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From darkness to light

. . . In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav

(November 25, 1985- June 17, 2015)


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evin Parikshit Vaishnav was born to Parikshit Vaishnav and Kumari Vaishnav in Akron, Ohio, on the 25th of November, 1985. The Vaishnav family resided in Akron until Kevin was 7 years of age, when they moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland, the city that Kevin would call home. As a child, Kevin excelled in English, Mathematics and Science. Kevin was an avid sports fan, enjoying tennis, table tennis, golf, and football, but most of all, he enjoyed the sport of baseball. His passion for the sport made him a devout Baltimore Orioles fan; in particular, a fan of legendary Baltimore Orioles Outfielder Brady Anderson (he even carefully shaped his sideburns like Anderson!). His experiences watching Orioles games, both at home and at Camden Yard, made him dream of one day becoming a live-sports commentator. His love for baseball carried onto the field; he played little league baseball all throughout his childhood. Kevin’s favorite movie, for which any who knew Kevin would attest, was the Robin Williams classic, Mrs. Doubtfire. Kevin had seen this movie so many times, that he could recite every line of the movie from his memory! Upon entering Thomas S. Wootten High School, Kevin focused his academic efforts on mathematics and the physical sciences, as he prepared for a future career as an engineer. Kevin shined as a student, and was commended for his efforts and success, both by his peers, and his teachers, by winning the Science Student of the Year award at Wooten High School, which was no small feat, given that the high school was rated as one of the best in the country. However, Kevin’s interests were not limited to mathematics and science; he enjoyed being a part of his school’s debate team as well. Kevin performed exceptionall well on his standardized exams, debating made him a very competitive college applicant. After being accepted into multiple highly ranked universities, Kevin ultimately decided to enroll at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he would major in Chemical Engineering. Kevin continued his journey in Illinois, where his disciplined approach to school and life allowed him to rise to the top of his engineering class, while at the same time, enjoy the college experience. Though the winters in Illinois were frigid, Kevin biked to class on campus, and exercised regularly, finding a balance between mind and body. Kevin networked exceptionally well at professional meetings, and successfully completed internships at NIST and The Clorox Company during the summer breaks from school. His experience as an intern at Clorox resulted in a job offer as an R&D Process Engineer/Product Developer with the Clorox in San Francisco, a new challenge that Kevin was eager to take on. Kevin graduated Cum Laude from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2007. While working with the Hidden Valley Ranch brand with Clorox in San Francisco, Kevin developed a passion for food sciences, and was quickly recognized as a valuable member of his office staff. He thrived at Clorox, but was excited to embark on his next professional journey with WhiteWave Foods an R&D Product Manager in Denver, Colorado, where he led innovation programs for their cottage cheese products. However, he was most proud of his leadership in developing and launching a new line of iced coffee, a product that is now recognizable at virtually every grocery store in the U.S. While in Denver, being a man of many interests and hobbies, Kevin dabbled into the world of modeling, where he successfully appeared in several 2

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


advertising campaigns, including a U.S. Army television commercial, and a major banner advertisement in Denver’s International Airport. Kevin’s desire to propel his career forward in the field of marketing led him to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration. After successfully obtaining admissions in multiple top MBA programs, including the #1 ranked Marketing program in the country, he ultimately decided to attend UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles, due to its reputation, West Coast location, and strong relationship with Kevin’s dream company, Nestle. Kevin again found success at UCLA, and through his performance and professional networking, completed an internship at Toyota Motor Corporation, as a Marketing Associate. Kevin did manage to have some fun during his time at UCLA as well; his love for travel took him to Thailand and Europe with classmates and friends. Kevin graduated with his MBA in Marketing from UCLA in 2014, and was able to accomplish his goal of securing the position of Associate Brand Manager for the Butterfinger brand at Nestle USA in Los Angeles. Kevin was very successful professionally, but most of all, we will all remember Kevin for his vibrant personality, passion for life, enthusiasm, energy, talent for vocal imitations, and his sense of humor. Kevin would instantly brighten any room that he would walk into, and quickly become the life of the party, whether it was with family members, colleagues, or classmates. His positive attitude and energy were infectious, making him everyone’s favorite friend and family member. His passion for the even the simplest activity was impressive; he could make a compelling case for something as simple as going to bed with a glass of water that was meticulously covered with a lid on his nightstand, to ensure that he could have easy access to a glass of water at all times of the night. Kevin was able to effortlessly and convincingly imitate celebrities, family members, and friends, and in doing so, captivate an audience and cause them to hold their sides in laughter. He was a man who valued the company of family, and made every effort to stay connected with them throughout his adulthood. Trying to explain who Kevin was in a couple of pages is like setting out to count every grain of sand on a beach; he simply was Kevin. His time on this earth was too short, and we will all cherish our time with him, and try to fill the gaping void with his loving memories.

