Monday, November 4, 2013

The Pleasures of a Hindu Undivided Family - Episode No.6

As I was recollecting all the bygone days in the history of the Belavinakodige family, our vehicle had reached the entrance of the house. We were glad to see Shankar himself receiving us as we got down from the vehicle. He remains as friendly as ever with his typical smile! We could see a good number of family members staring at us with curiosity. We were searching for some familiar faces, but could not find any. A syndrome of Rip van winkle started pervading us! Fortunately, the presence of Lalitha helped in introducing my sisters to the lady members of the family.
Shankar told me about the reunion of Yallappaiah and his wife Lakshmamma with the main family after a gap of over 40 years. It must have been quite a historical occasion for the family. As I was expressing my immense pleasure over the matter, I could see Yallappaiah himself coming out to see us with his wife. Oh! How the pair had changed physically with the moving times! Yallappaiah is aged past 80 years at present. My mind went back to the fifties when he used to walk around stylishly wearing the terlin shirt with a one hundred rupee note in his pocket. Oh! Certainly much water had flown down the river Tunga from those days!
I had written down the name of Shankar on the marriage invitation of my son as he was the head of the family. I was unaware of the latest development of Yallappaiah coming back as the head of the family. Shankar asked me to write down the name of Yallappaiah. I did it with pleasure using another invitation. We saw two young ladies – the wife of Balakrishna, the youngest brother of Yallappaiah and also the daughter-in-law of Shankar. The family was quite happy to see us after such a long gap of time. We were extended all the typical courtesies of a Malnad family.
The original Belavinakodige house has undergone a lot of alterations and renovations in keeping with the times. But the basic identity of the ancestral house is still kept intact. Shankar has five younger brothers. While Subrahmanya and Nagabhushana are living in different houses in our village itself, Gurumurthy stays in Shimoga. Chandrashekhara and Balakrishna are staying with the main family at the ancestral house. Shankar has been able to hold the family together all these days with his typical leadership and management capabilities.
Shankar had developed his financial expertise by the time he completed his education in Shimoga. We have seen him from close quarters as a close friend of our elder brother. He handles all issues in a very cool manner without getting unduly agitated. One can understand the intricacies involved in managing the affairs of a vast Hindu undivided family. As the Kartha of the family he always had his plate full.
We have always wondered about the intricacies of the financial management in the Belavinakodige family. The family has wide range of agricultural activities and multiple sources of income. The accounting of the family income and expenditure is indeed a complicated exercise. Shankar has always been up to the task with his financial acumen. I am sure his accounting system could be ‘case study’ for a qualified Chartered Accountant!
We visited some more families before we reached another typical and successful joint family in our village for our lunch. This family is located in a house called Golikatte. The senior most person of this family, Lakshmamma, is the daughter of my mother’s maternal uncle. She is aged past 75 years now. Her eldest son Ramesh is the present head of the family. This is a joint Hindu family of three brothers.
The family had faced certain financial problems during the times of the father of Ramesh. This was inspite of the family owning vast agricultural lands. But once Ramesh took charge, at quite a young age, the family never looked back. Ramesh has been ably supported by his two younger brothers Shringeshwara and Gajendra. Together, the three brothers have nursed back the financial health of the family. They have also achieved a high level of excellence in the agricultural field. While Ramesh is managing the financial affairs with astuteness, the two younger brothers have excelled in their hard work. The way they have brought about a change in the fortunes of the family within a short span could be another ‘case study’ at an agricultural management institution! Kudos to the wonderful family!
We had sent a prior message to the family about our arrival for lunch by the afternoon. Hence the special lunch for us was ready by the time we reached the house. Actually the family was quite busy in the planting-season of paddy. But that did not prevent them from offering us the typical courtesies associated with a Malnad family. The special lunch included all the delicacies of Malnad.
As we were getting ready to depart from the place, I suddenly developed curiosity about the present position of the Chittemakki families. Gajendra told me that most of the families are doing quite well at present. I was also told that some of the families have even moved to Bangalore and engaged in different businesses. Gajendra suddenly called one person who had just finished his lunch and asked me whether I could recognise him! He was a man in the 70+ age group. Yes! I could recognise him! He was Soora, the joint winner of the Second Battle of Chittemakki! My thoughts once again went back to my childhood days!
----- Concluded -----
A V Krishnamurthy
9th February 2011

Dear maava,
I just finished the HUF series. The avalanche of sweet memories, that comes whenever we come in contact with a person/object from our childhood, has been vividly painted. Enjoyed it! :o) The ending was nice---the pleasant surprise of talking to Soora, about whom I had read with great admiration earlier.

Thanks for sharing all these beautiful memories! :o)


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