Friday, May 14, 2010


It's been a month since Mahesh's passing, and it still is a strange feeling for me to come to terms with it. I've known him since our very first day at IITM, and ever since then, we've been in touch via nearly every medium that existed. We're in together in every single group I'm a part of, and it was a rare day that I didn't hear something from him - some brilliant pun that he cooked up, some illuminating etymology for a Sanskrit word he chanced upon, some nice article he stumbled across or some music video that had a brilliant funda to it.

I could try describing him to you if you didn't know him personally, but I'm quite sure it'll come nowhere close. He was supremely brilliant, to a degree that I could not comprehend with my abilities. I mean every word of that: in the 6 odd years that I've known him, not once have I been able to grok how someone could know so much, be so sharp and so effortlessly connect ideas together. Even the most trivial chat conversation with him would leave me completely spellbound by his sheer intelligence. I ended up learning something fascinating in nearly every conversation with him, and everyone who's met him would agree with me on this. What made it even more amazing was that his enormous depth of knowledge pervaded every field imaginable. Academics? There he was, putting fundaes to 10 people crammed in his room the night before the quiz, not getting irritated once at needing to repeat himself, not thinking the least bit about spending all his time explaining stuff to junta, supremely confident of his own fundaes and doing all this with his inimitable panache, humour and style; Music? Ask him to describe RHCP's evolution, or the intricacies of a raaga, or about using formants in Fruity Loops and you're in for an absolute treat. Hell, he'd give you a live demonstration composing music on his cellphone synthesizer as he went along his lesson! Sports? You want to talk about basketball or tennis or football or skateboarding? He could as well be a professional bookie with the amount he knew; Got bored of talking and want to actually play? He was the basketball coach for an uncountable number of people, and many like me took up skateboarding because he was the teacher and it couldn't get much better than that.

It came to an extent that Mahesh was the recourse for many of us who were very disgruntled with the 'general sham' of the adult world. Here was a guy who could tell you that no, it wasn't all crap, and show you why it wasn't. And when he showed you, you'd see it, see that it wasn't all crap. You could pick up a conversation on anything with him, and by the end of ten minutes you'd find yourself seriously thinking of picking it up as a new hobby. Last year, we were all at Death Valley and getting rather bored  as the night passed by. Someone remarked that the starlit sky was very clear, and slowly Mahesh started telling us little factoids from here and there - about how Orion actually has a bow that isn't visible in the cities, about how to locate Aldebaran, how Pleaides has much more than meets the eye.. by the end of half an hour, we were as invigorated as if we had been given a tour of the greatest show on earth by a guide who truly felt the greatness - and we had!

But to remember Mahesh primarily by his intelligence and learning would be like trying to remember the sun by its Fraunhoffer lines. There was much, much more to his personality than just his superior brilliance. For one, he was humble to a fault. The combination of such unbelievable talent and equally unbelievable humility was something I could never comprehend. I cannot count the number of times I've gone back and thought over some argument I had with him, only to realize that the openness, humility and fairness he displayed were far beyond what I was capable of.

I brought up fairness - whenever you reflect on your mental image of a person, there are some characteristics that stand out as being particularly amazing in your judgment. Mahesh's sense of fair play and ethics were almost superhuman. Here was a person who you could trust to play by the rules NO MATTER WHAT. Never once was there a compromise. Never an argument with himself that went, "See, that's fine, but let's be practical...". Never giving in for an opportunity for a 'quick con'. It was always the high road, no matter what the consequences were.

And in spite of following to the dot the severest of such self-set rules, he never took moral high ground when interacting with people. Never did he speak one word of criticism about anybody else's ethics. We hear much talk of 'dependability'. You could depend on Mahesh to help you out. Period. He was the kind of guy who would take it upon himself as a mission to help anyone who asked him. 

Such a treasure trove of the finest of human qualities, and yet he did not have the slightest air of self-importance. His sense of humour is legendary, and never did he have qualms about making fun of himself.

How can anyone react to such perfection in any other way than mute acceptance?

Why did he take the extreme step? I don't know. Given the number of times I have sought and blindly followed his advice, and cannot help instinctively thinking that he fully knew what he was doing. Maybe this was all the world deserved of him. I hope those he has left behind find peace. 


[ Very well-written posts on Mahesh by:
Please let me know if there are more. ] 


Anon said...

hey!! Mahesh's last post on bark4nai has been deleted! Any idea y? And who did it? Now am wondering, did he write it in the first place, if someone else can delete it off like this!!!

KVM said...

I don't know - I just noticed it. It might have been a guardian whom the police had given access. I will try asking around.

Anon said...

Thanks man!! any updates?? Nai wanted it to be seen by us...thatz y he left his post there!! i feel its not right to delete it off like this by someone :( be it police or guardian!

KVM said...

I couldn't find anything man.. :(

I don't know why they would want to interfere.. let's see if something comes in the next few weeks.

Anon said...

Some one is logging in n out regularly...check his last seen ...hrs/days

Anon said...


Mathew1 said...

Dear friends,
On going through several Reports (police, toxicology and coroner's) we received from responsible authorities, we found several contradictory statements regarding the death. The statements are not matching. We don't know the reasons for finalising his report by coroner. It is totally suspicious. Looks like that made in a irresponsible and callous attitude and by a unqualified personnel. This is for your kind information only

Anon said...

I am a close family friend of our beloved Mahesh. Recently, I have made a visit to his home, when I have the chance to see some reports they received from the UCI authorities.
I am sure that at any cost, Mahesh will not commit suicide for simply cutting funding. Because when he got admission at UCI, his parents have made several alternate arrangements to meet the funding.
After a long waiting of nearly five months, and after several requests, they received the postmortem and toxicology reports from the UCI authorities. On going thru the reports one can found several contradictory statements. The Police as well as the Forensic Pathologist Dr.Aruna Singhania reports that the death taken place days before the body found,(because it has been decomposed at the time of post mortem); whereas the Orange County Sheriff Coroner confirms that the date of death as 15th April. Don't know how they arrived at this date. Also his face has been covered with two plastic covers - one is transparent which was tightly tied with nylon thread(which has to be cut out by the police), and the other cover is an opaque. It is an established fact that nobody can suicide by simply putting a plastic bag into face. At the time of suffocation, they will escape using all their strength,even though it will be made of some strong material. Here, no signs of escape reported and his nails and fingers are normal. This seems to be suspicious and confirms our doubt that it was a homicide/murder. Eventhough requests were made to one detective Roland Chiu (who investigated the case), to clarify as well as to send some photos taken at the location and postmortem, it remains unanswered till date, and he even not bothered to respond. It is presumed that the authorities are hiding the truth away from us. Still the mystery going on......
My request is : His parents are now in a pathetic condition. Can somebody advice what to do in this case

Sari said... s bothersome!! His death is still a fresh news in my head...Dint know him much but he was present for various imp occasions in my life! ...but what do u plan to do? someone must be there in UCI and that someone must be very influential to get reports from the Police Dept there too...