To recall, my association with Brother Vajjha Mallikharjuna Prasad, popularly known as Mallu at Jillellamudi is more than four decades plus. He is everyone’s man who used to respond to the call and need of one and all at Jillellamud. Easy and affable, informal in manner he is always accessible and approachable for everyone at Jillellamud, in the precincts of the HOUSE OF ALL!
As a person, he is simple and warm hearted. As a Member of the Jillellamud household, and the larger Jillellamudi fraternity he is ever ready to do his bit. Hard working by nature, assiduous in temperament he minds multiple chores at Jillelleamudi. He looked after a number of departments like electrical power, water supply systems, drainage, dumbing, minor civil works and all.
For the past several years he has been buying vegetables for the ANNAPOORNAL YAM waking up early dawn reaching the spot before the wholesale market opens, to secure the best price and ensure the best buy for our common meal served to a few hundred persons every day.
Brother Mallu has seen the thick and thin of life here. He has passed through the days of stringency and adversity offering his services freely and readily. In the early 1970s he worked on the Jillellamudi van, which was serving more like an omnibus ferrying pilgrims, other men and material of need. He lived sparsely on this assignment little mindful of the odd hours and strenuous rides on the old rickety van..
In the GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS of AMMA’s Birthday, we worked together in the kitchens serving AMMAS PRASADAM to more than hundred thousand devotees who thronged here for the occasion true to AMMA’S volition. There were thirteen kitchens) from which food was served and both of us moved from one kitchen to another after exhausting the food in each kitchen serving fully to the pilgrims. This inexhaustible process continued till the very late hours of the summer night in April 1973..
In the aftermath of the 1973 GOLDEN JUBILEE celebrations, AMMA graciously consented to the invitation of numerous children and toured quite a few areas in the State and other contiguous areas in the neighbouring state. In all these tours, the Van accompanied AMMA ferrying supplies of AMMA’S PRASADAM and some literature. Mallu was the custodian of these during the tours and handled the same admirably in all difficult environs and trying conditions.
After the few years of AMMA’S tours, he took up a few odd jobs to eke out his livelihood outside Jillellamudi. Finally secured a permanent job in the APSRTC in the Visakhapatnam region where he continued for a few decades. It is apt to recall during the West Godavary tour, in Palakol AMMA selected a spouse for Brother Mallu, by name Sita Mahalakshmi, referred to as Sita Akkayya as is the tradition and practice at Jillellamudi. She readily joined and gelled with the larger family of the Jillellamudi fraternity with complete ease in an amiable mode and manner.
Brother Mallu has shown great concern towards my parents like an immediate family member when my father settled, temporarily, in Bapatla and cared for them while I was away at Hyderabad serving the State Bank. This way, he is quite close to our parents and all family members which memory is ever cherished by all of us.
After completing his stint at APSRTC he whiled away some time and back at the pavilion of Jillellamudi in the year 2009. Ever since his arrival here he has been eager to serve AMMA and the Parishat in all modes possible. To start with he has taken up the electrical works for which he has flair. Later on he moved to the solar energy sector and secured all the solar energy systems for the temples, guest houses and the kitchen of ANNAPOORNAL YAM. Even the HOUSE OF ALL is secured with solar energy. Mallu worked on all these solar systems and strove to conserve electrical power and was earnestly bent on saving costs.
Mallu has been instrumental in upgrading the overall water supply in the campus; also in doubling the fresh water capacity in the water purification facility gifted by GMR Foundation.
In the campus he conducted himself like an elder brother serving the old and needy. He had a guardian like attitude to the students in the campus. Even the girl students looked to him for elderly support in times of need.
His habit is to have a continual vigil in the campus even though it was not rigidly under his purview. He is prompted by his sense of belonging to AMMA and the PARISHAT. He had a hawk like eye on watching the movement of materials, goods and men in the campus. He was ever ready to jump on the erring not caring for favour or fear from anyone.
Although he is not a qualified professional he studied every task and job in to its minute specific detail. Then he brought expertise and excellence in his own way. Mention needs be made here that AMMA guides any earnest, sincere, committed person to the tasks here and prompts him to a level of excellence as experience often suggests. Granting that the individual is sincere, earnest, committed in the task and to the job. AMMA graced excellence. In the case of Brother Mallu this is proved beyond doubt as he excelled in diverse tasks that are not within his domain earlier.
In his personal disposition he has been frank and forthright in every turn and every respect with a brusque manner. Ever conscious and loyal looked for every saving in all these works while caring for quality and investing on the same in every job.
During the winter chill of December, he brought water for AMMA’S ablutions in the early hours of the dawn (Binde Teertham) without fail taking the support of Mathukumalli Ramu. This routine of his continued every December (Dhanurmasam). He offered regular prayers, making submission of all that he has done in the temple whether it is good or bad.
It is paining that one after the other, members of the elite old guard who have been with and around AMMA are missing with each year and it is grieving to note that such quite a few extraordinary beings have passed away and merged in eternity that being AMMA. Today in the late hours of the 6th May, 2015 we bid farewell to Brother Mallu who set upon his final journey from ARKAPURI to the timeless, eternal AMMA who includes this entire existence.
Pray AMMA grant him peace and fortitude to the family members to forge ahead.