Friday, December 4, 2009

old photos bring back memories

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Questions on oldest generation of our family -

1.Who were the parents of Undurthy.Lakshmi bai? When was she born?
2.Who brought up Undurthy.Lakshmi bai,after the untimely death of her parents when she was only few months old?


Answers to the questions
1Smt.Undurthy Lakshmi bai was the only daughter of her parents.Her father was Varahagiri Suryanrayana Murty,who was the younger brother of Varahagiri jogaiah Pantulu garu.Her mother was Tulisamma who happaned to be one of the daughters of Digumarty Venkataramaiah garu.Thus Lakshmi bai was from Varahagiri familyAfier her marriage with U.V.Reddy Pantulu garu,her sirname became Undurthy.Tthere were three Lakshmi bais in our family circle,the eldest was Adurthi Lakshmi bai(Peda Lakshmi bai)
The second was Undurthy Lakshmi bai(Chinna Lakshmi bai)and the third was Damerla Lakshmi bai(Butchi Lakshmi bai)
2.Undurthy Lakshmi bai lost her parents when she was less than one year old.Ammakanna asked Wuppala Sundaramma to bring up this child along with her other children.By then Sundaramma gari's other daughter was four years old.She was Digumarthy Suvarna bai.Since Lakshmi bai was from Varahagiri family,Jogaiah Pantulu garu,being Peddananna garu of Lakshmi bai,looked after her education,marriage etc.He wasalso very kind and very thoughtful to safely keep the Insurance money that was drawn after his brother,Suryanarayana Murty gari's death and handed it over to Lakshmi bai some time during 1933 and advised her and Reddy Pantulu garu to build up a house in Visakhapatnam.That was how the house in Official Colony,Maharanipeta,Vizag,came inti existance,as Suryodaya.
3.Smt Undurthy Lakshmi bai studied upto 9th class and was married at the age of 14 0r 15.She lived for 90 years .

U.S.N.Murty (second son of Undurty Lakshmi bai)


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Old photos bring back memories..........


The photo is taken at Renu's wedding when she was made "Pelli kooturu". What a Wedding and what memories! If you notice in the picture, jijji, sujata and I are wearing same print sarees which Satyabhai dodda bought us for the occassion including Rani. I can even remember what color each one of us got! After few years, unfortunately, during one Diwali time, we had small robbery in our home, and I lost my saree. I remeber, it is the same saree that traced the robberers but police couldnt catch them!


Friday, November 6, 2009

A few pages from the diary of Digumarthy Venkatramyya Pantulu garu of Berhampur

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Answers for questions on oldest generation of our family - 5

1. Smt. Digumarthi Janaki Bhai went to jail with her husband Sri Digumarthi Ramaswamy garu and had a baby girl in the jail.The girl is named as “Maya”.

2. Both Konda Vijaya Laksmi Bai and Damerla Bhramaramba translated the novel into telugu called “Seva ashram”.


correct answers sent by

U.S.N. Murthy


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Answers for questions on oldest generation of our family - 4

1. Sri Mallimadugula Kodanda Ramaswamy garu married Damerla Upanishad Devi with the support of her brother Prof.Damerla Venkata Rao garu.

2. Sri. Varahagiri Venkata Giri was awarded the highest civilian decoration“Bharata Ratna” in the year 1975.



Questions on oldest generation of our family - 5

1.One of our grandmothers went to jail for the cause of independence along with her husband and had a child in the jail.Who are those mother and child?

2.Who are the two daughters of Sri Late Venkata Ramayya garu translated Sri Premchand’s hindi novel called “Sevasadan” into telugu named as “Seva Ashram”.



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Answers for questions on oldest generation of our family - 3.

1. The two women who served as Municipal councilors were:

Smt.Konda Vijaya Lakshmi Bai and Smt.Adurty Lakshmi Bhai.

2. Smt. Konda Vijaya Lakshmi Bai raised her sister’s (smt. Vuppala Sundaramma) grand daughter as her own. So when the daughter married her sister’s (smt. Damerla Bharamaramba)son they became “viyyapurallu”.The daughter is Pusuluri Lakshmi Bhai and the one she married was Sri. Damerla Veera Pratap.



Questions on oldest generation of our family - 4

1. In olden days it was a rule that girls were to be married before they attained womanhood. Whose was the first marriage in our families which didn’t follow this rule and made a social statement.

2. Who in our family got the India’s highest civilian decoration? Who was it? What is it? And in which year?



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This news item came in The Hindu dated 4.10.2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Below is a short story that I had written for the Times of India Short Story contest 2 years ago on "India Poised" judged by eminent writer Anita Nair. This had won the 1st prize. Sharing it with you for Ushahkalam.

Swati Sapna (daughter of Vani)
Grand daughter of suri babu (U S Murthy)


The alarm crowed. A lusty king of the farmyard cock-a-doodle-do. He shut the mobile up. One hour and five minutes was all he had before his day began. He would steal five minutes from that. Look the other way, he told that frowning creature in his soul. I do it all the time. A little corruption. A little bribery. I negotiate with the world 24/7. So why not an extra 5 minutes of sleep. He told himself and buried his head under the pillow. And so began another day in the life of an Indian…

5 minutes later his mobile phone alarm rang. This time he awoke with a start, as if a spring screwed into his spine had jumped to life. His eyes wide open and alert. His mind switching on like a computer with a Pentium 5 processor. He was ready.