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


Kevin_ A loving son In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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W

e all awaited the birth of Kevin with such excitement. He entered his parent’s world after 13 years of married life. His birth was celebrated joyously by the Vaishnav and Nanavati families. The first few days in the hospital were rocky, as he was developing blue lips and toes due to lack of oxygen, but Kevin was back to normal after few weeks. What a delightful baby he was! He was easy going, with no fuss, and thus a very easy baby to take care of for new parents. He brought joy to all of us with his constant laughing as he rode his rocking horse. As he grew up he delighted us with his nursery rhymes. During his school years from elementary school to college, Kevin embraced learning with confidence and devotion and excelled in every field he dabbled in. His eagerness to learn new things and applying knowledge to daily ways stayed with in his working environment too. He diligently followed his parents’ expectations: Even during his teenage years, he never protested or argued about anything. His love for baseball was exhibited as wall decorations in his room. He was lucky to have mom who fully immersed herself into his hobby to stay connected with his passion. He grew up with a father who was very protective of him, and yet, with full confidence and support from his mom, managed to develop interest in water sports and skiing. He stayed connected with his Dad through their common interest in golf, movies and travelling. Just last year, Kevin took a trip with his parents to Las Vegas and commented that he had the best time with his parents. He was very respectful to elders, and very reliable young man with so many varied interests that he could connect very easily with people who came into his life. God gave the gift of Kevin to his parents and took him away in an untimely manner. Though his parent’s life will never be the same without him, all the memories of Kevin they have will be filled with positive energy and that will give them strength to look back and experience the pride of having such a precious son.

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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Kevin came into our lives so briefly, He touched our hearts sooo deeply, He engraved the imprints of his love in our hearts very quickly!! He taught us how transient the life is!? Rest very peacefully Kevin Divyakant-Raksha Kikani & family

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


Rita Avashia reminisces . . . In his short life, Kevin gave so much pleasure to us. On his first birthday he was at Anupam in Vadodara. We had statue of laughing Buddha that he broke by accident and he quoted a term “Bhagaka tutu” by himself which we all enjoyed him reciting for a while even after coming back to US. Then his favorite nursery rhyme was “Hathibhai to Jada”. As he continue to learn more he taught us “I am being swallowed by boa costrictor”, then wearing cap made from towel he used to run around in hallways being Superman. Middle school and high school brought his passion for baseball. It was fun to hear him telling stories of college life and besides working hard and being excellent student, he was having fun. His years in Colorado were filled with lots of skiing and he treated us to an excellent restaurant in Denver. After his move to CA for MBA studies we used to exchange comments about articles we used to send him from WSJ. Kevin and I always used to banter sometimes on our opposing views in friendly manners. If at a family reunion he wanted to go to movies, I used to say that’s not bonding and he would reply watching good movie together is bonding experience. Last bantering we had was about his suggestion this year reunion that he proposed in a big city and I had replied why not national park? Alas I will always miss him questioning my old fashioned way of looking at things against his new ways of looking at things. I truly will miss his young views when I find myself stuck in the old views. We all know he knew in his heart how much we all loved him.

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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Whereas Uma & Ashutosh Nanavati remember . . .

