V Karthikeyan (VK) served Tamil Nadu as an IAS officer for four decades. Genial and soft-spoken he worked as Chief Secretary twice. VK earned a reputation for honesty and quiet efficiency.
A colleague of VK recalls a couple of instances that testify the simplicity and respect he earned:
The first one relates to his declining an offer to take charge as the Director General of Shipping that would have given much wider opportunities for career advancement. The reason: his worry over maintaining one home each at Mumbai and Chennai, which he felt was unaffordable.
Another opportunity came by when he was due to retire: a posting in Delhi that would get him two extra years beyond the regulation retirement age of 58. MGR would not let him go. But MGR made amends by appointing him Chairman of the State Planning Commission that got him employment for two more years.