Mohammad Hasrat Sheikh lived in Mira Road, a suburb in Mumbai. His rented house was just a 3 minute walk from the local train station - The spine of Mumbai.

Hasrat preferred walking to the station every morning because no auto rickshaw took him there - it was not a lamba bhaada you see. But today, the first auto rickshaw driver he saw willingly took him to the station.

It’s a lucky day, he thought.

But it was that unlucky day when his 1st class pass for the local train expired. The board at the counter just read ‘QI’ and ‘Q2’ – supposedly stating separate queues for 1st class and 2nd class. Needless to say no one got that.

As soon as Hasrat reached the counter he announced to no one in particular, “First class”. To his surprise the men in the 2nd class queue smiled and made way for him. No hurled abuses. No comments about the unfair privileges of the 1st class passengers. Within minutes he was standing at platform no. 2 for his fast train.

9.24am – The same old ‘Churchgate Fast’ came to a halt. The crowd at the station, rushed inside as usual but Hasrat managed to get a seat. A window seat at that! As the train chugged out of the station, he took out the morning issue of the Times and read it in contented silence.

Metro rail to start soon in Mumbai.

Finally - no hike in Electricity bills.

Mumbai can become Shanghai.

The people around were the same - The gang of 8 people who always got the window seats and played cards, the college kid with a bag strung across his shoulders, the balding, over-weight man in a sweat stained shirt, fast asleep while standing. Everything was normal.

But the usual raucous medley of voices somehow seemed very pleasing to the ear today. The sooty polluted breeze was apologetically caressing the faces of everybody it could reach. The rhythmic sound of the train sounded like music to the ears. The soft sound of paper against the breeze added to the melody.

Hasrat got down at the Churchgate station and started walking with the crowd. The unnaturally clean footpath hurt his eye! Hasrat in a state of child-like wonder asked the cab driver to take him to his office (which no cabbies agreed to on a normal day). The cab driver smiled and said yes.

This time the alarm seemed louder. The spring in the spine did not seem to have worked. And the Pentium 5 processor seemed to have had a virus attack.

But Hasrat woke up with hope in his eyes. A hope that brought a smile to his winter-dry lips.

It was a dream.

With the smile still refusing to fade from his face, Hasrat left from his house.

He walked towards the auto with the same hope and asked the driver to take him to the station. The driver smiled and said yes.

Hasrat sat in the auto, smiling at the sweet memory of his dream. He remembered what his mom had once told him.

Dreams do come true. Those that you see early in the morning…

“Subah ke sapne sach hote hain”.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Answers for questions on the olderst generation of our family - 2

1. The first car was owned by Sri late Varahagiri Jogayya Pantulugaru. It was Ford Model T.

2. Digumarthi Venkata Ramayya garu’s daughter Smt. Vuppala Sundaramma gave birth to a girl by an aglo lady doctor named “Naina Aatman. So in gratitude the baby was named as “Naina Rajyalakshmi. (later became Pusuluri Rajyalakshmi)



Questions on oldest generation of our family - 3

1. In the days when widows were restricted to household duties, some of our grandmothers served as Municipal Councilors in Berhempur.
Who are they?

2. Two own sisters became “viyyapurallu” or “sambandhis” when their
Children got married? Sounds weird ---right? How it happened and who are they?


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Answer for photo Quiz 4
Wuppala Lakshmana Rao garu and his wife Melly Scholinger.
A few pages from the diary of Digumarthy Venkatramayya garu - 3

Friday, September 25, 2009

Answer for the baby photo posted on september 11, 2009.
Vijaya Murthy (jijji) of Vizag.
Answers for the Questions on the Oldest generation of our families.

1. He had a goal to earn Rs. 1 lakh as a sincere Lawyer. When he reached his goal, he retired.

2. Two of his daughters delivered baby boys almost at the same time with only few minutes apart. He named the elder one as
Kodanda Ramaswamy ( Mallimadugula) and the second one as
Lakshmana Rao (Vuppala). The third one in line who was born was named Bharata Rao ( Vuppala). There was a boy named Shatrughnudu but died at early age. He was a great devotee of Sri Rama and so he named them this way.


Questionnaire on Oldest generation of our families - 2
1. The first car was owned by one of our grand fathers? Who was he?
What model was that car?

2. One of our grandmother s was delivered by an Anglo lady doctor.
In gratitude the baby was named after her. Who was she and what was the name of the baby?


Friday, September 18, 2009

Questionnarie on oldest generation of our family -

1. What is the reason for Sri Late Digumarthi Venkata Ramayya Pantulugaru to take early retirement?
2. Late Digumarthi Venkata Ramayya garu named his grandsons from a
Mythology. What is it? Who were named from that mythology and why and what are those names.

Questions sent by sailaja from USA.
Please send the answers to

Friday, September 11, 2009

Can anyone guess who the baby in the photo is?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Answer for photo Quiz 3
Damerla Prabhod Chandra of Rajahmundry.


