I always knew him as Shani. The shadow of Saturn.
I met him 10 years ago. I used to be intimidated. In that year, I spent way too much time around his dorm. During that time, I grew to know him to be loyal, driven, outspoken, frank, protective, passionate, genuine, resilient. He had a sense of humor; it took me some time getting used to his wackiness. He didn't make it easy to warm up to him, but warmth flowed unheeded. Somewhere in that first year, the year I spent most in his company, the aura around him became grounded and I saw him for the amazing person he was. He showed he cared in very odd ways but through that miasma I could still witness his fierce loyalty and protectiveness of those closest to him. After that year, my connection with him was only through the scores of mutual friends. Yet, it was impossible to be too far away from his shadow. He was in that group that without a doubt consisted of some of my favorite people that I have known in my life and looked up to.
Anyone who knows him knows how hard working and passionate he is. Hundreds of us owe our amazing professional careers to his and the placecom team's several night outs and sleep deprived days to get us the best jobs our potential deserved, willingly even at the cost of their own academic records. And, a few of us had the good fortune to call him a friend. I was once handed down a pearl of wisdom from him "There is no harm in asking. The worst is a No but if you don't ask, you will never get anything". I grew up never asking for anything because my baggage of experiences drove me to never ask and not be told no. Yet, I remember his wisdom every timme I need some motivation to overcome my defense mechanism, to spur me and it inevitably pushes me through.
Karthik a.k.a Shani passed away yesterday.
Karthik: In life when I knew you, you were always larger than life to me. I admired you for your strength and belief in yourself and the faith you instilled in those around you. I respected you for your honesty and resilience in the face of adversity. In my heart, you will always live on as one of the people who had a deep influence in my life.
Your shadow will always be cast on many lives and for that we will always be grateful.