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Blast in Kabul echoes in coastal Andhra village

Mohammed Siddique | July 08, 2008 17:29 IST

A shocked and stunned V Appala Charyulu and his wife Subhadramma on Tuesday left for New Delhi to attend the funeral of their eldest son Indian Foreign Service officer V Venkateshwara Rao, who died in a suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul on Monday.

Images: A day after Kabul was rocked

Tatayya, Nanna Chainpoyadu (Grandfather, father is dead). These three words from their 11-year-old grand daughter Amulya over phone from New Delhi brought down the world of the elderly couple in Rajahmundry crashing.

The young girl had just learnt about the incident in Kabul and conveyed the same to her grand parents even as her mother Malti and brother Karthik were reeling under the impact of the huge personal tragedy.

Appala Charyulu, 65-year-old retired employee of state government's medical and health department and her wife, residing in a Lalachervu Housing colony, few kilometres from Rajahmundry city in East Godavari district, went numb as the gravity of the news sunk in.

Earlier, they had heard the news of the blast over television channels but were hopeful that their son will not be among the 44 victims.

"My son had promised that he will celebrate his 45th birthday with us here on August 26 and everybody in the extended family was keenly waiting for him," said Charyulu.

"But we never imagined that he will come home in this manner. He had asked me what I wanted as a gift from Kabul," he recalled.

Venkateshwara had been persuading his parents for some time to move to Delhi and live with his family there.

"But we were not willing as we did not want to leave our place," said Subhadramma wistfully.

Venkateshwara Rao, called Venkat by close relatives, hailed from Narsipudi village in East Godavari district and had his education at different places before doing post graduation from Hyderabad Central University.

After completing his M Phil and Ph D and writing a thesis on 'India's relations with South Asian countries', Venkat appeared in civil services examination and opted for Foreign Service at his father's behest.

"Now I regret having advised him that," said Charyulu.

"He was such a brilliant student. He did well in whatever he opted for. He had joined civil service with the spirit of serving the nation."

Before becoming counsellor in Kabul embassy about two years ago, Venkateshwara had served in Germany [Images], Sri Lanka [Images], Nepal and Washington. Very soon, he was to be transferred out of Kabul.

Initially, it was thought that Venkateshwara's body will shifted to his home town and cremated there. But later the family decided to have it in New Delhi as most of his friends and relatives live there.

Not the first to die in Afghanistan

This is the second time that the dark shadows of terror fell on Andhra Pradesh. Earlier, Taliban had kidnapped and killed a telecom engineer from Hyderabad, K Suryanarayana, in April 2006.

The engineer was working in Afghanistan on a telecom project for a Bahrain-based company, Almayyad, when he was taken hostage by the suspected Taliban and killed.

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