Enduring and ensuring Family roots & wings……
My Father Shri (Late) Susarla Subrahmanya Sastry and My Mother Sreemathi (Late) Susarla Sitaratnam
Shri Susarla Subrahmanya Sastry was born on 7th November, 1925 at Narsipudy Village near Mandapeta-East Godavary District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Gothram: Salavatasa, Nakshatram:Pushyami. He was the eldest son of Late Shri Susarla Suryanarayana Murthy [a school teacher by profession] and Late Smt. Mahalakshmamma – a Srothriya Brahmin Family of Mandapeta. Shri Sastry completed his high school education and SSLC [Sanskrit as first language] in Ramachandrapuram while he has studied Intermediate at Pithapuram Raja’s College in Kakinada town. He has graduated in 1951 in Mechanical Engineering, 2nd Batch of Kakinada Government College of Engineering affiliated to Andhra University. Shri Sastry is a Chartered Engineer as he was a Fellow Member of The Institution of Engineers (India)Calcutta and Member of the Institution of Valuers, New Delhi; Life Member of the Indian Roads Congress -an apex advisory body to the Central and State Governments for Roads, Bridges and traffic Engineering and Life Member of The Association of Consulting Engineers (India), New Delhi.
Career As Distinguished Engineer
Shri Sastry has started his career as apprentice in Railway Loco Works, Perambur, Madras and then worked as Time Study Engineer in TELCO [Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company, Jemshedpur ] for one years. In 1953 he was selected as Assistant Engineer in Highways Department [renamed as Roads & Buildings Department in 1965 known as R&B] of Andhra Pradesh State Government. He was promoted as Divisional Engineer and later re-designated as Executive Engineer in 1962. He had a privilege of looking after maintenance and construction of Buildings, Roads, Bridges, Infrastructure for Government owned Educational Institutions, Hospitals, Water Works etc., As a senior most Mechanical Engineer in R&B he was crowned with the honour to head independently the Transport and Machinery Division of R&B. In 1975 he was elevated to the prestigious position of Superintending Engineer for the R & B Mechanical circle with state-wide jurisdiction with head quarters at Vijayawada with a responsibility to look after the essential support for the R&B functioning. His role was to oversee the maintenance of existing machinery and vehicles in addition to acquisition of new equipment State / Central Government involving wise and judicious utilization of public funds in Crores of Rupees as a responsible trustee to the Government. Shri Sastry who has been well known for his honesty and sincerity retired as Superintending Engineer during 1981 after serving 30 years as a Government Gezetted Officer. With the zeal towards his profession and enthusiasm to share his skills and experience, he then took up consultancy works of construction of buildings and acted as valuation engineer for several organizations including Nationalized Banks. Shri Sastry had visited Australia two times and stayed for about six months during which period, he has observed, compared and took keen interest in how one can emulate quality conscious Australian Engineers and their working style both in terms of output and upgrading to match with world class technology. Click the following link to view or download his write-up in pdf file [8 MB] containing 19 pages which will automatically open in Adobe Acrobat Reader on your PC / Laptop:
Achievements & Accolades
During his active career as Engineer, he has attended many academic management and administrative improvement orientations, refresher courses and training programmes at prestigious institutions viz., University of Roorkee; National Institute For Training In Industrial Engineering, Mumbai; Refresher course in Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi. He was also invited to present papers in Seminars and Conferences. He was accorded with Roll of Honours, accolades in appreciation of his outstanding contribution to the professional Institutions and the Government. His dynamic leadership qualities have been ably demonstrated as Council Member of Institution of Valuers; Panelist of Arbitrators of The Institution of Engineers (India); Chairman Vijayawada Local Centre – The Institution of Engineers (India); President – Kakinada Engineering College Old students Association; Committee member to conduct interviews for Bank employees by Banking Service Recruitment Board and Secretary & Life Member of The Officers’ Club, Vijayawada.
Smt. Susarla Sitaratnam [ 28 August, 1932; Punarvasu Nakshatram ] is the last daughter of Late Shri Kondurri Viswanadham [ Retired Inspector of Police ] and Late Smt Suryakantham of Amalapuram, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh State, India. Smt Sitaratnam at the age of 14 married Shri Sastry on 13th August 1946 and has become the eldest daughter-in-law of Susarla family. She has studied up to Metric [equivalent to SSLC] who has learnt Carnatic music. She used to peform pooja to the family Godess Rajarajeswari Devi every day and used to spend more time in spiritual aspects.
As the circumstances demanded, Shri Sastry, being the eldest in the big family of 12 members took the responsibility of four brothers’ education, marriages and their settling in life and performing weddings of two younger sisters in addition to looking after the welfare of his elderly parents at Mandapeta. All this has been possible with the wholehearted support of Smt Sitaratnam.
Made for each other Passions
Shri Sastry and Smt. Sitaratnam are fond of:
- Radio listening,
- Maintain a library of Telugu/ Hindi Film songs on Gramphone Records/Video Cassets / CDs [About 200 records in 78RPM and 45 RPM have been along with record player were recently donated by them to All India Radio, Vijayawada]
- Collecting family event photos and videos
- Religious and spiritual activities and
- Writing diary in the name of all their children portraying the instances from birth till the time the children were with the parents.
- As elders in the family, they had aptitude to attending family functions and weddings.
