As the soft glow of sunlight, a mild nip in the air, and mild haze which is so typical of pre winters in Coimbatore enveloped us, we (S Jaganathan, founder, The Verandah Club and G Vigneshwaran, Special Correspondent, The Verandah Club) stepped into the venue for an enchanting interview with a highly distinguished individual. The welcoming aroma of freshly ground coffee and clarified butter wafted through the air, embracing us. The divine atmosphere that permeated the surroundings was nothing short of idyllic.
In this exclusive interview, we will explore Shri Krishnan’s journey, gaining invaluable insights into life, wisdom, spirituality, art, culture, and, of course, the delightful mittai story, each surpassing the other in its excellence.
Shri Krishnan was kind enough to share his invaluable experiences. When we asked him about the number of programs he has done over the years, he smilingly replied that the intent was never to do so many volumes of programs or have a particular agenda rather the joy and experience of enjoying each program. He recalled how they have been conducting Silambam (a native martial art form of Tamilnadu) program for Government school children which is successfully running even today. Be it any form of fine art to even competitions such as handwriting, Sri Krishna Sweets has been nurturing and engaging talent in this part of the country since the 1980s, well over 30 years now and over hundreds of programs every year. The enormity and scale with which Shri Krishnan has been providing opportunity for talent is something truly remarkable and a journey near impossible to emulate but only be in awe of it. A true inspiration.
When we asked him what drove him to choose this line of activity and commit himself so much to the cause, apart from his business, he simply replied, art is uplifting and it’s the thirst and longingness, a personal pursuit and that he was all along interested in fine arts and how he finds the activity fulfilling. He says Art is a gift to the Artist by the Divine and art is always given. When one finds the right calling and pursues it as a passion, the art delivered by the artist is nothing short of divinity personified. Recalling his cherished experiences with the Late His Holiness, Pujya Shri Swami Dayananda Saraswati whom he revered much, he recalled nothing happens by accident or by chance, every event or an occurrence has a purpose. Sometimes we just need to intelligently put together these outcomes of the accidents like a jigsaw puzzle to make up a bigger picture, which God has placed in front of us. And perhaps, our calling lies in finding the bigger picture and pursuing it. Knowledge when rightly used is wisdom. The artist gives life to any endeavor akin to Prana Pratishta to make the activity bigger and make it a success.
About the necessity of Guru, Shri Krishnan emphasized the presence of Guru is most important to offer guidance and be like a sign post/beacon of light. However, self quest is more important in pursuing our passion. Guru Vakkiyam (teachings of the Guru) is more important than Guru. When there is purity in Sankalpam (Resolve to one’s cause) and work without a hidden agenda, the master will become your servant and do everything for you. That is when the divine takes over and the magic happens.
The will and thought is greater than the action, and right thoughts coupled with desirable action help us redeem Karma. Our quality of thoughts is important and we should ever be conscious of having the right thought. Of all qualities, he values trust the most, for it is irreplaceable and hard to build, earn and protect. We asked him whether these are the characteristics or values that have helped him shape Sri Krishna Sweets, which has become synonymous with purity and supreme quality, his eyes sparkled and said, “Yes! I have always ensured these characteristics in the organization and the sweets we make.” We could understand how a strong character helps build culture and reflects in the outcomes of great organizations and their products. Brands are built over time, the character gets rubbed off on the product by good leadership which helps brands become successful and stand the test of time.
When asked what is success, he said being in equilibrium and not being overtly reactive is the ideal state. His message for the younger generation is to pursue one's passion and everybody has in them a God given gift and one has to meditate (Tapas) on that. The cause will grow and eventually the individual also will grow.
When we asked him his favorite artist, he said any Indian lady putting a Kolam (Rangoli art in front of Indian homes) with remarkable ease is an artist worth celebrating. He explained how the lady drawing the Kolam, the artist draws a Kolam, completes it in style and the final glance that the lady gives to the work of art she has accomplished. That is the sweet time when the art and the artist are one. When art merges with artist, it is a moment of truth encapsulated in spirituality. There is no art without divine grace. Perhaps, the Kolam is the symbol of equilibrium.
We asked him where all Sri Krishna Sweets serve Mysurpa, he said where there are people from Tamilnadu and where there is a refrigerator, Mysurpa is available.😀 He recalled how Mysurpa gets rationed and served as an after meal dessert abroad, amongst the happy connoisseurs. During one of the store openings in the Middle East, he recalled how Indians were overwhelmingly welcoming the initiative of a new Indian sweet outlet and it was a moment of truth for him.
When asked about the story of delectable Mysurpa, he said it is all about the “Padham” and ensuring highest quality standards as a habit. We understand the Mysurpa is in perfect equilibrium when it is made by Sri Krishna Sweets, embodying a state of perfect balance where opposing forces find harmony, where Physics and Chemistry are in perfect balance.
It was more than two hours that we were in conversation and didn't realize how enriching and fulfilling it was with Shri Krishnan, the man who has not only satiated us with his sweets, but also ensured the cultural landscape of the Coimbatore region has blossomed well and is vibrant today. It was a very enlightening session with Shri Krishnan and we at The Verandah Club were deeply benefitted and motivated to hear how Dharmic values when embraced with good business practices leads to sustained success.
|| Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah ||
Grandson, Husband and Father of Two, S Jaganathan - is the Founder of The Verandah Club. Convenor INTACH Coimbatore Chapter. He is an avid traveller, interested in trendspotting and a firm believer in the philosophy - Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah.
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