Every one of us are grateful to our parents who gave us birth, love & affection, brought us up, sacrifice, groomed for what we are today and teaching us values. I am also reminded of the TV advertisement of a young girl shouting "My Daddy Strongest" for Horlicks or some product. Having closely followed his footprints, I too feel like shouting about my father (My Paa The Best).
Yes, like many, I also rever my late father Shri Shanmukha Rao as my role model. He had a direct influence on all my accomplishments in my career. My grand father was working in Survey Department (I never saw him). He was born on 15th August 1929, in to a lower middle class family in a remote village called Kotabommali in Srikakulam district, with four siblings - one elder sister and three younger brother. His Sister (my aunt) was married very young but due to his father's premature death, my father had to bring up his three brothers while making his own life and career. Having started his working life at a very young age under compelling circumstances, in Education Department of Andhra (province then) in early nineteen fifties, he shifted to then State Capital - Madras to join Medical & Health Department at a junior level. In 1956, when the new State of AP was created, he came down to the temporary Capital - Kurnool and later to Hyderabad on permanent basis in 1957. I was less than five years old then and do not remember to have joined any organised schools due to his frequent transfers. He was also posted in the Regional Office in Guntur for an year which I vaguely remember. Our entire family (my grand mother, father, mother, myself and my elder brother) moved in to join him then. His one brother was employed while the remaining two joined us.
My regular schooling started in 1959 when I was admitted directly to IVth Standard at the age of Six plus in Govt High School, Malakpet, Hyderabad while my brother was one class above eventhough two years older to me. My sister Jyothi and younger brother were born in Hyderabad. My father earned his graduate and post graduate qualifications in Hyderabad while growing in his career as Office Superintendent, Administrative Officer, Planning Officer, Asst and Deputy Director of Medical Health Services and finally retired in 1989 as Secretary to the newly created Vydya Vidhana Parishath. He was sincere, honest, upright and hard working Official and earned name for himself. He was also a very helpful gentleman to all those who knew him; and also worked for the upliftment of our community - Sistakaranam - also called with title of Patnaiks in Andhra Pradesh by being the Secretary of the Association in Hyderabad for long years. We used to witness his working late nights with his Office files with efficient administrative skills. He was a very simple person with humble habits. He suffered with BP and Diabetis and finally expired on 30th June, 1990. He never enjoyed the benefits of his hard work or superannuation benefits. He sacrificed his life for family.
He used to be a source of strength and support to a large family including brothers and sisters from his and our mother's side. His encouragement pushed me to short-circuit my graduate studies (B.Sc) in the final year in 1970-71 to join Andhra Bank, Central Office, Hyderabad through a merit exam. But, within six months time, in October I quit Andhra Bank and shifted to State Bank of India in November 1971 where I grew up to a level of Chief Manager by 1990 with four merit promotions. I started my working career at a tender age of 18 plus (like him); but continued to pursue further studies by joining VV Evening College, Hyderabad for my B.Com in 1972 which I passed with merit (4th rank) in 1975. Simultaneously I completed Part-I of CAIIB too. I pursued my M.Com again in PG Centre (Nizam College) during 1975-77 and also completed with merit (6th Rank). I had the fortune of working in Hyderabad / Secunderabad, Vizag, Vijayawada / Krishna Dist, Anantapur, and Local Head Office during training period of 1977-79. Later, I worked in the positions like Accountant / Field Officer / Branch Manager in Warangal Dist and Masulipatnam branches. I moved to RO-Hyderabad for six months in 1984 and then went to Central Office, Mumbai where I worked up to November 1992. After serving as Chief Manager of Sangareddy branch, I quit the bank as one of the youngest pensioners at the age of 40 plus. That is a different story which took me to a manufacturing company, Vysya Bank Leasing Subsidiary in Bangalore and then to Academics in 1999.
It is nearing twenty years that I miss him deeply that I do not get the motivation or guidance or confidence that I can achieve much more than what I feel. He died even within one year from his retirement. He was a strong force for me to inspire and to appear for any professional or competitive examination and win laurels. His absence created a wide gap and vaccum in my life. For about ten years after his death, I was observing fast on all the Wednesdays and also walk up the Tirupati Hills paying tributes to him. If only he had lived for at least another ten years, my career and life would have been entirely different. I owe a sincere apology to my father for the serious mistakes I committed in his absence particular in the year 1993. I wish that I would pay a reasonable penalty and would rectify the mistakes to bring honours to him and my family in the years ahead. That would be the only way I would solace myself and pay him my respects sooner than later.