- Hosting and honoring the guests/ visitors to their house with a suitable gift.
- Always habitual in bringing to the hosts a sweet packet / fruits on their visit to any house as guests.
Children, Grand Children, Great Grand Children …..,
- Daughter – [ Born in 1952] is a Since Graduate [B Sc.,] living in Hyderabad, India. Son-in-Law is an Ex Officer of Andhra Bank whose eldest Son & daughter in law are in Seattle – USA while their second Son and daughter in law & their son lives in – Hyderabad-India
- Eldest Son – Susarla Venkata Suryanarayana [ Born in 1954] is by qualifications M.com., BGL.,FCS, CAIIB, DBM, DCP is a Senior Practising Company Secretary, with Office cum Residence at Hyderabad, India Daughter-in-law: Smt. Subbalakshmi – is Director www.editin.com Their only Daughter and son-in-law are Software Engineers and live in Hyderabad, India along with their son.
- Second Son– [Born in 1956] is a post graduate in Engineering [ M.Tech ] – Director of a consulting Group . Daughter-in-law who holds Bachelor of Sciences Degree [ B B Sc.] and Diploma in Education lives with their daughter and son in Melbourne, Australia.
- Third Son [ Born in 1968] is a commerce graduate [ B.Com ]- Sales Consultant, for a telecom Company and Daughter-in-law who is post graduate [ M.Com ] along with their two sons live in Melbourne, Australia
Shri Sastry and Smt. Sitaratnam had witnessed the many happy and tragic events, the big and small moments of life that shaped an interesting and integrated family history.
The Grand Celebrations
We the fortunate family members, as a mark of respect towards this couple, performed Sahasra Chandra Darshana Vratham on completion of 82 years of age of Shri S S Sastry and celebrated their Vivaha Shastyabdi on the occasion of completion of 60 years of married life by Shri S S Sastry & Smt S Sitaratnam. This grand all day event was organised by us on Sunday, the 2nd March, 2008 at Sri Sarada Kalyana Mandapam, Shankar Muth, Nallakunta, Hyderabad, India.
Sahasra Chandra Darshana is celebrated by Hindu Brahmins as SADABHISHEKAM.
It is generally celebrated on completion of 80 years of the husband. The unique significance is that there will be more than 1000 Purnima days by that time. Seeing 1000 Full Moons in one’s life is considered as great and it is believed that he will definitely attain Moksha by the blessings of Lord Chandra. On the occasion of completion of 80 years or any time afterwords, a ceremony called Sahasra Chandra Darshana Vratham could be performed by the living couple with rituals like Mritunjaya Homa, Bheeshma Ratha Santhi, Rudra Ekadasa Homa and Udakasanthi.
Taking blessing from the couple who perform “Sahasra Chandra Darshana Vratham” is considered very much worthy and they are blessed for long life.
Vivaha Shastyabdi Celebration
Sashtiaapdipoorthi, also known as “Sashti Aapda Poorthi” or “Sashti Poorthi”. This is a Hindu ceremony celebrating a marriage, akin to the renewal of marital vows and the “Silver Anniversary” in the West. Specifically, it marks simultaneously the 60th birthday of the husband and the wedding anniversary of the couple (“Sashti” – 60, “aApda” – years/life and “poorthi” -completion. There are 60 years in a Hindu calendar cycle. Each year has a name. When a person reaches 60 years of age, such person enters the second cycle. Historically, because the husband would typically always be older than wife, Sashtiaapdipoorthi is celebrated when the husband (as opposed to the wife) turns 60.
Vivaha Shastyabdi is celebrated on completion of 60 years of married life by the living couple. Having devoted to the service of God, built and retained the family ties with a bond of constant relationships, this is a best time to celebrate at this phase of life. This is considered more ideal to set an example to their own family and society. This celebration is usually organized by the couple’s children, younger siblings and grand children. In addition to various poojas, part of the wedding ceremony is re-enacted. The couple that is celebrating Vivaha Shastyabdi are given blessings from elders who have themselves already celebrated such events. The best belief is that Vivaha Shastyabdi couple blesses all those participating / witnessing persons that too the younger than the Vivaha Shastyabdi couple. Look up SusarlaBook published Telugu on this occasion.
Sorrowful Days of separation:
- Smt. Susarla Sitaratnam [ 82 ] left for her Heavenly Abode on Monday, the 8th September, 2014 at Hyderabad, India.
- Shri Susarla Subrahmanya Sastry (91) has left for his Heavenly Abode on Wednesday, the 8th July, 2015 at Hyderabad, India.
I am grateful to those who were physically present at the last rites of my parents and for extending all support in addition to being with us, even in such painful days. I am also grateful to the following organizations:
- Continental Hospitals http://www.continentalhospitals.com doctors and staff who attended and took appropriate care since May, 2014.
- Sparsh Hospice www.sparshhospice.org [ a noble initiative of Rotary Club Of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad ] sponsored palliative care center which looked after my ailing mother in her last stages.
- The Ramayamma International Eye Bank http://eyebank.lvpei.org/ who acknowledged our gesture for our making a “Gift of sight” by donating my mother’s eyes to Eye bank of LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad . Link to view LVPEI letter & certificate http://tinyurl.com/qx62o3d
- The Doctors and staff of Olive Hospital where my father was last treated.