Late Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar's close friend recalled on Monday how Parrikar, who was the mess secretary during his IIT-Bombay days, once ended a mess workers' strike.
Mukund Deshpande said the workers immediately called off their strike after Parrikar took 40 of his friends to the hostel kitchen and cooked a meal for everyone.
“He was on good terms with the mess workers as he always participated in the committee. After the strike was called, he spoke to the workers. When they refused to serve us, he convinced 40 of us to cook ourselves. That was the best meal we ever had,” added Deshpande, a Pune-based civil engineer who was Parrikar's hostel mate.
The former defence minister was a student at IIT-Bombay from 1973-1980. His college friends at the institute remember him as a born leader and a humble man who attended all alumni meets.
Sharing a fond memory, Bakul Desai, another hostel mate and close friend of Parrikar, recalls how the former defence minister would wait for his turn in the queue to have lunch for which the alumni members were given coupons. Parrikar also asked his security personnel to stay away when he was with his friends.
Ganesh Natarajan, another IIT-B alumnus, spoke of Parrikar's simplicity even after he took charge as the Goa CM. "Have seen him take an auto rickshaw at Mumbai airport even after becoming Goa CM. He will be missed across all walks of life," he said.
In 2017, Parrikar addressed the 55th convocation of the institute where he told graduates to take up jobs in the social and development sectors.
A condolence meet will be held on Monday evening at the institute's P C Saxena auditorium to pay tribute to their alumnus, an IIT-B spokesperson said.
Parrikar died at his Panaji residence on Sunday evening just over a year after he was detected with cancer. He was 63. He was suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and had undergone treatment in hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and New Delhi over the past year.