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


Kevin was 19 years younger than me and we were separated by 8000 miles the first 25 years of my existence. While I have vague memories of Kevin’s earlier years and specifically celebrating his first birthday party in Vadodara, it is after my move to USA in1995, that I really came to know Kevin well. I could quote a lot of anecdotes and cherished occasions that I (and later on my wife Radhika and daughter Khushi) shared with Kevin and KakaKaki but amongst many, one that I remember time again and again was how Kevin treated his much-older cousin from far away India (with my own eccentricities) whenever I was visiting Kaka-Kaki’s place or when we were out on a family vacation. The most common scenario was a weekend trip that I would very frequently make to Washington (Gaithersberg) from NY and NJ to Kaka-Kaki’s place and I would always feel at home with Kevin. He would treat me as if he was an older brother: very caring and tolerant. Activities would be planned around what I would like whether it would be going to a place of American History (Gettysberg Battlefield) or recurrent visits to Smithsonian museum or home cooked Indian meal or a restaurant with more vegetarian options catering to my taste and Kevin would always be a sport. Ever smiling and never ever would he ‘make a face’ at going to some of those places where he would have been multiple times. And I am talking about the time when Kevin had not even been a teenager! And that behavior remained all through the next two decades. I have vague memories of me being almost the opposite when I was Kevin’s age. Exemplary. Kevin: We shall always remember you. Always a smiling, sharing and caring family member. Love you.

. . . says Anand, Radhika & Khushi Vaishnav

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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On the other hand, Manalee Nanavati flashes on . . .

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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Whenever I thought of Kevin, the first picture of him that always came to mind was when he was hardly 6 months or so, and I was visiting Parikshit, Kumariben from India in 1986. Usually, children are shy of strangers and I was told Kevin was shy too. But we hit it off very quickly and when I was to leave their home after four, five days of stay, he, as if sensed it, would not allow me to put him down! I certainly thought he was a happy baby and so a very friendly one too, with no fear of strangers. He gathered a host of friends when he grew up, went to prestigious colleges and to work at well-known corporations and has certainly made an impact on a lot of lives, young and old. When Kevin was about 10 years old, they were visiting for a couple of days at our residence in Khar. It was a Saturday and my wife Varsha was teaching an art class. Kevin was invited to join in and he eagerly did so. In her first morning class, Varsha told the children the well-known story of competition between Ganesh and Kartikeya about who would be able to go round the world first. There was really no competition at all! Yet, when Kartikeya returned after his sojourn round the world, he was amazed, rather aghast to see Ganesh calmly occupying his prize, a place between his parents on a throne. Apparently, Ganesh simply made his divine parents sit on their throne and took a ceremonial circle of them and declared that since for him parents equal the world, this was good enough! In the class that followed, Kevin was asked whether he would be interested in telling that same story to the children and Kevin obliged. He told the whole story with much clarity and interest, thereby regaling all his new listeners! He seemed to continue always having similar respect and love for Parikshit and Kumariben. From 1995, when my son Nishith came over to USA to Virginia Tech to study, he also came closer to them. Particularly so, when in 2000, he moved to Washington DC for his jobs. He was recipient of ever welcoming hospitality of Parikshit and Kumariben for next seven-eight years. We also witness increasing fondness between Kevin and Nishith, playing together, including some mock boxing. In 2008, Nishith moved to USC for his MBA and Kevin went to Univ. of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. They again started meeting some four-five years later, when Kevin came to UCLA for his own MBA. Though I had talked to Kevin on phone many times, it was in one of my visits to LA in 2012 that we could get together for a sumptuous lunch at a Brazilian restaurant near UCLA. It was clear to me that Kevin was like a little brother to Nishith and they used to go out together to play golf. Many times when Nishith and I talked on phone, we exchanged news about Kevin and his progress in MBA, which he soon cleared and graduated with quite aplomb. We used to discuss his job first at Toyota and Clorox, both of which he liked, as my impression goes, but both had some limitation because of which he decided to take another job at Nestle. His interest was in food science and especially in R&D. On Thursday, May 28th, 2015, when Varsha and I arrived at Washington DC, we were happily surprised to see Kevin along with Kumariben at the airport. Most amazingly, seeing us, he put his hands together and bowed. I wanted just a hug, which followed! What 14

