Remembering K M Krishna – The Epitome of Friendship And Fellowship

K.M.Krishna was an epitome of friendship and fellowship. He was the son of K.C.Mannarswamy Chettiar and Ramarathnammal. His siblings consisted of one brother and four sisters. The 1933 born K.M.Krishna was a student of Stanes Anglo Indian School. Krishna was an outstanding student cum sportsman and will always be remembered as a stylish batsman. He went on to complete his higher studies from the Madras Christian College. Krishna hailed from the Kulur family and the elders in his family had been into banking, jewellery and industrial investments. He began his career as a development officer in LIC and was responsible for propagating the need for insurance in the Coimbatore region. Krishna had hardcore industrial entrepreneurship embedded in him and the opportunity came through his mentor SUGUNA – Ramaswamy Naidu and thanks to the same he went on to be a successful businessman along with his dear friend and partner C.B.Srinivasan, who is none other than the grandson of Diwan Bahadur C.V.Venkataramana Iyengar – the man who analyzed and recommended the Pilloor Water Scheme for our thirsty city.
Krishna was involved in a number of social organizations like the Lions Club of Metropolis, Chitrakala Academy, Coimbatore District Badminton Association and the Cosmopolitan Club. He was instrumental in identifying several good citizens and was instrumental in facilitating their participation and membership in a number of good social organizations. Many friends continue to remember him as a man with a smile on his face and cheer in his attitude. People who met him often walked away with more confidence and self esteem. He was kind to people who repeatedly came to him for help and on receiving them he would enquire about their well being. Subsequently he would offer to educate their children for he really believed in creating an educated society. Many have gained from his munificence.
According to his daughter in law Preetha Badrinathan, “ One incident that changed his life occurred while he was chauffeuring Mother Theresa. During his short interaction he was asked whether he was indulging in charity. My father in law stated that he was coming up in his life and was doing a bit of charity. Immediately Mother Theresa told him that one need not wait for millions to do charity and give whatever one has till it hurts. These words filled his very being and he began practicing her advice all his life.” Krishna was a great admirer of SIRUTHULI and used to keep himself aware of its progress. He continued to forward paper clippings and magazines relating to sustainable development and environment to SIRUTHULI during the last seven years of his life.
K.M.Krishna was keen to see the good work of Siruthuli move forward. He encouraged his nephew ANS Jewellers Anand to take a look at the work of Siruthuli in order to do something in Salem. Their team met Vanitha Mohan of Siruthuli and their first task was to restore the Mookaneri Lake in Salem at a cost of Rupees Forty Lakhs. He was a learner all his life and this made him read a number of books. His passion for environment and creativity can be seen through the kind of books he read. The book ‘Cradle to Cradle’ was one such book. Krishna was of the firm opinion that all our design and production was nothing but cradle to grave. “If one could design products in a manner which will ensure that the same raw material could be reused in the future than we can proudly say that man has reached the frontiers of science,” said Krishna. He was a friend to everyone and everyone was his friend. Krishna used to keep in touch with almost everybody and would be part of their life all the time. In today’s frivolous world most cultivate people for a purpose and here was a man who moved with people for the pure reason of friendship, without expecting anything in return. Throughout his life he believed that friendship was sacred and ensured that it remained so. His friends came from all walks of life and they included scientists, bureaucrats, businessmen and social entrepreneurs. K.M.Krishna and his friend A.Ramachandran firmly believed that corruption was a great malady. They encouraged a number of anti corruption activists by offering them support. In fact they used to host dinner meetings for such people.
Dhirendra Desai was a great friend of his and they used to speak to each other everyday. Late Dr.V.R.Sivakumar of R.K.Sreerangammal Higher Secondary School was his close friend and Krishna had gifted him several books on cricket. He was forever interested in knowing about the progress made by the RKS Cricket Academy. K.M.Krishna, Dr.V.R.Sivakumar, P.R.Ramdas, P.R.Ramakrishnan and K.B.Krishnan were very close to each other. These friends used to meet often. Coffee merchant E.Raju was very close to him and they enjoyed a cordial relationship for decades.
K.M.Krishna was a lover of cricket and he used to gather his friends in order to watch matches in Chennai. His zeal for new things were unabated and he even sent notes about carbon trading to the industrialists in Coimbatore. He wanted Coimbatore founded companies to be with Coimbatoreans. Krishna was a friend for every generation in a family. Advocate P.R.Ramakrishnan had this to add, “Krishna was one who took pride in the success of his friends. He used to invite himself for filter coffee with my mother. Krishna liked finer things in life and through him I have developed several enduring relationships. He had a compassion for the weaker sections and helped them a lot. The avid reader in him sent me articles on golf, law and cricket regularly. One particular book by Ram Jethmalani was specially acquired by him and he sent it to me immediately. Besides me, he had introduced many to golf and he went out of the way to help his friends, “K.M.Krishna brought people together and he did so all his life.
Krishna was interested in the well being of Race Course and its environment. His son and successor K.K.Badrinathan was a committee member of RANA (Racecourse & Neighbourhood Association). Along with Past Rotary District Governor P.N.Gopal, Vijay Venkataswamy & D.Vidyaprakash, K.M.Krishna enabled the consumer forum and RTI activist Gopal to come up with a publication with regard to easy applicability and usage of the Right to Information Act for the people of Coimbatore.
Sugavanam, the gentleman who continues to send post cards to everyone on their birthdays and special days was nurtured by K.M.Krishna.
If this man has crossed one’s life momentarily or in depth, one can be rest assured that he has left an inerasable memory in the minds and hearts of many people. In a world were memory is short lived , there are only a few who will be remembered much after their times. K.M.Krishna – the epitome of friendship and fellowship would stand among them.
—Rajesh Govindarajulu

Related posts

Leave a Comment