There is a drop in Rahul daCunha’s voice when we connect over the phone lines. For once, the tempo isn’t quite in full flow. He is just back after attending Dr Verghese Kurien’s funeral in Anand. “We had reached Mumbai after staging The Bureaucrat in Kuwait. I switched on my mobile, and got the news about Dr Kurien. So, I boarded the next flight to make it in time for his funeral, which was at 4 pm yesterday,” shares daCunha.
Talking about Anand’s farewell to their favourite son, he shares, “The whole city had showed up to bid him adieu. As I stood there watching the flood of affection for him; I thought to myself that here was a man who spent every day at the office with the intent to change the lives of India’s people. He wasn’t concerned about salaries or brands.” He joined daCunha Communications, the ad agency that creates Amul hoardings in the in-between phase, in the early 1990s, when Dr Kurien had delegated roles to people; he had built a team of homegrown people by then. “Such was his foresight,” emphasises daCunha.
“Dr Kurien stood out, especially in context to what we see around — the corruption and lack of vision.” When asked to recall lesser-known facts about ‘India’s Milkman’, daCunha, reveals, “He was so fearless, and mentally strong but few could have imagined the same man to have a sense of humour. He was quirky, with a child-like, endearing quality. I remember him being excited each time he bought a car.”
Dr Kurien supported daCunha and his team; he never had a favourite hoarding, though. “He was someone, who could relate to my world. That was his genius.”