It's surprising that in these two years I have hardly mentioned Dr. V. Kurien in my blog postings.I have had the good fortune of interacting with him once. Though his health has deteriorated he was very affectionate and was more than happy to answer our questions and submit to our demands of numerous photographs and autographs.
At IRMA, Dr. Kurien finds mention only during the induction week when the Amul Story is screened. Of course, some courses like Management of co-operatives and Rural Development Interventions include articles which have been written by the great man.
It is a sad fact that most people recollect his unceremonious exit from IRMA rather than the efforts that he put into this great institute.His exit of course was always mired in secrecy. Until Prof. KVR explained the circumstances in which he was forced to leave IRMA.
There are several stories about the great man. I cannot substantiate how much of it is true and how much of it has been made up. The story of how when a faculty member repeated verbatim the mission of IRMA,while disagreeing to a decision of Dr. Kurien was told by the great man " I am the mission of IRMA, so please sit down" is always told with great amusement.He deliberately made the paths to our hostel blocks long and winding instead of straight and short to make us realise that in life there are not shortcuts to success. His driver recounted how he used to tap the pillars of IRMA while it was being constructed to check if the correct proportion of materials was used.
Today as I leave IRMA, there is an overwhelming sense of sadness. This only after living here for two years. I can only imagine what the great man must have gone through when he was asked to leave after having built and nurtured this institution for 25 years!!
Like all other IRMAns, I too have a great sense of gratitude towards the milkman of India.I thank him for making me part of this great history which he and Tribhovandas Patel scripted! Thank you Dadu! And I wish you well!