Ambassador of Goodwill
By Sanjay Pinto


For longer than I can remember, the first birthday call that I would get, year after year, would always be from him. The first Christmas hamper or Diwali sweets that would be wrapped with an affectionate note, would come from his office. Over more than a decade, we always considered Hotel Ambassador Pallava to be like an extension of our home.

During my NDTV innings, especially when our office was initially in Cisons Complex, for any information, or venue to shoot, or a hospitality industry take on some contentious issue at nano notice, his was an automatic and sure shot ‘go to’ option. My fresher’s dinner was at his place. A customary Christmas Buffet with a close circle of friends would invariably be hosted by him. For special office farewell parties, we did not need to look anywhere else.

(Pic: Late Krithivasan Subbarayan – Retd General Manager – Ambassador Pallava)

Post my marriage at a Registrar’s office, our first afternoon was spent in the luxury of a Presidential Suite in his hotel. The red carpet was laid out by this magnanimous soul.

When Chennai turned Venice in 2015, I distinctly remember his call to check on me and to offer immediate accommodation in his hotel, should the need arise. Constant reminders to send my twin children for swimming classes ‘as soon as they are ready’ still ring in my ears.

Here was a man whose life revolved around a simple yet refreshingly rare principle – ‘sharing is caring.’ This would be a template response to any ‘thank you’ note sent after his trademark largesse.

If you did not meet Krithivasan Subbarayan, you most definitely missed something in life.

When I got a WhatsApp ping on the 25th October, my heart sank. That this Ambassador of Goodwill had left us all first seemed like a bad dream.

Post retirement, after both his lovely daughters – Nisha & Lavanya were settled, Krithi and his wife Mallika moved to a quiet abode in Pallavaram. One of my big regrets was not being able to visit him. Even for that final goodbye.

I miss you, Krithi. You were not just a friend. You were a limited edition gift. You were an epitome of kindness and generosity. You were a blessing. You deserve an upgrade in heaven.

(Sanjay Pinto is an Advocate practising at the Madras High Court, Arbitrator, Columnist, Author & Former Resident Editor – NDTV 24×7)



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