Photo Quiz 4

A few pages from the diary of Digumarthy Venkatramyya garu of Berhampur - part 2.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This article was published in The Hindu Dt - 15th August, 2009.
Revisiting the old fervour
Despite being termed as a sleepy fishing hamlet, the people of Visakhapatnam have made significant contributions to the freedom movement in various forms.
Photo: Mahatma Gandhi in company of K.S. Gupta and Digumarthi Venkata Ramaswamy(circled)during his visit to Visakhapatnam in 1929 (file photo from the Gupta family),
Today, the country will be celebrating its 62nd Independence Day. To free itself from the 200-year-old British rule, it had seen many political movements, rebellions and sacrifice of individuals. Apart from the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny which is considered to be the first war of independence, there were many such rebellions and movements, prior and after, that contributed to the freedom struggle. A few to note were the civil rebellions and tribal uprisings before 1857, the Sanyasi Rebellion (1763-1800) that was immortalise by Bankim Chandra in his book ‘Ananda Math’, the Vizianagaram’ Raja’s revolt in 1794, Velu Thampi’s uprising, the Santhal rebellion led by Sido and Kanhu in 1854, the Peasant movement of Bengal (1859-60), the formation of Indian National Congress in 1885, the Swadeshi Movement (1903-1908), the Home Rule campaign and the Quit India movement.
In the backdrop of all the happenings, Vizagapatam or Visakhapatnam, which was termed by the English rulers as a peaceful fishing hamlet, had its own credible share in the freedom struggle.
Early movement
The earliest freedom movement in Vizagapatam could date back to October 13, 1780, when a group of Indian sepoys rebelled against the English Raj. The sepoys not only shot dead Lieutenant Crisps, Cadets Kingsford Venner and Robert Rutherford and the paymaster and injured Captain Maxtone and Captain Lane, but were determined to liberate the district and join the forces of Hyder Ali. Thanks to betrayal, the leader of the rebellion Shaik Mohammed, a subedar among the sepoys, was caught and hanged and the rebellion was quashed.
he district saw another bloody rebellion led by the iconic figure of Alluri Seetharamaraju between 1922 and 1924. Treading the revolutionary route of armed struggle, he carried out his campaign in the border areas of East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts. He organised lightning raids at the police stations of Chintapalli, Rampa Chodavaram and Annavaram with the aid of his few tribal followers. He was trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalli and was tied to a tree and shot dead without a trial.
Political awakening
The political awakening in the district was initiated with the Vande Mataram movement in 1906. Bhupathiraju Venkatpathi Raju was instrumental in starting the movement. It gained momentum after Bipin Chandra Pal and N.S. Ramaswami addressed a public meeting at the Town Hall. To give fillip to the movement, Marepalli Ramachandra Sastry popularly known as Kavi garu started a Swadeshi shop.
After the Nagpur Congress session in 1920, a town Congress committee was formed with Kavi garu as its president and Butchi Sundara Rao and Kothanda Ramaswamy as joint secretaries.
In tune with Gandhi’s clarion call, the committee organised large scale khaddar sale and door-to-door campaign. Regular ‘prabhat bheri’ was an integral part of the political awakening. Digumarthi Venkata Ramaswamy and his wife Janakibai, V.J. Gupta, Kavi garu, Tenneti Viswanadham and others were regulars at the bheri. Patriotic songs written by Vaddadi Seetharamanjenaya Kavi and Garimella Satyanarayana like ‘Maaku oddu ee tella dorathanam’ and ‘dandalu dandalu bharat matha’ were sung by the activists. Farid-ur-Zama who was popularly known as Babulal, played the role of lead singer in the group.
Acts of defiance
The first act of real defiance came in the form of Salt Satyagraha. Following Mahatma Gandhi’s orders, a group of volunteers led by Kavi garu, Digumarthi Venkata Ramaswamy, Tenneti Viswanadham, Kolluru Suryam Gupta, Bhamidipati Chinayagnanarayana Sarma and Digumarthi Janakibai marched from Vizianagaram to the beach opposite the Town Hall (now where the Visakha Container Terminal stands) to manufacture and auction salt. All the leaders except for Janakibai were arrested. She took over the leadership and during the auctioning of salt, the then Tashildar Kothuru Paparao had to physically prick her hand to make her drop the salt that she had been holding as act of defiance. Janakibai joined her husband for four months of rigorous imprisonment. It was in the Bellary Jail that she was delivered of her first child.
It was during that time, another leader Kapuganti Chidambaram was taken into custody. To instil fear among the people, he was made to walk from the Hindu Reading Room to the One Town Police Station and was beaten and kicked all along the route by the police.
Despite the severe beatings, he went on to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Gandhiji ki jai’ till he fell unconscious near the police station.
Kandala Sarweswara Sastry, Dr. M.V. Krishna Rao and Mallimadugula Jagannadha Rao broke the salt law at Balacheruvu.
Student movement
During the Gandhian era, the Gandhi cap became the symbol of non-violent freedom struggle. The students of medical and engineering college took it as a challenge and joined the movement by wearing the Gandhi cap and khaddar to the classroom. Thirty students were suspended and a few quoted arrested but that did not prove to be a deterrent. The students joined Lanka Sundaram and K.V. Gopalaswamy in the mock parliaments conducted by them.
Gandhiji in Visakhapatnam
Gandhiji addressed a large gathering on the Khaddar Movement on April 28, 1929, at the beach opposite the Town Hall. Women satyagrahis out beat the men in attendance. It was during this meeting that the Father of the Nation was moved when the eldest daughter of K.S. Gupta, K. Sarojini, who was barely 10 years old donated her golden bangle for the cause.
Gandhiji also addressed a large gathering at the Waltair Railway Station in 1921, on his return journey to Calcutta from Vijayawada after the Congress session. He was accompanied by Maulana Mohammed Ali the pioneer of Khilafat Movement. The police arrested Mohammed Ali at the station. A few people tried to prevent the arrest and Gandhiji had to pacify the crowd.
(Inputs from Dr. S. Girija, Professor Department of History, AU, and veteran freedom fighters Digumarthi Saraswathi Devi and K.S. Sastry)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A few pages from the diary of Digumarthy Venkatramayya Pantulu garu of Berhampur.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Photo Quiz - 3
Identify the person in the photo.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Response to article by U S N Murthy (Suri babu) on 12th July, 2009.

