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Of Kinship & Bonding

A family gathering to celebrate the spirit of a family matriarch and a quaint village called Nochur

1/30/2015 4:52:32 PM
written By : Indira Valson with Nithya Subramanian Print

Anybody familiar with the history and background of Palghat Iyers would be familiar with the traditional 'Agraharam' simply described as any village inhabited by Brahmins. And one such village in this border district of Kerala is Nochur. Not as well-publicised as Kalpathy, which has now been earmarked as a heritage site or Nurani (famous for its annual Sasthapreethi festival dedicated to Lord Ayyappa) but the spirit of bonding of the Agraharam is still alive amongst the members of this place. So much so that some members of the present generation continue to include the village name ‘Nochur’ in their offsprings’ official names.

In order to celebrate the spirit of the village, especially of its matriarch Nochur Kalyaniakka, a grand reunion was organised at a resort near Bangalore. The event was spearheaded by N V Balasubramanian and his wife Chandra, currently living in Melbourne – Australia, who also wanted to introduce their daughter-in-law Jess to the family. Though their son Arun Bala and Jess had an intimate Yarra valley vineyard wedding sometime ago, this gathering was to make her and the younger generation aware of their roots. Family members young and old came from different parts of the world to partake in the joyous event.

Kalayaniakka was the grand old lady of the clan who was literally the Universal Sister of the village – everybody called her Akka – including her grandchildren to whom she was lovingly known as Akkapatti. Heading a humble family, she was enterprising and encouraging. She held the reins of the family in her hand, not out of choice, her husband our grandfather-Lakshmanan was not a robust man. The other dominant male in the family was her husband’s brother, Doraiswamy who was hearty but busy minding the paddy fields. His wife was frail and not very active. Thus the onus of bringing up the boys, six of her own and two of her elder brother-in-law fell on Kalyaniakka.

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