliance that went into cold storage for a year was revived by her father, Gundappa. These were the times, when the boys family had the upper hand and the girls parents had to put in the extra effort to settle the marriage.. When you are performing your eldest daughters wedding, it’s your first experience and if something can go wrong it will certainly go wrong( Murphy’s law!!😩). I distinctly remember hearing ( I was a witness too😜), that the reception dinner or was it lunch served very late drew strong criticism from certain quarters. Had the bride been aware, she would have prayed to lord Krishna to quell the uproar that followed. You mean swamy Krishna; no, I meant Krishna swamy😜.

The 50’s also saw the first love marriage between Guru, Rama’s elder brother with Sarasa. There was a huge commotion in both the families. Imagine, a madhava boy falling in love with an Iyer girlπŸ˜‚.. Totally unheard of till then.. They had to ultimately reconcile as the relationship had gone too far. πŸ€”.

Before I end this piece, let me leave you with these thoughts. The past was full of rituals extending for even a week. Today they have been condensed to a day or two. There was no fun element back then, but today we have the Mehendi and Sangeet The boy and the girl met for the first time on the marriage mantap, but today even if it’s an arranged one, they get to know each other before signing on the dotted line.πŸ˜€. Does that make marriage full proofπŸ€”. That’s a debate for another day.!!

Raise the paddle

The IPL auction shown live on TV which concluded recently,drew enormous interest,not the least for its glamour quotient and the humungous money paid to players. As the hammer finally came down, it took me all the way back to the time, I once raised the paddle.πŸ˜€

This was about 15 years ago, when my recruitment business was flourishing and I had a false notion that keeping up with the joneses would enhance my business. I also had and still do, a love for antique stuff and paintings..

That landed me at an auction for antique work at Taj West End, Bangalore.. Most of the pieces were well out of my reach; the base price running in millions., however there was one that attracted my attention, a small East India Map of the 1700’s whose asking price began at 50,000.. I hesitantly lifted the paddle not once but twice as the bid rose, and finally closed around 6 lakhs or so. Affordability is one thing but was it a need or a desire?. Had I brought home that piece, i would have been taken to the cleaners 😜.

I did invest in an art fund which went bust but not before i managed to get 85% of my principle back.πŸ€— I corresponded with SEBI but with very few small fry investors like me, they hardly pursued with interest. The big ones were the Nadars, Birlas , Thapars and others of the same ilk whose net worth would have hardly moved a needle.πŸ€ͺ.. SEBI in any case is not known to act proactively; Himalyan Yogi is a case in point.πŸ˜‰. A fallout of my tryst in art was getting invited to preview art, click cocktails and rub shoulders with the socialites. I however, had moved beyond the superficial and was not interested. πŸ™πŸ™

Taking of art, adorning my wall is a large Raja Ravi Verma, a authorised reproduction ( oil on canvass); can’t afford an original which will put me back by several crores !!🀣. In any case it is a national treasure, safely ensconced at Mysore Palace πŸ™πŸ™. Folks at home have not taken too kindly to some art work, one of which is an abstract piece, a page from a diary and another, depicting conch and trumpets by an unknown Krishnappa which I paid 8k about 15 years ago. A similar work by this artist goes for 1.35 Lakhs today.πŸ€—. If push comes to a shove, I will have the last laugh.🀣..

Had someone from my parents generation invested a mere 5000, in the 50’s,(quite a few had that sort of money ), in a street artist who went by the name of MF Husain, they would be a crorepati multiple times over..πŸ€ͺ. I rest my case.😁

The great divide.

Those who worked in British India would vouch for a fact that power and position came from the size of your cabin. Those mahagony wood panelled said it allπŸ€—. As part of the baggage, you had an exclusive peon, twiddling his thumb on a bench outside, when not bringing you files or mid morning/afternoon flask of coffee and biscuits.πŸ€ͺ Not to forget a secretary, an Anglo Indian, with a Pitman in hand to take down your dictation in shorthand. When the British left, the Indian bosses who took over continued with all the above paraphernalia including I am told a dog allowance!!😲.. In Nehru’s socialist India this was blasphemous and was soon discontinued.

