Gorgeous Monterey Cypress groves just N of Big Sur.
In love with Pepperoni 🍕 Pizza !
Girls just wanna have fun !!!!
Gorgeous Monterey Cypress groves just N of Big Sur.
Chennai / 15th May ’18
UNBELIEVABLE BUT WE’RE 50 & COUNTING !
It’s unbelievable, but true that 50 years have
rolled by since that hot day in JAMSHEDPUR
at Madrassi Sammelani on 24th May 1968,
when the two of us tied the knot,with all the
hard work & blessings from our parents. In
our 3rd Generation of Dores, being the first
couple to have married (also first-born) has
its’ own responsibilities & rewards ! In a way
the two of us have completed a CENTURY of
partnership( Kuch Tere Dil mein 50 ; Kuch
Merey Dil mein 50, Zamana hai Burraa !)- ref
Geeta Dutt song from C- I- D (1956).
Over the years, it has been a Roller-Coaster
ride,at times breathless & at times trying for
us, with many milestones, places, people, &
opportunities – as also some hits & many
misses (puns intended) ! Perhaps it’s a case
of sheer survival ( meaning each other !).
Family and friends, as also people in general,
have always meant more to us than career
or tangible milestones…we’ve benefitted a
lot from the guidance of elders, care-givers,
teachers, mentors, friends & Gurus in our
lives,who inspired us to be what we are 2day.
We acknowledge, accept & cherish with
humility & gratitude all that we received and
continue to receive in life. In particular, we remember the love & care given by our parents, the DORE, NATARAJAN & TDN (short for TD Narayana Iyer) Elders/family members.
Our global family tree extends from Palakkad,
North Arcot (Vellore) & Mayuram to Irvine, San
Francisco, Dubai,Southampton,Dallas,Chicago, New Jersey, Mumbai,Jamshedpur, Seattle, Torrance, as also to Pleasanton, Pasadena, Puduchery,Bengaluru,Tucson & Panchgani.
In the elders circle,we’re grateful to Ammaji,
Appaji, Natarajan mama(whom we miss so)
and to Radha Chitti,Premchittappa, Gippy,
Rupathai & Babu Chittappa, Viji Periamma, Balai Chitti & Lalitha Mami ,whose blessings we seek ( and also advice, on occasions).In particular, we have to mention the trade- mark DORE humour, which keeps us smiling & going. In fact laughter & music have always helped us so !
In this journey of decades, we remember in our generation Ganesh-Kanchana,Sam-Vanitha, Bobby (Sr),Radha (& late Janardhan), Jaggi-Geeta , Suki – Shashidhar, Satisch – Suchitra , Srinath-Shyama, Sriram – Chithra, Ravi- Kanchana, Sukanya – Narayan, Paramesh – Baby, Rani – Ramakrishnan, Mridu – Shekhar, Aruna – Suresh, Ramanan – Chitra, Anandhi – Sethuraman, Dorai – Malini,Murali- Mythily, Sumita -Saroj (Roy) , Geetha- Chandru, Parvathy (& late Nana) , Mallika – Rajan, Nandu & Suresh – Priya, Hari – Sudha, Ramu – Vidya & Kumar- Vijaya, Ajita – Chander & Shalini ( the list goes on….)
We feel blessed to be reasonably healthy to enjoy some comforts & places;and that
itself warrants a celebration. We hope to
celebrate the next 12 months by visiting
places and meeting as many associates
& family members as we can, subject to
health and Divine Grace. In the first stage,
we’ve planned 12 days this month at West Coast of India at select resorts.Hope to send some pictures periodically.
Do keep us in your thoughts & prayers.