I have thought about what Suribabu Annayya wrote. As he said one should believe in himself at all times. This mainly depends on our upbringing and the values that our parents instilled in us when we were children. Some times we regret what we did in the past and doubt ourselves whether the action we took was right or wrong. The one point that we must always remember is, we took that decision or acted in that manner, depending on the circumstance at that particular time. Things would have changed now and in the present we might act differently, but we should trust our judgment given at that particular moment.

People who are more emotional than intellectual may feel that they don’t have the capacity to believe in themselves need an extra support to lean on. That support comes from our family, relatives, friends and our Guru in the form of guidance and advice. The saying that “two minds are better than one” applies here. That is how, the social structure, the community, satsangs, puranas, kathalu, music and art etc started and in the present times you can include the Movies and TV too. You get the information from another source and you evaluate it and come to your own conclusion.

Also our faith, religion and culture give us the anchor. We need this support at all times or for some they need it when difficult situation arises. In those times, we put our trust in God. How you define “God” is so easy yet it is so difficult too! You can call “God” as Supreme Power. Those who do not like the word “GOD” or who wants to approach it in scientific way call it “Energy”. A religious person calls that “Power” with a name depending on his religion or the idol which signifies certain symbolism with which he can relate to. We should note here that “blind faith” and “religious fanatism” would lead a person in a wrong direction. Those kinds of people are the ones who do not believe in themselves at all!

I feel a person needs to keep his identity but at the same time, should not be like a “frog in the well” but explore the society, examine different kinds of people and surroundings and learn from every opportunity that is given. He or she should once in while, check himself and contemplate his actions and see what he needs to do and how he can improve the situation and try not to do the same mistakes again and again. In due time, he will improve himself and starts believe in himself. Collectively the society and the nation will improve.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Humanity & Universe

History tells us how the Human race has grown right from the Medieval age till date. But we do not know how the Human race came into existence and where and when was the beginning. By reason human life is sweetened and made beautiful, by reason our deepest desires are fulfilled. Our astronomers have made intensive research and explained to us the structure, size, weather, contents etc etc.Man (includes woman)discovered many many substances and converted them to useful materials to improve our living comfort. For example great scientists have discovered the sources of various minerals like iron, manganese, bauxite, Zinc, Silica etc etc.These are all made pure and made useful to produce various useful articles for our living.

Not only this. By reason we have come to understand many obscure and mysterious matters, which would otherwise be hidden from us. By reason we have learnt the shape of the Earth in which we are living. We have calculated the dimensions of the Sun,the Moon,planets and mapped their courses. Thus we discovered and invented several several immense things for the well being and happiness of human race.But then the question comes, as to the source of everything we discovered! Do we know it? In other words we do not know which Power/Energy or whatever you call it , created the very big Universe. Do we know the size, when it began and who began it? They are the creation of an unknown Power.

Traditionally we say it is God Almighty. We take the age of the Universe as several Ugas but when was its beggining and what is its period of existence. We do not know. Thus we discovered many, invented many, but who was the creator? Neither Scientists, nor great philosophers, Swamis who were wedded to Tapas by meditation, have been able to give us a concrete answer to our question. Even a great Scientist, Einstein said that human race had struggled hard to discover and invent many things for the Human race. But when I stand at the edge of an Ocean and look up I am estonished to see how thislvast, limitless Universe came into existence and how can there be any thing infinite, he said that unknown mystery/matter/power is GOD.

We have very valuable attainements. But they are all again the mercy of God who is invisible. Therefore I believe that if we first know ourselves, we will be able to know who is the Creator. We have to first know our own source because the creator who created us must be within ourselves. Let us therefore meditate with absolute faith and undisturbed mind to know every thing that we do not know. It is a very very difficult task. Life itself is a big task. So let us live and pray till the end, being Karmayogis in the meanwhile.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

One should believe in Himself.

I am now 79 years old.But I do not like to call myself old.I wish to keep myself active with all others,visiting them,talking to them and try to learn some thing valuable even with youngsters.There is much to learn in this World through out our life.One should always feel that life is beautiful and wonderful.Majority at the age of 60 feel old and adopt a negative attitude towrds life.I do not agree with them.One should feel in mind that they are here to lead a contented and cheerful life.The attitude only keeps one healthy and pleasant. Every one in life faces number of hardships.Whether one is rich or poor,he has to face these hardships in life.If one keeps oneself engaged, he can have good and pleasurable time everyt where.I have always believed in the credo of sincere and hard work.This gave me immense satisfaction in spite of unforeseen circumstances,in sevice as well as in society.I believe in the Voice of my conscience. Let me age gracefully and face the final withdrawal one day or the other.

U.S.N.Murty (Suribabu).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This photo is sent by U S Murthy (Vizag). He wants us to guess the persons in the photo.

The persons in the photo are - Late.M. Bangarayya and Jyoti.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Here is a poem by Jijji (Vijaya Murthy). It was published in the magazine 'Rachana', January 1997.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

PHOTO QUIZ - 2 Here is another photo. Hope someone can identify the person in the photo.