When I joined the work force in the mid 70’s, I found no better example of perpetuating this discrimination than at Kirloskar Electric. Look no further than the lunch that was provided to the staff. There were 4 categories of food, each served in different ambience and what you got depended on your designation.πŸ™„.My guess is: The workers, got buttermilk, we the officers: curds , the senior managers and unit heads: soup, salads and finally the VP and Directors , Caviar and dessert , served in bone chinaπŸ€ͺ.. When it came to registering your attendance, the workers had to punch cards as the siren went up; while we signed in the register kept in our department and believe it or not, my boss and GM who sat in his cabin had the register brought to his room once a fortnight to attest his presence!!πŸ˜‰. What hypocrisy!!.

When I moved over to the nascent IT industry by beginning of 80’s, nothing much had changed. My seniors and elders most of whom had worked at IBM in the first avatar were used to this box culture.. At the Madras branch of DCM Data Products, we had 4 Managers: Regional Manager and the Regional Systems, Field Engineering and Sales, all cocooned in their cabins. One of the perks of the RM was an exclusive secretary, who when the boss was on tour, would leisurely step into the office post 11 am; you could guess her appearance by the all pervading perfume and the stiletto heals.🀣 She would refuse to work for any of us, sales executives. and rather chit chat and gossip.. We perforce had the common pool of secretaries and at times doubled up ourselves in that role.πŸ˜•

Power came with position was driven home to me in one fleeting moment.πŸ€” When we launched the Tamil word processor and sought the blessings of the state government, I accompanied our MD, GM, RM and RSM to meet the Chief Secretary. The non AC ambassador ( whoever ordered it, had made a terrific blunder) stalled in peak summer and the MD was fuming and looking down upon his deputy; each looking down on his next in command.😜 I had no one to look down upon, except the driver.😩 Thankfully a few agonizing moments later, the engine revved into action. The meeting was a success and the product was christened Thiruvalluvar πŸ€—.

As I moved to a managerial role at OMC Computers, Tata Burroughs and ultimately Sonata Software, I too succumbed to the cabin bandwagon!🀣.

It was the Japanese who brought in the classless organization beginning with uniform dress code( factory worker to the CEO), not to speak of the kaizen work culture.. Progressive Indian companies followed suit..

IT coming of age, brick and mortar being overtaken by on-line/e-commerce and workstations and work from anywhere becoming the norm, meant the great Wall had come crumbling down; formality giving away to informality and yes, age and experience meaning nothing if you didn’t reinvent yourself..πŸ˜‰.

Remembering Gopi

My cousin, Gopi who died recently, was about a year and a half, younger than me. A very affectionate and a helpful fellow; his colleagues in KPC( Karnataka power corporation), will easily testify to that.

Early in his career, I remember making a surprise visit to Jog, along with Anniah and Pallu, where he was posted. I could see that he made friends easily and networked well in the small township.

While growing up, we enjoyed each other’s company. I fondly recall playing cricket in the small space available to us outside their home in Srirampura and yes, gliding down the flight of steps to reach their abode was fun.😁 The home may be modest but the heart was large.πŸ€—.. While we played outside, the smell of Nilgiri thaila emanated from the first room, where my dodappa would have stacked the bottles with his concoction, aptly named Jeevan dhara- remedy for all common ills.πŸ˜€.

I have heard that whenever Anniah took his children on an outing, Gopi would feign hunger as they passed a hotel, playing on the weakness of his father and he would readily oblige.πŸ€ͺ..

In latter years he began to look more and more like Anniah; may be it was due to my dodappa’s magic.😁 I used to meet him at least twice a year during his parents ceremonies. Physically he was shrinking but mentally strong and had come out of a major health crisis a few years ago. This time, he was not so lucky.

Gopi is gone, but let me leave you with a testimony of how much I was fond of him in my childhood. Every day, before going to bed, I would recite these few lines to amma. It went something like this: Recall all the major stations between Madras and Bangalore, beginning with Akoman!( Arokannam) and ending with Bangalore titi!( City), Chichapura!( Srirampura), Anniah mane Gopi☺️.


