Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
In today’s day and age, it is quite possible, provided you have the zeal and interest to actually delve deep enough. The Internet is a wonderful place to not just keep in touch with friends but also to dig further backwards into our family history and find out those missing links. I have found much using some of those online family tree sites. Trust me, when you connect missing links, the feeling is indescribable. It’s like finding the missing pieces of an ancient jigsaw puzzle.
For instance, it was by sheer accident that I found out the exact relationship I had with the erstwhile Maharaja of the Kingdom of Cochin, India.
We have grown up hearing stories of how one of our grand-aunts was married to one of the Maharajas of the Kingdom of Cochin in Kerala. It was only last week that my sister and I accidentally found out that the said Maharaja was none other than this person who has been immortalised in stone.
The royal title would read – HH Maharaja Rama Varma Dhaarmika Chakravarthi Chowwarayil Theeppetta Thampuran, Cochin (1932 – 1941)
This statue is of His Highness Maharaja Rama Varma III, popularly known as Dhaarmika Chakravarthi or also referred to in history books as Chowwarayil Theeppetta Thampuran (the Maharaja who died at Chowara). It stands at the center of Statue Junction at Tripunithura, the heart of the royal town, facing towards the temple of Poornathrayeesan and looking at the constantly changing face of the town that was once the capital of his kingdom. There was even a postal stamp in his honor.
Statue Junction is the most bustling area of the town. And just about everyone knows this solemn faced Maharaja. Imagine our surprise when we came to know that it was he who had married our great-great-grand aunt. Many stories have been heard of her exquisite beauty and about how the Maharaja who married her was completely besotted with her. We have in our possession an enormous ornate teak chest built from a single trunk of teak, that was used to keep her best garments. My sister and I sat in absolute shock that day. We couldn’t believe it. But it was from the royal chronicles and it couldn’t be wrong.
If it had not been for the Internet, we would never have known this. It’s a blessing that all this information has been stored online on various platforms. At least it is accessible to those who are interested. I’m so glad we could trace our ancestry to one the most iconic faces of my hometown himself!