From the responses I got from our family members I came to the conclusion that the person in the photo is Dr.Digumarthy Gopalaswamy.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Life is at times getting inspired by others and also to inspire others.
Well there is no dearth of some interesting people in my life but the only thing that matters is what I have to learn from them. Well this is the story so far of the two guys who are my friends and were my classmates in my PG days at Pune University.
Both of them hail from rural areas with financially poor background but with very strong determination.
Hard work and perseverance are their strengths and their never say die attitude has made them what they are today of which everybody is proud of them .Today they have made their parents the most proud lot.
One of the guys who used to clean buses for his pocket money in his childhood days
is today doing his PhD in India’s most premier research institute. The other guy too has been very successful so far pursuing his research in India.
Both of them did their schooling in Telugu medium so English was kind of rocket science for them, but the determination with which they picked up the language in the university was mind blowing. They used to torment the lecturers with their tricky questions and always did their best to outsmart their competitors. Others were really envious of their success and always tried to suppress them in all possible ways but these guys never gave up. They faced all kinds of hardships and challenges because they had only their ultimate goal in their mind.
That’s what is called being focused. Life is just not bed of roses .Our true character is tested only in adversity.
One of them, though earning only 15k per month is contributing 2k to the Pune University scholarship fund. Don’t you think that’s awesome?
I would like to ask one question. How many of us who are well settled and earning may be three times what this guy is earning are really doing such kind of a thing?.........So can we do something positive taking inspiration from such people. We may say that it’s because this guy went through all the life’s hardships he knows what struggle is and this is his way of helping students like him. But then should we not thank god that some of us are really better off and extend a helping hand to those who are in need as a gesture of social responsibility.
The help need not be just monetary. It could be like spending some time with the less fortunate who need some attention and affection instead of just hanging out in the shopping malls and boozing out. Apart from this a lot of other activities based on community service can be done like taking up the responsibility of the security, hygiene, education, economic and social upliftment of the people who live in our community including the underprivileged.

I don’t say that we need to stop enjoying the way we do, that too after a hectic week. But we need to squeeze out some time for socially constructive work as responsible citizens at one point of time when we think that we are settled. Just imagine the kind of happiness one can bring into the lives of others. I bet the kind of satisfaction one gets in giving is no match to that in receiving.
But life is really weird. People who really have such philanthropic tendencies are devoid of resources and people who have surplus just go on amassing more, never satisfied with their incomes. The point is what one has contributed to the society being a part of it.
Success is the measure of contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.
It is not too late to realise the importance of being Homosapiens.
D/o Digumarthy Sunder
Endless Dreams with Ending Consequences.

Human desires are unlimited and it is because of this sometimes we end up taking wrong decisions in certain vulnerable situations.
Who is to be blamed? Nobody but we ourselves are to be blamed. But then there are people who just do not care of what others may say or think but just do what they feel is the right thing to do at the right time. Initially they may have to face lot of opposition and even sometimes people make fun of them, but in the long run they emerge as winners in the race of life. Let me tell you, of all the experiences that I have had in my life so far, I have realised that fear is our worst enemy no matter to what extent the fear may be relevant to the situation.
We reap what we sow. This is very much the philosophy of life. But then it depends upon the environment in which we reap .And I believe it’s just a matter of luck for the environment to be conducive. And whatever little luck one is blessed with, one should make the maximum use of it. The only difficult thing is to recognise the timing of the luck. It does not knock at our door. One needs to be really cautious and pretty smart for this battle of life.
If opportunity knocks at our doors we are really lucky. If we fail to recognise even if it is gifted twice to us then we are super fools.
In today’s fast moving life there is no room for people who are innocent, docile, submissive and sentimental.
Even if we are an emotional lot we should know when to hold back our emotions because people take advantage of certain emotions to the extent which we may never imagine.
Now this is really a crazy world. Gone are the days when people tend to think really good about others. Everybody has become selfish in the rat race to achieve more and more of everything.
I just wonder where the simplest pleasures of life have gone like viewing the morning sunrise, birds chirping, evening sunset, smiling and giggling children, lovely flowers breezing out in the cool air etc. Even the urge to experience such pleasures is gone without any trace. Rather people would argue, what one gets out of this aesthetic outlook.
The answer lies when we think about it and not argue senselessly and endlessly.
Have we become so restless in our lives, I guess so. That’s the requirement of today’s fast paced life. But we should know when and where to stall and contemplate.
The pace with which we are heading towards materialisation and mechanisation of life, I am sure certain beautiful simplicities will be permanently lost. There is no point in regretting later for all that we have done to ourselves.
Still I guess one can be resilient if we start believing in one thing.
That there are no regrets in life, it is just a choice one makes. There are no setbacks in life, only lessons to be learnt.
D/o Digumarthy Sunder

I am very much delighted to see that one of our young adult has started posting in the “Ushakalam” blog. From the beginning, this is what we wanted to see; the young adults in our family to participate and express and share their views and in the process get to know the cousins around the world.

I want to congratulate Sameera for her insight on life and her perception and observation of people. She must be a very understanding, caring and mature adult. At this time I extend my congratulations to her parents and other individuals who influenced her in her upbringing. She is very articulate in conveying her message.