Thatha – Vicarious to Real

It has been a journey of 27 years.πŸ€”. When your elder siblings become grandparents, you by default, become one too; never mind your age. So it was, when Bavya came on board. She, though never got around to calling me a Thatha, and the same goes for my brother πŸ˜•. May be because she saw little of us as she grew up in UK and my niece never coached her!! πŸ€”..

Moving on a few years and I get a chance with Ananmay as he is born in Bangalore and is childhood is in front of my eyes. He is an intelligent boy and is in a quandary when it comes to addressing me; don’t look like a Thatha but too old to be called an uncle. So he coins the word ‘ Uncle thatha’ !! πŸ€ͺ. After sometime he finds that akward and may be a little coaxing from my sister, gets around to him finally calling us Chandri Thatha and Shobha Ajji😁.. Not just that, being bred in UK, he is punctilious in his behaviour and manners. When it comes to addressing Bharath and Gowri, he enquires if he should call them uncle and aunt but they brush it asideπŸ€ͺ..

From here on it is smooth sailing.. The salt and pepper has turned tad more silver and Savitha’s Aishu has no qualms of calling us Ajji and Thatha.πŸ˜€ For Shreya it is a no brainer as we have aged and look like oneπŸ€—..

Enough is enough. No more hiding behind the veil of vicarious say my children.🀣. So now we are Ajji and Thatha for realπŸ™πŸ™..

On her majesty’s service

Have I missed out on the word ‘secret’ in the title to the blog and has it got to do with James Bond?. Far from it; not very far though, a mere 2 kms from my subject: The occupants of Buckingham Palace.πŸ˜‚

We Indians have always been fascinated by our Maharajas and Maharanis, so it was , when queen Elizabeth made a maiden visit to India in 1961. Her address in New Delhi: The Rastrapati Bhavan, where she would have been received with pomp and glamour by the President. The customary banquet in her honour hosted by the President and attended by PM and his colleagues, diplomatic corps and sprinkling of royalty is all old hat. A visit to Raj Ghat to pay homage to the Father of the Nation is given. What is not known though is her visit to Madras.

Any VVIP, back then, couldn’t escape from crossing our path!!.🀣Yes,  GPS coordinates of Hotel India: 39 Mount Road, Madras 6- our home from the early 50’s. Dad had put out a welcome arch outside our hotel, and had commissioned his nephew of sorts, Guru, then a rookie photographer with Indian Express, to take pictures. Here is one just outside Hotel India, as she sails past in an open Impala with the Governor, beside her. Was I in the crowd waving out, holding an Indian and a British flag; I doubt very much πŸ˜‰. I do remember that she paid a visit to ICF( Integral Coach Factory), obviously set up with British collaboration. I wonder why she was not taken, or for that matter, any British Head, to Fort St. George, the seat of the legislative assembly whose origin traces to the East India company πŸ€”.. One of her activities in Madras was cutting  a cake on Prince Andrew’s birthday, specially made by Bosotto Brothers( the one opposite Hotel India), the same guys who supplied one to my class teacher on my behalf.😁

That she stayed at the Raj Bhavan and her entourage like the overseas cricketers at Hotel Connemara, one of the two star hotels, the other being our own, Oceanic, is stating the obvious. But hold it; surprise surprise, it is Oceanic they choose!!βœ‹βœ‹. I guess, what went in our favour is its proximity to Raj Bhavan, the beach and a quiet neighbourhood.πŸ€—.

The queen on her return to London was pretty glum. The grapevine has it that, having seen and experienced the opulence, the vastness and grandeur of Rastrapati Bhawan; her Buckingham being a pale shadow, she confided with the king that we should have at least retained the Rashtrapati  while giving up the RajπŸ˜‚. ‘ It would have been a befitting jewel to: you know what I mean’!!πŸ€ͺ. His sardonic smile said it all.πŸ˜†

Had my nephews and nieces, knew our association with royalty, they could have slipped in a word or two while taking oath for citizenship under British crown..πŸ˜› May be, I should try my luck getting a long term UK visa, mentioning our service to her majesty. πŸ€”. However, knowing the mind of the Home Office, they could well tell me,’ if you can afford to host her majesty’s Government, you can certainly afford to pay for your visa, every year and fill up our coffers’ 😩.. I cherish the years when visas were not required for commonwealth countries, but it was the government of Mrs Gandhi that introduced it.😟

What’s in a name

There is more to it than meets the eye.πŸ˜‰ Our names, particularly those of us in the south, who don’t have a surname, have two initials preceding it. Thus I was known as R K Chandrashekar, right from my school records, degree certificate, employment, shares( physical/demat) and even property documents. Friends and associates called me RK or RKC( rare kind!!🀣).

