April 30, 2007
Remembering Krishna Menon
The handful of people who still care will mark his 110th birthday on May 3, writes Shashi Tharoor in his latest column devoted to V K Krishna Menon. The man who was seen as Nehru’s blindspot didn’t endear himself with very many other politicians, presumably, because of his reluctance to suffer fools gladly. As Mr Tharoor put it, Krishna Menon’s approach was not calculated to win friends.He died a forgotten backbencher, without even a political party to call his own.
The only visual that comes to mind of his funeral (I was then a newspaper reporter in New Delhi) is that of his body laid out on a truck being surrounded by Madhavan Kutty of Malayala Manorama, Blitz Raghavan (I believe) and a few others.Known for his carping comments the man had a delightful way with words. He was fond of telling his British friends, “You know why the sun didn’t set on their empire? Because God didn’t trust the British in the dark”.
Shashi Tharoor wrote that his father had helped Krishna Menon set up the India Club at The Strand, right across the street from the Indian high commission in London. It was a place where one had masala dosa and tea at prices affordable to young Indian newsmen. The club was also known for serving Southie meal, notably rasam. The cook there, as the story goes, was specially brought by Krishna Menon from Tanjore. Have you heard this one, Mr Tharoor?