A short acknowledgement will also be
With luv & regards, Kartik & Lakshmi
By Gippy Doré
WHAT HAPPENED ON SUNDAY 29TH APRIL AT DORE’S PLACE
SUNDAY 29th. APRIL, 2018 – WODEHOUSE CORNER AT DORE’S
The highlight of the meeting was Giri’s narration of his visit to Dubai and the re-union with his two brothers. This was an event that he had been looking forward for long with much anticipation as they resembled the gang of Three Muscat-eers. Dreaming of Muscat grapes and Muscat wine (famed for its sweet floral aroma) the three Musketeers planned an itinerary covering visits to inns and taverns.
the gang of Three Muscat-eers
The journey to the International Airport at Mumbai was as expected, painful, slow and traffic bound but Dore’s mind was elsewhere. Would there be attractive airhostesses on the flight? During the last five decades, Dore saw a steady decline and fall (resembling the decline of the Roman Empire) of the beauty and charm of the air hostesses on his numerous flights. In fact, the last few flights were infested with staff that, at best, were toothless ayahs leaving him wondering whether he was on a flight or in a crèche. At the airport there were, in the words of Wodehouse, such people as are found at such places; bizarre characters, staggering with outlandish luggage on unruly trolleys in long queues, waiting for boarding cards. When Giri boarded the plane these same characters were struggling with their heavy bodies, hoisting heavy hand bags into congested overhead holds. A black leather bag weighing more than 30 kgs. was being swung up and hoisted over the delicate necks of those seated below, the owner then collapsing like a ton of bricks into his seat. Finally, a semblance of peace settled like a sediment when all were seated with safety belts fastened which was followed by the usual hand-rest-elbow-edging with the neighbour.
The boring flight safety drill was about to start when Giri saw that the airhostesses were not only charming and “see-worthy” but were frankly “compatible”, he in comfort and they being “pat-able”. They did not have rings on their fingers or bells on their toes but were comely and attractive. The safety drill commenced and the girls, one at each end, stretched out their arms horizontally pointing to where the doors lurked. Their gesture was as if drawing attention to the risk that even walls have ears. Then came detailed instructions on how the mob should save themselves should the plane land in water. The girls were displaying yellow life jackets that looked buffoons’ T-shirts and Giri wondered if these life jackets lying under the seats since the turn of the century would ever open up in normal situations, let alone during an emergency when 300 struggling passengers have landed in water. Recalling Keats’ famous lines “Ever let the fancy roam, pleasure never is at home: At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth, Like to bubbles when rain pelteth”, Giri fell asleep lost in anticipation of Dubai’s taverns, tambourines and the lyre. When the plane landed and he was winding his way through the streets of Dubai he saw the opulence of a place where commerce flourished like weeds in the wild. It was a “sunny place for shady people”.
In the large house where the re-union took place, the evening lamps were “shining, yellow as honey, red as wine, while harp, and flute, and mandolin made music sweet and gay”.
The get-together of the three brothers was loud and noisy and conversation flowed free. As Wodehouse wrote, if ever there were three persons dying to speak to each other, these three were those three. Giri’s brother Prem is 89 years old. He and Giri had “travelled” over the map of Sindh (now in Pakistan) with grins and giggles at all the spots and places familiar to them. The map was in Sindhi script. The younger brother Raj was too young to read from right to left. So he preferred the company of the goblet.
In Dubai, Giri met one of his ex-Management Trainees ( Mr Ayub Sheikh, a trainee 30 years ago). Ayub was greeted (on his birthday) and arrived at the Dore house for lunch. It turned out that Ayub is one of the Maha-Millionaires of Dubai. After his training in Mumbai (at Siemens, by Giri), he moved to Bahrain, where he rose to the cliff of CEO – Bank of Bahrain, the richest bank in oil country. Ayub was totally down to earth, modest and affectionate. Giri could read the road signs in Dubai since the first script he learnt in Sindh was Arabic-based Sindhi. The meeting of the three brothers was an ode to God’s Grace. It was trip into seven decades of the past and vibrant in the present. Few can be so lucky in this world. So much for Giri’s adventure into the past.
Two of the members announced with delight of the visit of the stork that elevated them to the status of grandfather. Cakes and confectionary followed with rapturous cries of joy as members demolished them saying, “Its tasty, exceedingly.” “Its delicious, exceedingly delicious.” Members wished many more of such visits from the stork.
An interesting discussion followed on names given to the new born and their importance. Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?” There’s plenty said staunch Wodehouseans and there was a narration of the havoc played on being bestowed by an incompatible name that brought much sorrow. With a change of name, fortunes altered and life became livable. Life is lived beyond the fringes of logic. Members nodded with approval.
Met my Vimala Atthai, a few days ago. She is Appanna Thata’s 89 year old niece – daughter of his second youngest sister, Bala (Balatthai to all the younger Dores).