Life was hunky dory; no ID cards, except the the passport for the privelged few . The age proof used to be the SSLC marks card!!πŸ˜‚. The first few years of IT returns had an alphanumeric no alloted by the IT circle where you filed your return; The PAN card as we know today came in the mid 90’s and the initials were expanded. Thus in the income tax scheme of things, I came to be known as: Ramohalli Kapanipathi Chandrashekar.. Interestingly in the bank account, the initials succeeded the name; I do not know how, but may be they foresaw what was coming.πŸ˜‰

This is the age of digital and when I opened online accounts, it pulled out my expanded name from PAN/Aadhar. I didn’t realise that in their scheme of things, my initials represented first and middle and my given name became the surname!!😩.. It is only when they began to address me as ‘ Hi Ramohalli’ , that I felt things had gone to far.πŸ€”

Digital have digital solutions and with Covid raging that was my only bet. Both ID platforms allow name modification application online, the only requirement being that your mobile number is linked to your Aadhar. Fill in a few details, upload a valid supporting document; in this case, the final arbiter in such matters- the passport, make the payment and your are done. They say 90 days, but in 3-4 weeks you get a e Aadhar and a week later a hard copy at your doorstep.πŸ˜„.

Once Aadhar is updated, PAN is much simpler; it picks up all the details from the former including, biometric, photo and does a ekyc all paperless , nothing to upload, make payment and in a fortnight you get a e PAN and if you have paid for a hard copy, that too comes by courier soon after.πŸ€—.

My children have had no such problem.. When they entered high school, we made changes into their school records by extinguishing the initials, and in keeping with the current trend, their name followed by their father’s.. Aadhar and PAN followed suit, though I admit passport has the initials expanded..

Those of you who are still being addressed as Hi/ Ramohalli/ Closepet/ Dodderi Lakshmansandra/ Nagasandra, it is time you clicked a few buttons on your iPad/phone.😜.

Now it is offical. Chandrashekar Ramohalli Kapanipathi . CRK instead of RKC.?.Hold it!! Who does not want to rub shoulders with RK Narayan, RK Laxman or for that matter, Raj Kapoor 🀣.. Did I say, Raj?. I have somewhere in my archive, snapped with Raj Kapoor and I S Johar, when they attended a film association conference at our, Hotel India, Madras, 1962 or thereabouts.πŸ€—

An ode to amma on her birth centenary

When we talk of Amma, where do we begin- so much to say; to treasure ; to imbibe; a lifetime may not be enough!!πŸ™πŸ™ If there was a NOBEL to be given away in our extended family, she would be the undisputed recipient. Don’t take my word; just poll across: Dodderi, Ramohalli, Closepet, Nagasandra, Lakshmansandra or for that matter, Matunga to Malur, Ottapalam to Karur!!πŸ€— Had she been alive, she would have cast her magic on the Javalis as well!!

To say she was multi faceted personality would be an understatement. She was traditional and modern at the same time; blended with the old and the young seamlessly; her interests varied from politics to sports to movies to the stock market- you name it she was game for it ; Why she even played shuttle with us in Hotel Oceanic courts!! For starters, she could name the women PM of Israel, associate Morarji Desai with gold control act, knew who Harshad Mehta was and made friends with the likes of Vasundhara Devi and Sandhya( mother’s to Vijayantimala and Jayalalithaa respectively)πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ She was very secular and never hesitated visiting homes of a Khaleel or a Amy Darshan.

