What I am reading in these posts speaks volumes about the person who I think was a genius, plain and simple. He was not only super intelligent but was endowed with finest of human qualities. Make no mistake, he was fully aware of his brilliance but unlike most it went to the right side of his head. This made him more humane and more understanding of human values and stood out not only among his peers but amongst all of us. My interactions of over three decades with him initiated with SOA activities and ended up becoming good family friends. He was blessed with an amazing family. Simplicity, humbleness, and intelligence of Bhabhiji and both the sons is something unique in the sense that every member of family embodied that. We share their loss and very much hope that this well deserving effort to memorialize Krishnan Unni’s legacy will help ease their pain.
Krishnan Unni and I remained in touch even though we were tens of thousands of miles apart. I am tempted to share one incident out of so many to reflect upon his multifaceted personality, his humility, his simple life style and above all his down-to-earth approach. We had sought an appointment with a Member of Parliament from Bihar whom we thought was sympathetic to our cause. Traveling to Delhi on short notice meant 3-tier train journey of almost 30 hours in grueling summer. He was a senior director and could easily travel by air but instead he preferred to give company. We Biharis are famous for our unadulterated mannerism and that particular MP personified that in toto. On the day of appointment Bhalla, Late B K Shrivastava and I wanted to reach before so as to introduce Krishnan Unni to the MP who preferred Hindi. We were fully aware and scared about Krishnanunni’s vocabulary of Hindi which was normally full of slangs he learned during his Indian School of Mine’s days. We wanted to avoid the disaster. But we got late and when we arrived both of them were deep in discussions that too in Hindi. The MP seems to enjoy KU’s Hindi. As we all know Bhalla is, and Late BK Shrivastava was, pretty articulate persons. But I don’t think any of them had to add much that day.
I tell my sons who all remember Unni uncle (who used to visit us on Eid with sweets) that I have seen and known very few whom the adage “familiarity breeds contempt” does not hold true. The more you knew him the more you respected him, the more you loved and the more you wanted to be with him. That was the Krishnanunni I knew.