She is Vimalatthanga to the Dores. She is a year older than Ramanna so that makes her our clan’s oldest living member!
Five photos too.
Suguna / Atthai
I realised last week that it’s been more than two years since I met Vimala Atthai. This is a shame because we live in the same city, Chennai and we have always been good friends. She is also my father’s only living relative from his generation. (I count the Dores as my cousins, not my father’s – though they are that. Those who do not understand this complicated and somewhat inbred relationship, go figure…or go to the family tree in the ToD archives). Most of all, she is a lively and warm person and a great conversationalist.
I called Atthai a couple of days ago. We were both very happy to talk to one another after such a long gap. We fixed a time to meet the very next day. Off I went and there she was, ready with her lovely and welcoming smile.
She has been suffering from a weak heart since 2006. A salt-free diet has made her very thin and frail. Probably because of osteoporosis, a few of her vertebrae have got fused as a result of which her spinal column is bent and painful. She also said that the bones around her left shoulder have ‘dissolved’ – ‘karanji pocchu’ . She gets up from bed only to go to the bathroom and to get a little exercise walking around the house or in good weather, in the spacious garden.
Her daughter, Pattamma, whose home is five minutes away, spends all her spare time with her. Vimala Atthai also has a 24-hour companion and help, a bright and friendly young Tamil girl. A young Bihari boy cooks for them. Atthai’s daugher-in-law Padmini, who divides her time between her son’s home in Philadelphia and her own home in Chennai with Atthai has thoughtfully made all these arrangements.
For all her illness, Vimala Atthai is as spirited and hospitable as ever. She even had tiffin, coffee and a gift bag filled with goodies ready for me (at just a day’s notice – I have no idea how she put it together so quickly). No complaints, none of the cynicism one associates with old age, just brimming with affection and goodwill, with eager questions about my family, my brothers, their families and my Dore cousins – even as she just kept on feeding me with Gokulashtami batshanams.
She asked me about my husband and my boys. When I mentioned that my younger son Nikhil and his wife lived in the US, in Seattle, she said with a big knowing smile, “Oh, Seattle!” I thought she was only being polite.
But she shamed and astounded me by adding, “I know Seattle, it is in the Pacific North…Padmini has a relative there, Dr Ramamurthy, with an American wife… Caroline Ramamurthy she calls herself. They used to have a house facing the ocean – I have visited them! Their daughter is named Kanti Caroline Ramamurthy!”
I was flabbergasted! (‘Pacific North’!!). I hope I have such a keen memory when I am 89, which is how old she is. At 68, I am often unable to remember names of places and people from six months ago.
I took some photos and told Atthai I was going to post the pictures and an account of my visit on the ToD. (Please do notice the photo of the goddess Saraswati in the backdrop in the photo of her and me. She was delighted to see it had figured in the picture).
This prompted her to take out a photocopy of a childhood picture of hers. (She knew exactly where it was among her many papers and folders). It was taken when Atthai was seven years old, in Hyderabad Sind. She added that Ramanna had given her the copy years ago.
She went on to tell me the back story to the snapshot. When it was about to be taken, her mother Balachitti (Appanna’s sister) decided to line her eyes with ‘maii’ (a traditional home made kohl made with castor oil soot). The little Vimala had never worn ‘maii’ before. Her eyes started to sting and tears rolled down her cheeks. Appanna chided his sister and told her to leave the child alone and went on to take the picture. “That is why I look so serious and tearful in the photo!” explained Vimala Atthai, laughing at the memory and her immense love and regard for Appanna.
My father Annaji used to say of my aunt Leela Chitti that she was such a good person that she was worthy of worship in a puja room.
I think the same can be said of Vimala Atthai. Such a zest for life, such unconditional love for people, such courage in the face of serious ill health, such genuine and all-embracing kindness towards everybody is indeed rare.
She has said to convey her love and blessings to all the readers of the ToD, especially the senior Dores. So here you go! Suguna Swamy
THE RETURN OF VIMALATHANGA
(LIVING LEGEND To TOD, OLDEST DORE ALIVE)
By Suguna Swamy
After my last visit to meet her and the last ToD feature, I dropped in on her again with my iPad to show her the article and photos online. She loved it!
