Saturday, February 8, 2014

Smt. Dr. Damerla Indira Bai

I am trying to pen down few lines on the occasion of the centenary birth date of our Beloved Dodda, Late Dr. Damerla Indira Bai.   According to telugu calendar her birthday falls the day after “Ratha Saptami” and as per English calendar it is February 3rd.
For me, she is the most beautiful lady in our family.  She remained so beautiful even in her old age because I feel that her beauty is not only physical, but it combined with her inner beauty.   When we say “Indira bai”, the first thing comes to everybody’s mind is her simplicity and her love for one and all!  Of course, we 3 children of Damerla Veera Pratap, are privileged, since she never showed any difference between Rani (her own daughter) and us! 
One thing my mom (Damerla Lakshmi Bai) used to always say is “ Eventhough I have my own sister (V. Satyabai), sometimes, I feel more closer to Indirabai than her”.  That is the kind of relationship they both had!  We still remember fondly and dearly, the songs they both used to sing in our tape recorder, Dodda singing “Boochi vani piluvanampana”, song  and they both together singing “Jaya Jaya Priya Bharatha”, and other songs for our summer vacation dances and plays that we used to put together!
When it comes to my daddy, their relationship is unique! He is her brother and friend.  I remember, in his last day the way she yelled at him when he wanted to take off the feeding tube in his nose and even threatened him that she would go away if he doesn’t listen to her.  His final words to her “Vadina garu, you stay here, I will go away”. 
I can’t remember ever, that she was angry with anybody! Of course, she used to get frustrated and yelled at us especially as a doctor, since we used to make such a fuss about taking medicine and injections and tested her patience from day one! I firmly believe that I am alive today because of her love, care and concern.  She would never say “no” to anybody who sought help from her, whether it would be extended family members, friends, patients and even strangers! Hers is always a giving hand than taking hand!  She used to care about everybody to the extent that she used to worry about others more than themselves and herself and her health.
We remember her as a very simple woman.  I can still picture her, with white saree and blouse, with a chain, and two bangles on one hand and a pair of diamond earrings, holding stethoscope in one hand, and a white doctor’s coat hanging on the other arm. As a doctor, her reputation was unmatched in those days!  I feel that with the kind of practice she had in her profession, she could have earned millions and have a luxurious life, but she never wanted anything for herself.  She is a “Niradambara vyakti”.  Her life’s pride   is her daughter Rani and the one thing she got in her life unconditionally is the love of her beloved husband Late Sri. Damerla Sita Rama Rao.
 Till the last day, she remained gentle, delicate like a fully blossomed Malle Puvvu”.

 This photo is taken at Rani's wedding ceremony.
Sailaja Somayajula




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