I can’t help but notice how different and mature this generation is! They have a very healthy attitude towards life. The main points she is conveying to us are:
1. Have strong and healthy goals and don’t dream of future.
2. Be brave and remember fear is your worst enemy.
3. Do take time in your busy schedule, to contemplate and rethink of the day’s events
4. Give, contribute to the society in any way you can and think of the less fortunate.

At this time, I would like to make a suggestion. Either the author of the article, or Devi, who is kindly posting the articles in the blog, should write a brief introduction about the author, like who he/she is, what he/she studied, what she/he is currently doing and if they are interested, can give their email address etc.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Dear all:
I’ve been keenly following Ushahkalam blog ever since its conception. I am rather disappointed that not many have been contributing. However, that is not the point now. I was rather reading with interest, stories / articles / experiences recently written by Sailaja and Rani. I too would like to share my experiences with a baby owl, with all of you. This may be sort of a repetition, but this may inspire at least some of you, to observe nature, and contribute your little bit for its conservation. Man being the only intelligent animal, he must also contribute to help the lesser beings, put up efforts to save the species, thus save our globe it self.
Now my story:
We live opposite Timpany school and facing our balcony is a sheer wall with couple of windows and niches. We observed that every year a white owl couple was coming and living there throughout. I used to take a binoculars and observe them in the early hours. Once noticed that they have nested and we saw couple hatchlings. They would come to the edge of the niche in the early hours and observe the world with their huge saucer like eyes. Then unfortunately one hatchling and one big bird fell through the electric wires and died. Within couple of days the other hatchling came to the edge of the alcove and fell on to the sunshade. He still didn’t have the feathers to fly and mother was helpless. Meanwhile hoards of crows, natural enemies to the owls came and started bothering, pecking at the poor little bird. We watched helplessly for a while and I was determined to save it by hook or crook. I met the school authorities but they said they couldn’t do any thing. I phoned the zoo, animal rescue center, SPCA – all without any effect. Finally some one told me that there is an organization called Visakhapatnam Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VSPCA) and also kindly gave me the number. I called them and there they were within an hour. Meanwhile the poor baby owl was pecked, injured by crows and was crouching behind some pipes. VSPCA people climbed on to the ledge, with the help of their equipment, put a box over the hatchling, gathered it into the box. I asked them what they would do and they said that they would treat its wounds, feed it and when it was stronger, would leave it in the wilderness. I do hope the little owl has grown stronger merged with Mother Nature and is bringing up its own offspring.
These stories should be inspiration to our youngsters so that they too would do their might to help and save animals and birds.

Vijaya Murthy (Jijji)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I want to carry Sailaja's story further. It is a story of societal caring. We once had 3 sparrow fledglings with us who were orphaned. Ofcourse, our son Kanti and his father had to rescue them and as usual hand them over to me to feed and keep alive! So we had cordoned off a portion of the room and kept them in a little basket and I had to feed them every hour or so. They came to recognise my footsteps and would set up such a loud chirping as soon as I would come back from my clinic! Talk of "eating like a bird"! They want to be fed every few minutes! I don't know how but they managed to survive and grow well in time. There was a window next to the basket and the outside sparrows used to come and peep at them and fly away. They grew well and had wings. My husband, a pilot, used to give them flying practice in the room! Once they were flying around in the room, they strangely stopped eating from my hand and the outside sparrows started making such a clamour at the window calling out to these babies. We decided to see if we could let them go.

One morning we took them out into the garden and with a prayer on our lips set them free! When we were out with the babies all the neighbourhood sparrows gathered on the trees around. The babies took to the air and the crowd of adult sparrows escorted them from one branch to the other, went to the topmost branch and they all flew together over our heads as if to say goodbye and thank you and disappeared into the blue sky. What a joyful and at the same time a tender feeling in our minds!

So, friends, this is another example of how much we can learn from the birds and animals around us. There is a lot of wisdom in these so-called dumb creatures which we would do well to emulate. As I said earlier this story is about society caring for the young, even if the young are not their own.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Duck Story

Finally after a long wait of winter, officially spring came, and we were over joyed. Even though it was still cold at least there will not be foot deep snow anymore on the ground and we can open the doors once in a while for fresh air and try to venture out for few minutes. We could even notice the birds that migrated for the winter started returning to our neighborhood. Our subdivision has few man made ponds and they even have small fountains in them. As there is are no covenants that say that the house owner’s should have fenced yards, some houses have fences and some don’t.

About 6 weeks back, we noticed two ducks one male and one female, on our back yard patio. We were wondering why they ventured into a fenced yard. The days passed by and we didn’t pay much importance to that. After couple of weeks, one day Babu went to the back yard and immediately called me to come outside. He said that he noticed some eggs under the small flowering bush we had next to the outside kitchen wall. With curiosity, I also went and saw under there and noticed the eggs. We figured that there may be 5-6 eggs. We didn’t know what to do but realized that the ducks came to check for a good place to lay the eggs.

Just to know what to expect, I browsed on the internet and found out that the eggs would hatch in about 28 to 35 days. From then on, we kept guard and continue to check if the female duck is brooding or not. We wondered when she would go for food, since whenever we checked she was there. Meanwhile, Babu thought it would be a good idea to cover the basement window well next to the bush, if once the ducklings hatch, they may fell down into the hole, so he fetched some sticks and wood pieces to cover the window well enough to let the light come into the basement.

