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Radiant and active

A conversation with Rao and Sundari enlivens the atmosphere around, says Deepa Raparla


My father died of cancer. This made me give a serious thought to study oncology: A.Y. Rao

Photo: Raju.V

Thorough professional that they are, A.Y.Rao and his charming wife, Sundari, perfectly understand each other's needs.With a hectic schedule as a practicing oncologist and also as a lecturer at the Siddhartha medical college, Rao finds the occupation consuming, yet satisfying to the full. An MBA and M Phil in business administration, Sundari teaches at Nimra School of Business.

Hailing from two culturally different places - she belongs to the hip and happening Hyderabad and he comes from the sleepy town of Ongole - though, love at first sight proved to be more than a cliché in their case.

It's the part-time work place they went separately, yet together, where cupid struck them leading to their marriage. Now into their seventh year of marriage and two children, they seem unchanged with their childlike excitement about their future together. Obtaining a Ph.D, once she resumes work after a maternity leave, is her top priority.

Serving poor

"Working as a doctor at the government hospital in Chinna Kakani is what makes the entire difference for me," says Rao. It's not quiet often that a person gets an opportunity to serve the poor and this is one good way, since the treatment to cancer is quite expensive and unaffordable.

He also runs a Cancer Centre on Nakkala Road in Vijayawada to reach out to patients in the city. Conducting cancer awareness programmes is another thing that keeps him busy when he gets that spare time. It is important for cancer patients to know at what stage their disease is. He lays emphasis on every person knowing the symptoms of cancer and how to identify the disease early. His cancer awareness camps mainly deal with these two issues.

All set at the impeccable ambience of Aroma's at D.V.Manor, with dishes including veg-corn soup, veg-manchurian, chilli paneer, rotis and palak dal, the couple enjoyed the evening to the brim. Cochin in Kerala, Kufri and Rothang Pass on the fringes of Himalayas in Himachala Pradesh are their favourite tourist spots in the country.

Old classics

On the personal front, the family enjoys driving around the city, eating out and movies. Whenever and wherever India is playing cricket, he glues himself to the TV, if time permits.

He shares with his wife the passion of watching the old Telugu classics, in which NTR and ANR played the lead roles. "Sticking to that hour-long regular walking in the early hours is a must for me," grins the doctor. "Catering to the kids is a priority, and I love black & white movies," says Sundari. Jayanth, a first standard kid from the NSM, loves his regular dance sessions at the Modern academy school, which he could not help bragging about.

Having his feet firmly rooted in the ground, the doctor never forgets his motherland. He makes time for his native place by devoting the leisure Sundays for the treatment of patients in Ongole.

"I must say I am glad I ended up as an oncologist. My father died of cancer. This made me give a serious thought to study oncology," he says.

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