Silence in the house that once brimmed with laughter

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Bangalore, October 10:  A large number of relatives and friends had gathered at the Sathyanarayana residence in Sampangiramnagar in the city. Silence reigned as all of them sat together, unable to digest the news of the death of the entire family: Sathyanarayana, his wife Mahalakshmi (45), son Prashant Kumar (27) and daughter Deepa Mala (23), when their vehicle caught fire in Palamaner in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh.

Sathyanarayana’s sister Yamuna said the family received the news of their death around 4.45 a.m. on Wednesday from the Palamaner police. They had left around 11 a.m. on Monday for Tirupati and were returning home when the accident occurred, she said. Murthy, a family friend, was the last person the family contacted before the tragic end.

“Around 11.30 p.m. on Tuesday, the family called me and said they had been waiting to get some fuel for their car since evening. They said they finally got some fuel and would leave after 1 a.m. so that they could reach by 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning,” he said.
Family business

Sathyanarayana had been running the family business, Venkateshwara Textiles, along with his younger brother Srinivas. Prashant, an engineering graduate, had joined his father in managing the business while Deepa Mala was a student of JD Institute of Fashion Technology.

She had completed her degree in Business Management and hoped to be a part of the textile business later.

It was Prashant’s cousin Keerthi, who first received the news of their death and informed the family.

“The police called Sathyanarayana’s father. As both he and his wife were sleeping, Keerthi took the call. The inspector verified whether she could identify the car number and a few other details. Once she confirmed it, they conveyed the news of the family’s tragic death,” said Aishwarya, a family friend.

A jovial family

She said the entire family was very friendly and jovial. “Prashant always had a knack of making friends wherever he went. He would even conduct handwriting classes in the house for students. He used to always plan activities and bring people together. In fact, he had been planning a birthday party for Keerthi the next Monday. But this happened,” she said on a sad note.

Sathyanarayana was the second of eight siblings — four brothers and four sisters. While the family is originally from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, Sathyanarayana and his family had been in Bangalore city for more than 50 years.

He had lived in Wilson Garden earlier and had just moved to Sampangiramnagar last month. “Mahalakshmi was keen on living in their own house instead of a rented one and they had moved in only on September 8. Sathyanarayana’s parents and his younger brother Srinivas, along with his family, have been living here for many years,” said Yamuna.

Relatives said that Sathyanarayana’s family would go to Tirupati nearly 15 times a year. Sathyanarayana’s father Venkatesh said he had told his son not to go, concerned about the bandh in Andhra Pradesh. But Sathyanarayana had convinced his father saying that they would not have any problem as they were going by their car. They had booked a room on the Tirupati hills in advance.

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