Khushroo Kiash is no more. He died yesterday morning in a motorcycle accident near Mumbai. He was riding his favorite bike and doing what he liked to do. I came to know Khushroo when DPW acquired P&O Ports in 2006. He was Director Engineering Services and was fabulously good at what he did. His greatest strength was team building; he has left behind one of the strongest teams in DPW, a legacy that will do his memory proud.
Khush, as he was called by everyone – it suited him for he made all around him happy, as he himself was – and I were the only two in the Sub-continent Region of DPW who looked like senior citizens and that made for a special relationship. The great thing about Khush was that he made everyone feel special. So I felt, in his company, that I was special to him. A few instances stand out in support of this strong premise. At a get together in Ganesh Raj’s house in Mumbai I paid handsome compliments to the Pathani suit he was wearing. He asked me for my size and said that he would try to get me one. In a few weeks I had one delivered to me in Cochin. I came to know later that he had it sent from Karachi by Changez, the CEO of our BU there. On one of my visits to the Regional Office in Mumbai I shared some Dal which Khush had got from home. It was lovely and I told him so. From then on, every time I went to the Regional Office, he would get me an extra portion of Dal. On a visit to Cochin he brought me a bottle of it from Mumbai! One of my weaknesses is Falooda and when I told him this on another visit to Mumbai he jumped up from his seat, caught me by my arm and said, in his inimitable Parsi style, “There ko main abhi duniya ke subse badhiya falooda khilata hoon. Aao mere saath” (I will just now get you the world’s best falooda. Come with me). He introduced me to Badshah, near Crawford. I will never forget the parental delight on his face when I polished off three portions in one sitting. Not only did he buy me all that I could eat, he also bought enough for all the staff in the office and made sure that none missed out. Such was the man. When I told him about a trip I had planned to Ladakh he offered to spare his inners (he claimed it was clean!) and a woolen cap (which he reportedly bought in China many years ago when he was sailing). After the trip I returned the inners (as clean as it was received) and the cap. He told me to keep the cap as a memento. Ironically, I was wearing it this morning when I got the message of his untimely demise.
Khush was the life and soul of every party and gathering. The energy and vivacity he exuded, despite the health warnings he had in the past, made guys half his age look bland and lifeless. His raunchy jokes and naughty stories embellished every meeting and interaction. The relationship with his wife was the stuff of dreams, as I understood from colleagues. I know of his love for his daughter and son. He made sure that he spent as much time with them as was possible. Whenever he visited them in Australia he would come back with stories of places he visited with them, how much he enjoyed with them and so on and on. He lived a full life and never once complained about it, even when the chips were down. It was only last year that his daughter hosted a party in Mumbai to celebrate his 60th birthday. Friends from all over the world attended the party; it only underlined the strong relationships he built as he went along. In a few days from now he would have turned 61. That was not to be. He has cast off the ropes of his ship from our shores and set sail for another. ‘The Khush’ has gone out of our lives, but Khush will live in our hearts forever. Fly on free spirit. Cheers mate.