In my short tenure at NDDB from the year 1992 to 1997, I must have met Dr. Kurien (who was the chairman at the time) probably only about a couple of times.
One evening I was walking with my then 3 year old son towards the campus exit. We were on our way to run a few errands near the shops outside the NDDB campus. I used to live in the quarters those days.
As was the practice, Dr. Kurien stayed in office late and luck would have it as my son and I were about to cross the main building, I observed Dr. Kurien’s car and his driver by the door. So out of respect, I pulled my son aside and told him we should wait for a few minutes.
But as is often with three year olds he took off leaving my hand and ran towards the car. At about the same time, Dr. Kurien exited the building. So here was Ryan (my son) staring up at the chairman.
And in all innocence as he would greet all people around that age, said hello! Dr. Kurien stopped, bent down and shook his hand and looking him in the eye greeted back “Hello young man!”
Now Ryan was pleased and gave him a warm smile. Dr. Kurien asked us if we wanted a ride into town. I, of course, politely refused but he replied “Please don’t hesitate.”
We said our goodbyes and this meeting showed what a warm personality he was behind the tough exterior.
I always remember this interaction and I remind my son “You know you once shook hands with Dr. Varghese Kurien–you are blessed!”
Mini former NDDB meeting at Reena’s home in Toronto December, 2019