Kittu

January 2, 2015

Kittu 2015It was with great sadness that the news of the passing of our dear friend and IFCR pioneer Vaidyanathan Krishnaswami, better known simply as Kittu, was received on December 29.

Many tributes to Kittu have been received from around the IFCR world. Here are some of them.

This news comes as a great shock and is a sad loss to all of us.

I have known Kittu since the first IFCR Festival in 1997 in Fordingbridge. On the last day Kittu offered to host the second festival in Chennai in 1999 and reminded us all that the distance from Chennai to Fordingbridge was the same as the distance from Fordingbridge to Chennai. It took us all a few seconds to get Kittu’s humour, and his persuasive powers.

My meetings with Kittu then continued on a regular basis both at home and abroad. It was always a joy to me to meet up with the lovely smiling face and his great sense of humour. I was also privileged to spend time in Kittu’s house being looked after by Nandini and her family. I hope the strength of their family will help her get over the trying times ahead.

I know that Kittu was loved and respected throughout IFCR India and he will be impossible to replace.

But I know he would not want us to be unhappy and so I will spend some time now reflecting on all the laughs I was privileged to have with someone I feel proud to have called a friend.

Rest in Peace Kittu

Mike Jackson

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It is with deep regret and profound sorrow we share with you all the sudden and sad demise of Kittu this morning ( 29th Dec 2014) at Chennai due to cardiac arrest.

It is unthinkable that Kittu, the doyen of IFCR in India and a great and popular IFCR friend around the world is no more with us. I, on behalf of IFCR (India), pray GOD to give Nandini and his entire family the strength to bear this irreparable loss and may his memories be with us forever.

May his soul rest in peace!!!
With deep grief,
Yours in Rotary,
KRP Sarathy, IFCR ( India)

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Our sympathies go to Kittu’s family, and to all Indian IFCR members who have come to love him and appreciate his ground-breaking work in India and at the international level.

IFCR members have many memories and normally humorous ones of Kittu from every World IFCR Festival dating back to the first at Fordingbridge in 1997. There a group of hungry Aussies knocked on his door and he made a magnificent curry – at 1am.

It is Kittu who was credited with saying “It’s the same distance from India to England as it is from England to India” (the nominated venue for the second Festival), or words to that effect. That cemented an obligation on IFCR members everywhere to participate in future festivals, wherever the hosting country.

Kittu became a fixture at these festivals, just as the chair on which he stood to gain height to address us on frequent occasions, particularly in Chennai.
At Nottingham Kittu was recognised as the oldest participating player.

On the last afternoon, Chennai asked Ian Petherick and Craig Marriott (Bundaberg Sunrise RC) to play to make up the numbers. They had the privilege of playing with Kittu in what was probably his last international appearance for IFCR.

IFCR will continue however. Kittu, indeed a dear friend to all IFCR members, will be sorely missed.

Ian Petherick Australia IFCR

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My personal memories of Kittu are highlighted by his performance in fronting the 1999 Festival in Chennai, which was my own first meeting with him.

I will never forget him greeting us at the airport around midnight and then keeping us amused as he organised us into a hotel. He also featured in the after match functions and results announcements, usually by standing rather precariously on a wobbly table under a tree as he made his humorous and chirpy pronouncements.

We did of course meet him on many subsequent happy occasions through IFCR. It reminds us how much we have benefited by making such wonderful acquaintances around the world through the cricket fellowship.

Kittu was a man who was small in stature, but very large in heart and impact. We all loved to meet up with him and share his company. In New Zealand the indigenous Maori people have a saying along the following lines: “ In the forest of life, a very tall totara has fallen”. ( The totara is a valuable native tree). The expression is I think very apt to apply to Kittu’s passing .

On behalf of IFCRNZ I ask that you pass on our sincere condolences to Kittu’s family and friends at this sad time.

Kind regards to all,

Yours in Rotary Fellowship,
Robert Armstrong. NZIFCR

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Very, very sad news, I feel a great personal loss.

During the last two years leading up to the 8th World Festival I had many private email exchanges with Kittu, more often started by Kittu. They offered advice and suggested ways forward to overcome potential “difficulties”.

They always offered support, understanding and love. I will always remember him for these. We exchanged greetings just a few days ago and were looking forward to meeting again in Chennai.

I feel so very sorry for Nandini, such a lovely lady and if someone can pass on to her our condolences it will be much appreciated. Liz very much enjoyed looking after Kittu and Nandini on the Wednesday of the festival, taking them to Burghley House and Rutland Water.

Kittu is in our prayers,

Norman and Liz Brown (IFCR GB&I)

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He spoke to me a week ago on the telephone and invited me to participate in his Chennai sports festival in Feb 2015 .

He was a great human being. IFCR has lost a great friend.  Please convey our deepest condolence to his family. Regards.

DGE Sajid Bhatti IFCR Pakistan

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To the IFCR family and the extended family of Kittu IFCR South Africa extends condolences.

A man, small of stature, but truly a giant among men.  Warmest cricketing regards.

Gerald Sieberhagen SA IFCR

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It is with a heavy heart that I have to share the news that our dear Kittu passed away yesterday (Dec 29th).

The end was probably as Kittu would have wanted it – he was out, taking a cheeky single while on 77, nothing prolonged – Kittu had driven his grandson to attend a seminar at the local engineering college (IIT Madras), dropped him at the seminar hall (actually climbed up the stairs a couple of floors), had a heart attack while driving back (just a few minutes later) and collapsed at the steering wheel. Passers-by alerted the campus police who took him to the hospital within the campus, but it was all over before that.

I visited Kittu’s house yesterday along with Sri, met his two sons (who are also Rotarians and good friends of all of us in IFCR Chennai) and family and conveyed our condolences on behalf of all his worldwide friends in IFCR.

I am sure that each one of you would have had your precious/special moments with Kittu – I have cherished a 28+ year friendship with him, having worked with him on many IFCR programs and other Rotary programs (Including working together over the last few months to conduct a unique International cricket/tennis event for Rotarians in Feb 2015 in Chennai).

The heart-and-soul of any group, Kittu was at all times at the centre of action. Though age caught up with him, his youthfulness never abandoned him.

May his soul rest in peace.

JK IFCR India

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It’s an end of an era for a true IFCR gentlemen who pursued cricket as well as service to Rotary fellowship in all senses with heart and soul

I feel his presence and humour have taken IFCR India and our world cricketing fellowship a long way. I am very sad to hear this news. We all feel that we have lost a true ambassador of the game and one who treasured the fellowship of service to society.

Let’s pray for his soul to Rest in Peace. He shall always be in our heart with the family of IFCR India as our father of IFCR India.

Our heart goes out to his family members and specially to Nandini aunty for her selfless support and great companionship of our beloved “Kittu”. A greatest gift we can feel in our memories.

With heavy heart and sorrow.

Vipul Patel. IFCR Vice President

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I am saddened to hear the news of the passing away of a friend who inspired everyone in Bangladesh to be actively involved with the rest of the IFCRians.

Kittu was a wonderful brand ambassador for the IFCR movement. We’ll all cherish his memories and will fondly remember our association with him. I pray to the Almighty that He grants Kittu heaven and the strength to Nandini and the family to bear this irreparable loss.

From all of the IFCRians in Bangladesh, please accept our deepest condolences.

PDG Ishtiaque IFCR Bangladesh