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


a wonderful person, tall and handsome, he had grown into! For four, five days we were together at their home, having food together, discussing about his job and his further interest in moving back to DC from California, making plans for all sorts of visits as usual. For next four days, these continued, as he drove us around and we kept on discussing. On Sunday, we, all five of us, went to a most memorable trip to Baltimore Museum of Arts and enjoyed various sculptures and paintings there. Kevin had grown into an interesting conversationalist, interested in and knowledgeable about great many subjects. I took a photo there, which unwittingly turned out to be the last of his photos taken by me. On June 2nd, he drove us again to IAD for our flight to LA. We started making plans to meet again in LA after his remaining vacation, as he was working in Pasadena. In about ten days, I came to know from Parikshit that Kevin was already in LA. Next day, we talked and again made plans to go to LA museums. He was very enthusiastic of showing us UCLA and its Fowler Museum. However, due to his preoccupation with work and with new interviews he was appearing in; these plans never materialized. The saddest day suddenly arrived. Nevertheless, it was heartening to note the affection and love Kevin had created among numerous of his friends, old and new, boys and girls, white, black and brown, all unknown at least to us, who had gathered to bid him their final adieu. The proposed plans will never take place now. We are all left with a hard to fill void and with prayers and wishes for eternal peace for his soul!

. . . Recalls Prakash Trivedi, Varsha & Nishith

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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As per Swati & Kumar Pandayan . . . Lao Tzu is quoted as saying “The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long,” and Kevin’s flame burned so bright! He was brilliant, loved people, and truly knew how to enjoy life. These pictures I have attached capture the essence of what I will remember most about him: his love for sports, his love for family, and his ever smiling face. I really appreciated that he made an effort to connect with us and build a relationship separate from the one we have by virtue of mommy and mama being siblings. It was a delight to spend time with him because of his easygoing nature and interesting conversations. Kevin also knew good food so spending time with him meant that heart, mind, and belly were full afterwards. Although the flame of his life was snuffed out prematurely, there will be an eternal flame in my heart for him.

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


All of us are deeply grieved on hearing the sad news of Kevin’s untimely death. He was a dynamic young man having sharp intellect. It is an unimaginable loss for the family, not just Parikshit and Kumari. May god give us all the strength to bear this unfortunate loss. We have lost a precious gem. . . . lements Girish-Jagu Kharod

While Pranav & Ketki Kharod say . . . We have met Kevin few times and he always came across as very transparent, sincere, intelligent, and had great sensitivity for all the family members. We are shocked and devastated by Kevin’s loss. We pray for Kevin, Parikshitmama and Kumarimami.

Kevin, we will miss you. RIP . . . conveys Ami - Tausheet Antani

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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Kashmira Avashia remembers. . . I remember Kevin as a fun loving young man during his time in Champaign, IL. He took care of my father, Late Hardevdas Vaishnav in year 2005 when I went to a school field trip with 10 years old Nimesh. Kevin possessed a remarkable ability to connect with anyone. Kevin was a great mentor and role model for Anooj and Nimesh. Kevin believed in enjoying life and sharing fun with others. During his trip to Chicago in 2013, he took Nimesh to John Hancock Tower and treated him with a lunch on top of the tower. Kevin will always remain in my heart with sweet memories.

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


My hope for Kevin mama’s soul is that when he comes back in his next life, he comes back from a flower and lives in peace. . . . Prays Amari Pandayan

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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a brilliant student In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


