Dr. V. Kurien, was known to be a very strict disciplinarian but the incidence described below brings out the humane side of his persona.
I was posted at NDDB, Mumbai during the period 1987 up to 1997. While in Mumbai, Dr. Kurien would always stay at NDDB penthouse on 10th floor of NDDB residential building at Goregaon complex. NDDB Mumbai campus is built at one of the best locations in the city. Some would describe it as mini Hong Kong of Mumbai.
Dr. E. Madhavan was Regional Director of NDDB Mumbai regional office. He was very particular in his work. During the visit of Dr. Kurien to the campus Dr. Madhavan was made sure that, there should not be any issue or problem. He would instruct administrative officer Shri. Subbu Reddy for taking precaution about cleanliness, hygiene, sanitation etc. in and around office building, residential complex and the penthouse in particular.
Then just before the visit of Chairman, NDDB, Dr. Madhavan would personally check whether everything was spick and span. He was so particular that he would make sure that there is not a speck of dust even on the sides of the windows.
On the days Dr. Kurien was to be at the penthouse the cable network in NDDB residential complex would specially run some children’s movies. The idea was that not a single kid should be seen on the green lush lawn.
But, unfortunately, on this particular day, when Dr. Kurien arrived from airport, despite the movie, the children were playing on the lawn. The senior officer who was on duty, hiding behind the pillar thought that now Dr. Kurien would get angry.
However, everybody was surprised that when Dr. Kurien got off from the car started observing children playing on the lawn. He stood there for a while looking at the Chidren.
Some of the children who were bold enough approached Dr. Kurien and called him “Kurien uncle” asking him ‘Uncle can we have ride in your car?’
Dr. Kurien readily agreed and asked the driver to give them a ride in and around the NDDB campus. Children were so happy that day on this unexpected joyous ride in the Chairmans car. It became a memorable day for the parents too as they would narrate this story to their friends and relatives umpteen number of times.
It was really a unforgettable day for the NDDB Mumbai campus. After that days incident the NDDB Mumbai campus never gave a deserted look.
Everybody saw the other side to of Dr. V. Kurien’s persona. Kind hearted loving person hidden under a steel frame of discipline and duty.
Pratyaksham Kim Pramanam
प्रत्यक्षम किम प्रमाणम !