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Tales from Jillellamudi for Children- 20

Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 7
Month : April
Issue Number : 2
Year : 2008


Dear Sweet Children,

You have already heard of Chidambara Rao, a prosperous lawyer of Bapatla. His wife was Annapurnamma, a sister of Mannava Seethapathi, Amma’s father. They had only one daughter BHARATHI by name. She was married to Desiraju Rangarao’s son in Bapatla itself, Chidambara Rao and Annapurnamma were deeply attached to their only daughter. She quite often fell ill with fits. All types of medicines were tried, but the fits persisted.

The father-in-law of BHARATHI was much perturbed that she was a chronic victim of epilepsy. Chidambara Rao desperately tried to quack doctors like exorcists who offered to drive away the evil spirits supposedly tormenting Bharathi. But no treatment yielded positive results. Desiraju Rangarao therefore went to the extent of even threatening to seek divorce for his son as a last resort to give the boy a healthy spouse. That was the last straw on the Camel’s back for Chidambara Rao.

In this context, some one helpfully suggested that Bharathl might profitably worship Lord Anjaneyaswami at a village near Bapatla who was considered a powerful deity rather quickly responding to prayers. This suggestion found ready acceptance from the parents of Bharathi. Necessary arrangements were quickly made and the family camped in a choultry attached to the Anjaneyaswami temple with full equipment to cook their food and prepare daily offerings to the deity.

They employed a cook to help them and provide service. Amma (9) also was taken along (not for her sake) as she was found indispensable to do unfailing service to Bharathi like frequent massaging of her limbs for relief from pains following fits. Here at this place Amma incidentally became very popular with the laborers working in the neighboring fields. She used to freely mix with them, providing them plenty of ‘Prasadam’ and spare items to eat.

One Kondareddy, a young boy who observed Amma, enthusiastically commented that Amma very much looked like Lord ANJANEYA SWAMI HIMSELF. Amma’s name became very much noted for her compassion and hospitality though she was just a child of nine.

RAMACHARYULU, the archaka helping Bharathi In the dally ritual also informed Chidambara Rao that a few days back a T.B. the patient sat close to Amma and confided his tale of misery. Amma was so moved that she at once parted with two of her gold sovereigns and coolly placed them in his hand. He immediately left the place for good to escape notice of the elders. RAMACHARYULU cited this instance to illustrate how Amma was indiscreetly kind beyond a reasonable measure even towards shady supplicants..

A few days later, it became necessary to shift Bharathi to another locality nearby where they were luckily offered plenty of hospitality and shelter. The host was a good brahmin by name DESAIAH. His wife quickly enamored Amma..

She extolled that Amma very much looked like a Goddess. BALA TRIPURA SUNDARI, their family deity. And she went on profusely kissing Amma. The couple was overjoyed to accept Amma and also the accompanying family members as their guests and play host for the entire family for any length of time just to enjoy the bewitching company of Amma. They felt that Amma was surely a goddess, and none else, none else. Learning that Amma lost her mother, they even came forward to adopt Amma as they were themselves childless.

Back to Bharathi’s fits which continued to torment her.

Annapurnamma was naturally worried that fits continued to persist despite several sincere attempts and repeated visits to holy men and places.

At this juncture. Amma intervened and meaningfully suggested that Annapurnamma might offer a hundred coconuts to a deity at a place of her choice and also feed a thousand hungry destitutes.

Annapurnamma readily accepted the suggestions, exclaiming that “BALA VAKKU is verily Brahma Vaakku”. The words of a child are as potent as God’s, she quoted.

The fits mercifully beat a retreat. All’s well that ends well.

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