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A couple with many facets

They eat, drink and breath social service, says Ramesh Susarla


EXPERIMENTING WITH food of the land is an obsession with Ravi Vadlamani, a successful chartered accountant and managing partner of Umamaheswara Rao and Co.

A gourmet of traditional home food, Ravi, has a special liking for the preparations of Andhra food, particularly north coastal Andhra delicacies.

Wedded to social service and excelling at it as the Best Rotarian in the World, Ravi is a globe-trotter. He was the national president of Round Table India.

Sinking a few bore-wells or identifying farmers who became insolvent, for extending financial help, or distributing infrastructure to schools in one village or the other, Ravi spends most of his time in travel.

Savouring the traditional Pesarattu-Upma at the breakfast table is what he cherishes the most when it comes to food. His better half, Rajya Lakshmi, who excels in preparation of Pesarattu has turned it into a tradition now.With no airs of being the managing partner of country's top-ranking auditing company, Ravi and Laksmi, a post-graduate in commerce, prefer to work with the poorest of the poor in their own diverse ways.

Their schedules do not in any way come in the way of their penchant for the food prepared at home especially loaded with rice preparations and side dishes that gel with rice.A family outing, though a rarity, is the time for trying something in an informal and a different atmosphere and MetroPlus invited them to Sharma Dhaba at Mangalagiri, one of the few `Vegetarian' dhabas serving Punjabi food for more than two decades now.

A dinner at the Haryanvi food joint was `mesmerising' that too after watching the illusionist Jadugar Anand's captivating show at Guntur.Palak paneer, tomato-onion curry, Aloo koftha ordered by Ravi were there on the charpoy in minutes with specially baked rotis, but he swears any day these north Indian dishes cannot match the `Kanda Bachchalli pulla aava' one of the preparations with mustard paste or the `Panasa pottu koora' (tender jackfurit curry).

One of the specialities in the north coastal districts is the kottenka butta prepared in small baskets specially stitched at home with jackfruit leaves and is part of their regular menu, says Lakshmi who spent her childhood in Vijayawada. Preparing two or three dishes to satisfy the varying tastes of her father-in-law, children and husband keeps her engaged till 11 am. Promoting education through bridge school (child and police project) among the children of the daily labourers, working in factories and ginning mills in and around Guntur, is her passion. She, in no way, discounts her attention towards their daughters Gayatri and Valli Bhaskara Lakshmi. Papa's pet Gayatri, who was away in Hyderabad, participating in the industrial project as part of her MBA programme, updates Ravi on her daily activities. A Reiki master herself, Lakshmi, keeps track of health of family members and helps them recover faster through the special power transmitted to them.

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