About a month passed. The bush also grew bigger and thicker and we could hardly see underneath it. One Saturday, we noticed that one of the eggs cracked open. We couldn’t find any duckling near by. We wondered what happened but assumed it is almost time for them to hatch completely. The next day, morning when we went into the back yard, we saw the mother duck with 10 ducklings! Being a Sunday, we were home, and we were expecting some guests that morning, so we kept watching them. The mother was walking just next to the fence on two sides and these ducklings, like obedient students followed her in straight line. The mother made sure that they follow her very close. What a sight it was! The walking continued non stop from one direction to the other direction and then turn around and start all over again. It was almost noon and they kept going without taking a break. Imagine the tiny duckling’s energy! In that time, we had our daily morning routines, entertained the guests and went out for lunch too!

As soon as we came back we again checked on them. They are still following their routine. But we noticed that the ducklings were standing little more erect and now the procession looked more like a captain followed by his soldiers in a marching parade!.............It was 3pm, the day was hot and we thought it would be a good idea and filled a paper plate with water and placed it in the middle of their procession route and started observing from a distance. First the mother avoided coming to that side for few minutes. Then she came and looked and drank some water from there but didn’t let the ducklings nearby until she made sure. The mother’s protection of the children! Then we sprinkled some fine bread crumbs on the lawn near the plate of water and see if they would eat. Same thing repeated! The mother duck tasted it and made sure it is ok before she let the ducklings have it. Then they took about ½ hr rest and continued on their walk. By 4pm, the pattern has changed. Mother started to walk few steps ahead and let the children make their decision to follow. After sometime, she even let them walk in groups instead of straight line, and it even ventured more on to the lawn and even onto the patio. This continued till almost 8pm and when it was dark, they finally retired for the day. That means they exercised almost for 12 to 13 hrs!

On Monday, by the time we came downstairs and looked, they already started their routine. We observed some time, and Babu adjourned to his office room, and I went to run some errands. Meanwhile, Babu took out a small piece of wood near the fence, to make a bigger hole in the fence. I came home around noon, and when I went to check, I noticed that they all flew the nest except one! I saw it calling for its mother. I went to tell this to Babu and by the time we came out, it is also gone!

What a marvel! If we can only take a break from our busy schedules and pay attention and observe the nature once in a while, we really can learn so much from it. We humans, sometimes, instead of acting on instincts, try to think too much and do research and take advice of others and follow other’s opinions before acting and even then we do it wrong. “Pappulo kaalu vesthamu”. How the mother takes care of the children and teaches them till they fully learn! The determination it has to teach the young ones and take care of them!

I waited to see if they would return. In the evening, I scouted around in the car in the neighborhood and around the nearby ponds but in vain. They are no where to be seen. I hoped that they might return for the night, but my hope was fruitless. Now we will wait and see if they would return next year and pray that they all will survive the harsh cruelty of the nature.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Can anybody guess who the kids in the photo are?
According to the feed back I got from some of our relatives, the kids in the photo are as follows.
From left to right - Mulavisala Janaki,Digumarthy Viswanath of Srikakulam,Mallimadugula Ramana Rao, Digumarthy Siva Rao,Velevala Vara Prasad,Mulavisala Durga Prasad, Digumarthy Narasimha Rao (chimbabu or Simham),Mallimadugula Bangarayya and the kid sitting in the chair is Mallimadugula Raghu Maya Devi.
If anyone feels that the names are not correct please let me know.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Barampuram puli veshalu are quite popular during Ammuvari yatra, which is celebrated on alternate years at Behampur, usually between mid April and May. During this period the Ammuvari Ghattam (with the flower which falls on the Ghattam at midnight) is brought to her Puttilu ( Parent’s house) at Deshbehara street from her temple and worshiped there in a temporarily constructed temple by bamboos. In the evenings The Ammuvari ghatam is taken to different streets of the Town in a procession by ladies. It is believed that it is very auspicious to have a darshan of Ammuvaru during this yatra period.

Some people take vow to come for Ammuvari Darshan in different guises like –Babaji, Parsuram Avtar’ Hanuman, Ram,laxman and Sita,with fancy dresses like- ,Black Bear, Evil spirits- Dhakini, Shakini, Pillaki Dahani and of course the popular puli vesham.

In puli vesham the person performs the dance imitating a tiger hunting a goat. An expert artist paints the person with yellow varnish with black spots and with pictures of ferocious faces of tigers allover body and his head is decorated like the head of a tiger .There are some expert Gurus who teach them this form of dance. The person in puli vesham dances rhythmically to the accompanied Dappu ( Drum beats) It used to be a thrilling experience for all of us to watch this puli vesham dance in our childhood and we used to be very happy when puli used to shake hands with us !! For your information myself and my brothers Viswanath,late Kishore and Sunder used to perform puli dance at our home.for shake of fun ! Kishore was an expert puli dancer among our brothers.
Jog Babu

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here is a poem by Late Wuppala Lakshmana Rao garu of Berhampur.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hobby/ Timepass ideas:
In the present days, some of us whose children have left home, find time hanging on our hands with nothing to do. I have faced this situation occassionally.
Here is a website which is useful at these times. It is This site is dedicated to donating rice to people in the under-developed countries. We need to answer some multiple-choice questions from a subject of our choice and our score translates into food grains which are donated. Its a really interesting game which helps us to improve our knowledge, pass the time and donate rice to the poor people of the world, all at one go. Do check it out.
ps. if you have any such ideas/websites please send them to me so that I can post them.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The above is a photo of Digumarthi Venkatramayya Pantulu garu of Berhampur and his eight daughters and wife Smt.Vemulakonda Rajayalakhmamma ( Amma Kanna) and son.
standing- Lalitamba, Amma Kanna(Rajya Lakshmi)
Chairs - ViswanathaRao,Tulasamma,Sundaramma,DigumarthyVenkatrmayya,Lakshmi Narasamma,Subbamma.
Sitting on the floor - Sivakanta,Bhramaramba,Vijayalakshmi.