She gave me many new interesting tidbits.
Notes on some of the photos
CHENNAI/ 20TH APRIL’18
2oth April 2018
Dear Karthik and Lakshmi,
What kind words, expressions and thoughts have been expressed by you , Karthik. Thank you and thank you both for always treating her with such respect that she always felt very good about her family and their treatment of her.
She is being sorely missed every minute of the day
20th April 2018
Very rich tributes my dear Anna.
She was very popular within family circles
THE TIMES OF INDIA. CHENNAI WEDNESDAY. APRIL 23.2014
Vimala Krishnamurti rarely steps out of her house on Eldams Road in Chennai, but the 88-year-old has been doing her physiotherapy exercises twice a day so that she can make it to the polling booth on Thursday. “I want to be fit enough to go there using my walking stick,” says Vimala, who has not missed casting her vote in any election since 1951. “I remember how excited I was about casting my vote for the very first time,” says Vimala. who first voted in Mumbai for Congress.
Vimala admits she is today confused (about which party to vote for). “I want a good administrator who will work for the people and the welfare of senior citizens and respect women”, says Vimala.
Taken on Mother's Day May 6, 2016. On her left is Geeta Rao Nyapathi. She is Ashwin's wife Sharda Modur's grandmother. She and late Vimala mami are great-grandmothers to Padmini's grandson.
Shalini Doré – Apr 17
And this morning we woke up to the news that Kanchana and Shashi’s mother, Jaya mami, passed away overnight due to pneumonia. It caused a second heart attack.
Ganesh Doré – Apr 17
Subject: Mrs Jaya Sitaram passed away a short while ago
My Dear PremChithhappa
Mrs Jaya Sitaram passed away a short while ago.
A pioneer bridging the path to modern life from rural Vellore. And a truly nice person.
She was 92.
Shashidhar is here.
Malavika is here from Los Gatos.. Jaideep from Torrance. ( Uma and Shyam also. They have left for Torrance.)
Kartik Doré – Apr 17
Chennai/ 17th April ’18
Dear Shashidhar & Kanch,
We’re sad & shocked to learn that
Jaya Mami is no more.Words seem
to fail us, for a lady who thought &
acted ahead of her times.She was
always composed & dignified, even
during difficult times & her own
ailments.We’ve had wonderful times
and conversations with her.We shall
certainly miss your ‘AMMAJI’.
We all pray for her soul.
Kartik Anna-Lakshmi Manni
(with Poornima & Sourav)
P.S. It’s a double tragedy that we’re losing
two worthy contemporaries on the
same day. We’re both going to Vimala
mami’s home at Teynampet shortly to
pay our respects.
Srinath Doré – 17 Apr
Dear Ganesh Anna and Kanchana
Shashi and Sukki
We are so sorry to hear the sad news . We pray that her soul rests in peace. We will always remember her as a lady full of energy and zest and am glad she didn’t suffer too much in her last days .
Srinath and Shyama on behalf of Prem Chitappa
Nandu Doré- Apr 17
This news took me by surprise for sure as Jaya mami’s most recent pics showed her up and about without any external aids.
Reminds me of my own troubled times when we lost my Appaji and Priya
manni’s father within days and I do share the pain.
Its a sad loss indeed and its their everlasting smiling, cheerful
faces is what I’ll remember them by.
Ganesh Doré – Apr 17
Two stalwarts from the 1920 Era
Suresh Doré – Apr 17
Dear Ganesh and Kanchana,
We are deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Jaya mami also known as Ammaji. We have met her a couple of times during Malavika’s and Brian’s engagement function at Madras Gymkhana in 2007 and Jaideep’s and Uma’s Meet and Greet function in Bengaluru in December 2009. We got opportunities to really know her well only during these instances since she had already migrated to the US.
She was a bright lady with a refreshing smile and always ready with a a family anecdote or two to build an instant bond of friendship. Priya also remembers her as an excellent singer doing several group bhajans as part of satsangs. It is amazing that both the matriarchs who passed away today, Vimala Krishamurthi and Jaya Sitaram were at ripe old age of 92 across the continents.
May their souls rest in peace.
Suresh and Priya
Kanchana and Jaya mami(partly hidden) watching Jaideep-Uma ceremony