Mala Adiga, next US First Lady staffer's Kundapur link

Mala Adiga, next US First Lady's staffer, has Kundapur link

Mala (standing 3rd from right) with twin brothers Sridhar, Shekar and relatives in Kundapur.

Eighty-seven-year-old Nirmala Updhyaya has been beaming ever since her niece Mala Adiga was appointed Policy Director for Jill Biden, who will be the US First Lady after Joe Biden takes over as President.

Nirmala, from Kundapur, told DH that for Mala, she is still “atthe” (father’s elder sister) and her husband “maava and never aunty or uncle. “Mala is an affectionate and lovely girl. She treasures relationships and has her roots firmly in India,” recollects Nirmala.

Nirmala added that Mala had called her on Saturday to share the good news of being made a senior staffer at White House when Biden takes office as President of USA in January 2021. “I had congratulated her on her new responsibility,” informed Nirmala, gushing.

Mala’s father Dr Ramesh Adiga (84), is the second among three siblings. He had left for the US when he was 25 to hone his skills as a vascular surgeon. Mala’s mother Jaya Adiga had studied medicine in Vellore. 

Nirmala recollected meeting Mala at a family get-together in Bengaluru in 2019. Nirmala had travelled with her daughter Sujatha Nakkatthaya and family to Bengaluru in November 2019. Mala had come to Bengaluru with husband Charles and daughter Asha to attend the event with her parents.

Sujatha says she still considers 47-year-old Mala her kid sister and adds that she loves Brahmin cuisine, especially ‘tomato sambar’ and ‘potato pallya’. She's also an animal lover.

Sujatha said Mala, who had come to Kundapur seven years ago, had fallen in love with the beaches. She had offered puja at the Kakkunje temple and her family visited their ancestral house in Babbarianakatte.

"Mala’s daughter Asha, who is now 15, enjoyed her trip to Kundapur and looks forward to her next visit,” Sujatha said.