The above photograph is of prominent elders of our family. It is a 35 years old photograph, snapped in November 1976 on the occasion of my nephew, Dr. Sudheer’s Puttu-Ventrukalu function at Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Nampally Gutta, near Vemulawada in Karimnagar District. Dr. Sudheer is my elder brother Dr. Lakshminarsu’s eldest son; he was eleven months old at that time.
From left to right, the family members are 1) Sri Dubbaka Sathaiah mamaiah garu, my father-in-law’s elder brother, 2) Sri Kasoji Sathyanarayana mamaiah garu, my sister’s father-in-law, 3) Sri Dubbaka Yadagiri mamaiah garu, my father-in-law, 4) Sri Narayanaraopeta Bhaskarachary garu, my father, 5) Sri Narayanaraopeta Nagabushanachary peddhanana garu, my father’s eldest brother, 6) Sri B. Ramakistaiah peddhanana garu, a very close friend of my father 7) Sri Kasoji Niranjan bava garu, my brother-in-law and 8) Nacharam Veerachary mamaiah garu, my paternal aunty - Sarojini akkaiah’s husband. It is the only photograph I have with so many elders together. Another interesting fact about the photograph is that almost all of them are dressed in the traditional Dhoti and Kameez. Most important of all is that this photograph reminds of a very happy and major celebration in the family attended by a bus load of family and relatives and few others who joined us in cars.
Dr. Sudheer is the eldest of my parents’ seven grandchildren and all functions pertaining to him were naturally celebrated enthusiastically and in an elaborate manner. For his Puttu-Ventrukalu function we went on a 3 days and 2 nights pilgrimage to Vemulawada and Nampally Gutta. We went there in a bus that can be seen in the above photograph, with all close relatives. Few others came along in their own vehicles. No body from the immediate family missed the occasion. We camped at Vemulawada and had Darshan of Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy and visited many other Lord Shiva Temples there. On the second day we went to Nampally, climbed Nampally Gutta (hillock) and had Darshan of Lord Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and performed the Puttu-Ventrukalu ceremony in front of the Temple. We climbed down the hill to have a sumptuous Non-veg. lunch that was organized by us under the trees and returned to Vemulawada for the rest of the trip. We as youngsters with so many cousins present enjoyed a lot; playing games specially Antakshari. Everyone remembers this huge family pilgrimage and function and to me it will always be memorable as it also played a big role in my courtship.
I wrote about our family deity, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy of Nampally Gutta and our ancestral tradition of offering Puttu-Ventrukalu that is Kesha-Kandana or First haircut of a baby boy at this Temple, in an article titled “Our Family Deity” on 24th April 2009. You may read that article by clicking on the following link - "Our Family Deity" .