During the excavation of photos at home, you realize you have grown up little too much to see the elders in the photograph. A lot of elders have gone to a better place to stay and a few are less reminiscent of the way they came from a far-off village to make Bengaluru home.
To start it our paternal family migrated from a village called “Haldodderi” in Tumkur. It is 28 km from Tumkur district headquarters, 26 km from Sira and totally 108 km from Bengaluru. That is too much of a distance to cover in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Well according to me I can never imagine leaving my city for anything, 1-year masters in Barcelona put out a very scary face of migration to me.
If you look at the map there, you could see a kere and an Anjaneya Swamy temple. That is all my reminiscence of the place. You can also find Seebi which is our mane devru Laksmi Narasimha Swamy temple abode. Now closer to it you find the country club which is the showcase of too much migration to cities where farmers sell or forcibly sell to get a better life in Tumkuru or Bengaluru. I have heard stories of how the name of the village came up to. Halu(milk) is the key word here. Thaatha did mention saying the kere was as white as the milk and it was flowing too good. Now it is almost dry. Tumkuru was the dry area of Karnataka. After North Karnataka, I presume a lot of migration to Bengaluru happened from here. My great grandfather Ranganna was a farmer and I have heard he was an innocent man. A lot of his relatives gobbled up his land. Whereas his wife Krishna Veni was a compassionate but much more practical lady. She studied more than him. This was also the same case with my maternal great-grandmother. In a way, these women uplifted the house.
Ranganna had 6 children, 3 boys, and 3 girls. A villager, a farmer dreamt of only to get his daughters married off and sons maybe take care of the farm. But Krishna Veni had other plans. She had a sister named “Puttu” who was already a teacher. She had her personal issues to work and stay in a place to educate children. Krishna Veni migrated to Tumkuru with her children to educate them. Interestingly this was the biggest step to take for a lady at the era where women in the household were asked to not go out. Well, breaking barriers had to start somewhere, isn’t it?
She got her eldest daughters married and the eldest son who secured a job in the city due to his studious marks. This was the first successful migration to a far-off city unknown place. My grandfather, my thaatha H R Nagesh Rao who is middle in the picture probably had other plans but a lot of things changed for him. Yesterday when I spoke to my maternal thaatha he told my paternal thaatha was a rank student in his intermediate. I was a little baffled as to how he never acknowledged it. Well so case to say a tragedy struck a house with his youngest sister. She was widowed at age 13 with a son. Which meant tonsuring the head and locking up in the house for the rest of her life. Thaatha disagreed, he rebelled. He bought his sister, his son, his mom, his brother and took all their responsibilities and migrated to the city Bangalore. The village put a ban on him for going against their customs. It probably deterred him initially because he was a teenager or in early 20’s but the unit around him helped him profusely.
The story of this is very inspiring me for reasons to vary. One was the rebelling against wrong things. Even if you don’t have an ample support system, if you think you are right we should stand alone. Second, owning up responsibilities. Third, going against what was wrong even though everyone foolishly followed it. I was just thinking what would be our states if Thaatha would not have taken a decision so boldly. Would women in the family be again tortured in dark chambers? Well, I can only assume!
[First Row: Raghavendra Rao, the eldest, Nagesha Rao, my thaatha, Prahlad Rao. Second Row: Akka, the eldest(also my maternal great grandmom), Satyavati, the survivor and Janaki, the most fav of thaatha]
So all the 6 siblings of Haldodderi successfully migrated to Bengaluru. For job, marriage or any such things. A little reminiscence of the village for all of them. I see they never spoke about their childhood in front of us. Their story only began with they migrating to the city. I think this is the most comfortable story to share for them and mostly a success story. Now all of them have houses in the city, made it their home. 5 out of 6 siblings have passed away. One remains to tell us how beautiful was that sibling bondage. Grandchildren have made the city their native. I proudly say I belong to Bengaluru or even very narrowingly write Jayanagaradahudugi. Migration causes disruption says a lot of activists but in a way, we are all migrants. Someone had to take a bold step for leading a better life. When I was in Barcelona for a year, I could see the disagreement for this. They hated people from other places. Europe is very strict on that. They hate the inter-country migration as well. So much of opposition to for a different color of skin, race, and language. I was just wondering how similar or different it was before. I always wanted my thaatha, The News Editor of Samyukta Karnataka to answer this. Well, he went away too early.
Recently in a family meet up speaking to the eldest dodappa he told our generation that, If one person would not have migrated, all of his cousins would be grazing cows in a dry village and women would be not allowed to study like me going abroad. I gulped down that with a pinch of pepper saying “Maybe its true for men, women are still banned for 3 days in a month and still only a few like me make a choice. Is this going ahead or they don’t want to forget where they are from”.
Well in my case, I am a rebel like my grandfather and not worried about bans 😛