K

evin was born in the rubber city Akron, Ohio, but most of his pre-college schooling happened in the Washington area. Kevin derived aptitude for Math & Science from his father Parikshit Vaishnav – an accomplished and bright engineer himself - and a sense of humor and love for languages from his mother Kumari Vaishnav. Kevin excelled in his classes from early childhood and never had any difficulties maintaining an almost perfect GPA throughout college. In addition to excelling in school, he began taking a keen interest in sports. Upon entering Thomas S. Wooten High School, Kevin focused his academic efforts on mathematics and the physical sciences as he prepared for a future career as an engineer. While most students would fear Chemistry and Calculus, Kevin welcomed the challenge and had no difficulty grasping complex concepts . At Wooten, Kevin was commended for his efforts and success, both by his peers and his teachers, by winning the Science Student of the Year award at Wooten High School. Having excelled in math and the sciences, Kevin participated in debate to stay well rounded. His strong academic record coupled with his participation in various clubs put Kevin on the list of outstanding students during his Junior and Senior years at Wooten. Having formed a solid educational foundation, it was no surprise that Kevin scored well on his SAT Given his love for math and science, he looked to further his education and was accepted to the University of Illinois at ChampaignUrbana, a university known for its challenging curriculum for chemical engineering. Transition from school to college is always hard, but as always Kevin made this look easy. He received an Arts and Science Scholarship at UIUC and earned his degree in Chemical Engineering with an astounding 3.9+ GPA and cum laude honors. During his time at UIUC, he grew not only academically but as a person. One of Kevin’s biggest strengths was his ability to listen and communicate passionately and effectively. Always looking for new challenges and given his skill set, he sought to attend an MBA program. Continuing his pattern of success, Kevin scored very well in the GMAT and was accepted into several of the most prestigious MBA programs. Having fought cold weather his whole life, Kevin accepted his admission to UCLA Business School in California. The weather wasn’t the only reason he decided on UCLA. Given his academic success he received a substantial and prestigious scholarship. Kevin, with his curious and analytical mind, would set goals for himself and shatter them. His success in and out of academia from an early age allowed him to enjoy success in his field of interest.

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Alexa Jones recalls . . . My first year roommate who was recruiting for Marketing came home and told me that “Kevin was such a natural at recruiting” and explained how he wasn’t even interested in King’s Hawaiian but had asked the best and most insightful questions she’d ever heard at the information session.

While Jared Wasser flashes on. . . Kevin was a man that no one could not like. I am not sure if it was the infectious smile, the positive attitude, or just his ability to relate to anything, but Kevin put a smile on everyone’s face. Kevin had a way to relate to everyone. He enjoyed science, math, baseball, golf, football, movies, television, etc. Kevin found everything interesting. One specific thing Kevin enjoyed as we were growing up was playing “flight simulator” on his computer. Now this was back in the mid 1990’s, so the graphics weren’t anything special, and nothing was unrealistic. I remember sitting in Kevin’s computer room, upstairs at his house, and we would sit there for hours as he flew from Washington, DC to California. Kevin needed to make sure that flight landed safely in California. He could not move on to anything else until that flight landed. He found interests in things that not many people could. This was one of the great personality traits that Kevin had that made people want to be around him. Kevin was one of the most passionate people I have ever met. He loved his family and friends, and boy did they love him too. I am glad that I was able to be a part of Kevin’s life since 1993, and even gladder that he was a part of mine. I can’t help but smile every time I think about him.

You were one of the first people I met at PAR. You came with a positive attitude, and a very likable personality. You were one of the brightest people I knew and you never hesitated to step in when someone needed help. I’ll never forget that. Rest in peace. . . . says Shrini from UIUC

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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I remember having met you long back when Parikshitkaka, kaki and you had come to India and we had the fortune to meet together. We talked about interesting education system of both countries, your hobbies etc. I could find that a young boy wants to explore lot many possibilities and go ahead with opportunities that knock your doors. It was those bright eyes, passion, commitment and determination to do better in life that we saw in you. We feel the void and vacuum in our family now, loss of a very bright, young, energetic and talented family member and will always miss you. RIP Kevin . . . lements Janardan Kaka, Mrudanga Kaki, Ashish, Shivani & Darsheel Kikani

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


Koushik Chatterjee recollects . . . To some of my fondest memories... Competing with you and Kartik in AP Physics all senior year and keeping up with some of the smartest people I’ve ever known. I still do not know what has happened but be at peace, old friend.

