I first met AK through Kanboam Karpoam in 1996 when they did a special edition on Outward Bound Singapore featuring older teens. AK was our host and it was my first experience being featured on Television. He warmed up towards me and my school mate Siti and made us feel at ease. His patience and composure caught my attention. A couple of years down the road I was offered a part time job by Manju to work as a production assistant for a children's programme called HUGO for Vasantham Central. When entered the set I realised that AK and team were my bosses producing the show. From day one, AK was so respectful towards me and always greeted me with a smile even when I turned up late for shoots. I was basically running errands doing menial tasks for the production but AK, Rani and Kalah were such magnanimous people who made me feel important and treated me with such warmth and respect.
When I was on a vacation to India, I was awed by the huge posters (Cut-Outs) of AK in prominent places in Chennai. It was a proud moment to know that a Singaporean had made it big in India against all odds. After having such huge successes in India, the humble soul was back in Singapore to serve his community that he was very fond of. AKT was initiated and the ever energetic soul was always bubbling with many ideas to create interest among young minds on Indian traditional folk arts. While I was at Esplanade, I had the opportunity to re-connect with AK and his team again. This time I had the pleasure of presenting them as part of our festival in 2018 and 2019.
In all the brief moments with AK through the years I was always amazed at the positivity and zeal he had towards life and people around him. I never heard him gossiping about anyone, he was ALWAYS well mannered towards the young and the old. AK never raised his voice and was ALWAYS careful with his words. He ALWAYS embraced everyone. These are some of the good attributes about him among the many that stood out for me.
It is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to a good human being and a wonderful soul! I wish I had more time with you to learn the secret behind your positivity. You will ALWAYS live in our hearts and minds forever AK. Your legacy lives on forever through the many lives you have touched...