No educational background, but took to managing the finances of the hotel like a fish taking to water. She could put the MBA’s to shame-her forte, Finance and Human Resources. It is said that if you take good care of your employees, they would take care of your customers. Amma put this into practice. The waiters/servers of Hotel India- the Srinivas’s and the Ramachandra’s trusted her to manage their savings and when they finally left( on the hotel being closed), she gifted each one of them a huge silver plate with their savings.

No task was too small or difficult for her- she was comfortable getting her hands dirty- buying vegetables for Hotel India in Kotalwal chavadi( wholesale market) or dashing off to Bangalore to collect funds to pay off a financier and save the hotel from being closed the next day- all par for the course!! How well she juggled her household duties with that of the hotel is still a wonder to us and an object lesson in time management for the younger generation.

She was a hard bargainer when it came to shopping and her mental maths was astonishing. She would talk of Carats and Belgian cutting and could hold her own with a diamond merchant. She could reel of names of ‘ English vegetables’, be it Broccoli or a Celery and in the next breath , switch over from making Bisi bele bath to Veg. Kurma; such was her versatility.

Lack of knowledge in English was never an hindrance, on the contrary, she was confident and never diffident. She even travelled all by herself from UK to USA and faced the immigration @ NY singlehandedly –that too in an age when there were very few co-passengers of Indian origin who could have provided her some comfort.

She was the nightingale in the family. While in the 40’s it was Rajanna, Krishnaswamy and her brother Gopalalakrishna, in the 50’s it was Tippu, who came under her wings and care while they completed their education. When Rajanna lost his eldest daughter, Indu in a tragic car accident, she brought all of his family to come and stay with us for over a month and provided succour and emotional support. When she heard that her grandson, Sanjay all of 10 months was sick, she rushed back to Madras and drove from the station to the Railway hospital. She stayed on in the hospital for 3 months till he fully recovered. .Such was her tenacity and will power.

Tippu once said: whoever has not been touched by ‘ Akka’ or been influenced by her are sinners!! She was the embodiment of goodness, doing good and never speaking ill of others. She would often say, it’s not in your hands what others say but how you respond is in your hands. We didn’t have to go to Dr Deepak Chopra to hear these profound words of wisdom. Her favourite saying’ Vedas may lie but not a proverb πŸ€”. The underlying message being – don’t be dogmatic, be pragmatic πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ. When it came to rituals, she knew what was important and what can be dispensed with. She was not obsessed with visiting temples; for her, god did not reside in some holy land but in you! She declined an offer to visit Badri and Kedarnath in a military chopper, courtesy Union Deputy defence minister!!

I like to think her loving, caring and gentle nature came from her father, Srinivasanna, and her modern liberal outlook from her maverick father in law, Narayan Rao!! Today we are reaping her goodness and graciousness.

What she meant to the large legion of her admirers: β€˜The akka’ to her siblings and the Closepet clan, final arbiter in family matters, mentor to my aunty Susheela, solace and guide to Rama Rajanna, favourite Ajji to her grandchildren, dodamma, chikamma, Madras Athai, amma to her children and daughters in law and yes simply reverential to all the in-laws and their families. β€˜Dairy Krishna’ ( Srikrishna) used to address her as ‘ mother’, such was her aura. She cared for Shobha’s chikappa, Badri, like she would do for her children and he reciprocated in good measure; being at her bedside till her last breath.

The enormity of her greatness and achievements hits you, when you realise, a 3rd std drop out from a remote village in Karnataka, attending school in the 1920’s , with a younger sibling in her arms, only to be told by her teacher: ‘ from tomorrow come with a cradle’!!😜 On the contrary, our achievements with well bred education from leading international universities , and worldly wisdom from the likes of Swami Sivananda to Sadguru, pales in comparison.

In many ways she was ahead of her times and stood head and shoulder above anyone else . A towering personality and an inspiration for future generations. As Shankar said, she is β€˜β€™ one off, they don’t mint it again”. Former ace cricketer, Bishen Bedi commenting on Legendary, Sobers said:’ God must have created him in his spare time’ ; I believe so of amma!!.πŸ™πŸ™ A true Bharat Ratna in our family.

May Amma’s benevolence be our guiding spirit always.