Whereas Kruti Kharod thinks back . . . My interaction with Kevin was limited, but I have looked up to him as an achiever in the family. I had consulted him before taking up Chemical engineering, and I will think of him when I chart my career ahead. I really wish I had gotten to know him better personally. Heartfelt prayers for Kevin.

I worked with Kevin on our high school newspaper during his senior year. I recall him being one of the most intelligent people I’d ever met and laughing so much when he was around. Before Kevin graduated he shocked me by appointing me as one of the managing editors of the paper for the following year. I regret not being able to tell him how much that meant to me and how much it helped me even now. My serious and deepest condolences to his family. . . . conveys Brandon Fischer

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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Mike Lyons reminisces . . . Although Kevin was not someone that was a part of my life post high school, many of the memories I have of him are still very fresh in my mind. I believe that he had that kind of impact on many people - the kind of person who leaves a lasting imprint on the lives of others he encounters. I remember his sharp wit and pleasant smile making him both enjoyable and entertaining to be around. On several occasions I recall Kevin approaching me and assuming the role of one of my hypothetical professors, inquiring about my study habits, referring to me as Mr. Lyons and imploring me to stay out of trouble. I smile when I think of these brief, yet memorable interactions. I also remember being impressed by his intellect. While I languished one day in 6th grade English class, unable to even formulate a topic for the short story that each of us had been assigned to write, Kevin excitedly stopped by my table to share his rough draft, which seemed to be well on its way to completion. After listening to him enthusiastically tell the harrowing survival story of a teenager locked in his bathroom, forced to subsist on dabs of toothpaste and other toiletries as he awaited rescue, in addition to confirming my own ineptitude as a writer in comparison, I also remember a feeling of excitement. I was intrigued to hear the finished product and discover what became of this young Robinson Crusoe/ MacGyver hybrid, but more so, I was energized by his success. It made me want to come up with an interesting story of my own. His enthusiasm was contagious. Some high achievers have a certain pedantic quality that brings others down, but in my experience, Kevin was the kind of person that you were happy to see do well. Whether it was an academic pursuit in the classroom or an athletic activity we participated in as kids...even if it was at my own expense. I am glad to have known him and can only imagine what his family and close friends are going through. My deepest sympathies and condolences.

Untimely loss of Kevin has left me shocked and has no words to express my feelings in words. He was promising, intelligent and sensitive young man. I also remember his sharp analytical skills on subject like outcome of Indian election 2014 & its consequences. We are missing him and will miss him. . . . says Prakash Kharod

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ver and above excelling in his academic career, Kevin was an extraordinary sportsman. Whether it was the dream of becoming a baseball commentator or a player, his passion and perseverance were commendable. It used to be quite a spectacle for all of us to watch Kevin so deeply upset after the defeat of Baltimore Orioles in any match! Baseball, in fact, was his favourite sport right from the childhood. The practice of playing little league baseball in early years further continued as a part of college and university teams even during the intense MBA years. However, it was not only baseball that caught Kevin’s interest; he also enjoyed golf, tennis, basketball, table tennis and even football. In Kevin’s teenage years, it was difficult to find a single wall in his room that did not carry a sports poster. Accompanying father to the golf course and playing table-tennis in the basement were his favourite activities in the free time. It was fascinating to see how he could play every sport with tremendous energy and focus. In fact, his enthusiasm for sports was not only manifested on the ground, but was also obvious while watching a game, or even teaching how to play it. One such incident is narrated by Nimesh and Sanjiv Avashia while attending the first local high school’s game during the years when Kevin was at University of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois: We spontaneously decided to attend this basketball game, not knowing what to expect. In turn, this local high school basketball game turned into one of the most exciting sporting events we had ever seen. The three of us were on the edge of our seats the entire game. Nimesh and I vividly remember Kevin’s face shining with enthusiasm as my high school’s basketball team came back from a double-digit deficit. My high school won in thrilling fashion and entire school rushed to the high school gymnasium. Even after the game, the three of us drove home feeling that adrenaline rush. We could not stop talking about how the game ended. A few years later, the three of us were talking about exciting sporting events. When we asked Kevin about his most favourite moment as a sports fan, he said “Hands down, attending your high school basketball game.” During these Illinois years, Kevin had also initiated providing tennis lessons to kids in Champaign. Moreover, he had also preferred to bike to the university every day to maintain his physical fitness. Apart from these, given an opportunity, Kevin wouldn’t hesitate to jump into sports like skiing and sky diving. Such passion for sports allowed him to balance his intellectual strength with a good physical health, but more importantly it contributed in shaping Kevin’s personality and making him who he was!

