Bengaluru: Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) chain founder VG Siddhartha was today laid to rest from the same place where he began journey as a little boy who dared to dream big over an ordinary cup of coffee. A coffee planter’s son, Siddhartha was cremated at sunset at his Chetanahali estate in his ancestral village of Mudegiri in Chikkamagaluru, prematurely ending a glorious life as an entrepreneur.
He was cremated as per Vokkaliga rites and the funeral pyre was lit by his sons Amratya and Ishaan in the presence of mother, grandfather SM Krishna, his wife and other family members.
Ironically, Siddhartha’s father was not present as he is battling death in a hospital and is in coma. He is unaware of his son’s death or the funeral.
Siddhartha’s mother’s plight was pathetic at the funeral. On the one hand she lost her son and, on the other, she is facing the inevitable end of her husband. She too was inconsolable.
Hundreds of people thronged the estate to pay their last respects to the Coffee King.
Krishna and his wife broke down and wept profusely as they paid their last respects.
Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had to be escorted out as he broke down at the coffin of Siddhartha.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was among the first to pay last respects to Siddhartha. He described the Coffee King as “a simple man, a pioneer in popularising Indian coffee in the world. I can’t even imagine why a person who would have been under the guidance of SM Krishna Ji ended his life. I give my tributes to his family.”
Others who paid their respects included the CCD founder’s close friend DK Sivakumar, former ministers of the coalition government.
Early Wednesday, Karnataka woke up to the news they did not want to hear – that Siddhartha’s bloated and shirtless body had washed ashore at the banks of Netravati near Ullal in Mangaluru at 4.30 am. The police rushed to the spot and brought his body to Mangaluru from where it was taken to his estate.
Siddhartha was first reported missing on Monday evening by his driver, who was the last to see him.
Earlier today, as CCD stocks bled red on the stock exchanges, Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd named independent director SV Ranganath as the interim chairman and Nitin Bagmane as interim chief operating officer (COO) of the company.