The industrialist, in 2019, sponsored Vijayan and wife Mohana’s visit to Australia.
Industrialist Anand Mahindra on Saturday took to Twitter to remember Kerala-based tea seller KR Vijayan, who passed away on Friday at the age of 71, and was famous for visiting 26 countries. Mahindra remarked that he was ‘honoured’ to have been associated with one of the 26 journeys that Vijayan and his wife Mohana went on.
“Godspeed, Vijayan. This is your next and most ambitious journey. You became the embodiment of the explorer in all of us. I was honoured to have been part of one of your earthly journeys. Om Shanti,” the Mahindra Group chairman tweeted. The businessman was referring to the couple’s 2019 visit to Australia, which he sponsored, after coming to know about them on social media.
Vijayan’s demise came nearly a month after he and his wife visited Russia, travelling outside India for the first time in two years, due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. They left for Russia on October 21 and returned home on October 28. They first travelled outside the country in 2007, to Israel, eventually earning the sobriquet of ‘travelling couple.’
Vijayan and Mohana ran a tea shop for 40 years in Kochi’s Kadavanthara, and funded their trips from the meagre income from the shop. They were lauded by several celebrities including Mahindra, actors Amitabh Bachchan and Anupam Kher, and writer-politician Shashi Tharoor.
Vijayan, who family members say passed away due to a heart attack, is survived by his wife and two daughters.