After reading about Sailaja's article 'Sri Rama' many of you - especially the younger generation may be wondering who Sri. Digumarthi Vemkatrmayya Pantulu garu is and what his significance is in our family. So, I want to present my impression about him as told to me by my maternal grand mother, Smt. Undurthy Mahalakshmi Bai, wife of Undurthy Reddy Pantulu garu of Visakhapatnam.

Most of our relatives whom we know are in one way or the other related through the eight daughters of Digumarthi Venkatramayya Pantulu garu of Berhampur, his son and his brothers. Venkata Ramayya pantulu garu was a very successful lawyer and managed his large family very well. As most of them were daughters, always one or two of them were at his place for deliveries or would come visiting with their children during school holidays or for some function etc., and hence all the cousins would play together as the house was huge and Berhampur was a very small place in those days. Also, some of them used to stay at their tatagaru’s house as they pursued their studies in Berhampur and one or two of the daughters were widows and so they stayed with their father.

Rajyalakshmamma (Vemulakonda) was also known as Ammakanna. My grandmother Lakshmi Bai used to tell me many things about her. It seems she was a very patient lady. She would get up early in the morning and first she would go and see the new born grandchild in the 'puriti gadi' ( a separate room where the new born child and its mother used to be put till the tenth day after delivery) and play with them for a while and then she would have her bath and put on her ‘madi battalu’ ( the clothes in which she would do the cooking) and enter the kitchen and supervise the cooking. It seems there would be a common menu for everybody and special dishes for the persons who eat only certain kind of items. She would remember everyone’s preferences and see that all the dishes were prepared.
Considering the number of people in the house it must have been quite a task!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I thought that this is a good opportunity to write something on Sri Rama, since Lord Sri Rama is revered as our “family God” and coincides with “Sri Rama Navami”.

Our Great Grand father Sri Late Digumarthi Venkata Ramayya Pantulu garu was a great devotee of Lord Rama. Recently the collection of God’s prayers (is pertinent to any God of your choice or the Supreme Power) composed by him was published and available to all of us due to the efforts of some of his grand children. I encourage every one to read it.

The Avatara of Sri Rama shows the struggles of a person in daily life and how we have to overcome it to achieve peace, happiness and tranquility. As some of our younger generation interpret Ramayana and question it whether we can have “Rama Rajyam” in this “Kali Yuga”, or whether we can be so idealistic in character or question how he can send his wife away on some person’s remarks, or how can we accept a person like Rama who killed from behind a tree to be our Hero! Etc.

“The great sage Valmiki, has, in his creation of this divine hero, symbolized in Him the ideal of uncompromising goodness. Nowhere else does one find such idealistic perfections in all walks of life, combined in a single individual. Thus Rama was at once a perfect son, ideal king, a true husband, a real friend, a devoted brother, a noble enemy and so on” ………………He(Valmiki) highlights one aspect of the personality at the expense of the others, so that Rama’s conduct and behavior in certain instances, appear to be inconsistent with His divine character. Such seeming inconsistencies have created misapprehensions among the students of Ramayana because their deeper inner significance has been lost sight of”. -----------------Swami Chinmayananda.

We have to consider all these traits not to the outer world, but find answers within ourselves by taking examples from Ramayana and how we can improve ourselves and our relationship with the world outside. Find the Ravana in you and destroy the “rakshasa” tendencies (the negative and impure thoughts in you) with the help of Rama
(The good thoughts) in you. Consider and apply the logic, how you can become an example to your siblings, show your respect to your parents, how to be a good friend and a good human being in this modern world at a given circumstance and how you can rule your inner personality and find happiness.

I guess, this is what appealed to our Great Grand father. He must have taken Ramayana in its true sense and applied the symbolism of Rama to his own life. That is why we still remember him with respect and his wife our great grand mother who is “Amma kanna” to all of us!
“Happiness keeps you Sweet, Trials keep you Strong, Sorrow keeps you Human, Failure keeps you humble and Success keeps you glowing, but only Faith & Attitude keeps you going…”
This is what Ramayana is all about and that is what we have to keep in mind and apply to our daily life.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jijji, Sailaja and Tikki babu celebrated the centeneray of veera pratap (popularly known as veeradhi) on 3rd January 2009 at Hotel Royal Fort, Vizag. A poem by veeradhi mama and sailaja are posted for your reading.


Monday, March 30, 2009

If anyone wishes to share news /ideas/photos etc. with the family please send them to my mail id -


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yesterday i.e., 12th march 2009 there was a get together at Talasila,vizag, in the evening at 6.30. It was given by Hanumanth Rao in honour of Hemu and wife who were married on 8th February in USA. A picture of them is posted.

Monday, March 9, 2009

hi! long time back there was a family magazine called USHAKALAM. many of our elders used to contribute to it. it used to be a hand written magazine. it faded away in the recent times as now a days it is very difficult to send hand written articles. the latest is the website so I thought why not start the magazine online. so I have started this blog called ushakalam. I request all of you to send your ideas/views/photos etc which you wish to share with the family net work.