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Alex Stein recalls . . . Kevin loved baseball. One of my fondest memories with him was during the 1996 baseball playoffs. I remember being in computer class with him talking about what we would do when the Orioles went to the World Series. Every single game was followed by even more anticipation for the next. Then one night it - or should I say he - happened: Jeffrey Maier. Nothing took the wind out of a couple of 11-year-old kids more than the most infamous play in post season history. Anyway, Kevin and I would always be able to revert back to that moment anytime we saw each other years later. Just this past year I was lucky enough to cross his path one more time and wouldn’t you know it he brought it up again as he was just as optimistic about his favourite team as he was in the sixth grade.

While Kiritkumar Sheth remembers . . . Kevin was a kind, smart, and mature person. He was well-liked and respected by everyone in the Friendly Bridge Club family, and he was his parents’ pride and joy. Kevin loved sports, especially baseball. The last time he visited Maryland we had planned a trip to see a Nationals game with him and Kumaribhen. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we were not able to make it to the game. I’m sorry to have missed the opportunity to spend time with him, but I will always remember him for the upstanding man he had grown into. Parikshitbhai and Kumaribhen, please know that Kevin will always be remembered with love.

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


Kevin had a passion for life and for adventure that was unparalleled by anyone else. His willingness to give and to lend a hand to others was inspiring. Kevin was always encouraging me to have a positive outlook on life and to broaden my horizons by trying new things. I will not forget Kevin’s love for baseball and how he showed me to play catch on the Illini quad. I will always remember him introducing me to bubble tea, our long conversations over dinners at Chipotle, nights out with our friends, and busting a move on the dance floor. I will cherish countless other memories and photos. Kevin’s smile and infectious laugh will be greatly missed. . . . says Christina Concepcion

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On the other hand, Graham Bloom flashes on . . . My memories of Kevin go back to the very beginning of my time in business school. Anderson places students in study groups of six in our first year to work together in several courses and I was lucky enough to be on a team with Kevin. Kevin’s enthusiasm and energy made him stand out right away. From the first day, throughout the entire first year his positive attitude kept our team in great spirits. I probably take myself too seriously and lots of people in business school do, but Kevin helped balance out our group in an amazing way. He always managed to lighten the mood and remind us that no assignment or test was important enough to get too worried about. Kevin helped turn what would have been tedious working sessions into enjoyable hangouts. Beyond our group work I really appreciated chances to catch up with Kevin outside of class. I’m an introvert and usually content being a homebody, but our classmates have so many great stories that I knew it would be a waste for me not to try to get to know people. I found it challenging to insert myself in groups of close Anderson friends who spent a lot of time together, but Kevin always offered me such an easy solution. In large rooms packed with people Kevin would spot me, laugh, say hello, smile, and make me feel at home. He had a huge heart and I’m sure he had this sort of effect on anybody who got to know him. At dinners and parties I always looked forward to finding Kevin. We quickly found out that we shared several common interests and tennis turned out to be the one that brought us together the most. After graduating Anderson I was very excited to learn that Kevin was also moving to Pasadena and we ended up as neighbours. This past year we met every couple weeks to play tennis and grab dinner. On most nights we’d hit short shots for the first 30 minutes while we caught up until realizing we might want to actually play a set.

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I have a terrible memory and the quirky things that stick out seem so peculiar in hindsight. I’m a movie fan, but Kevin always tested me by quoting obscure funny lines. He’d joke around in the middle of long rallies. You probably know that in tennis people politely tap their racket when their opponent hits a great shot they can’t reach, but Kevin would comically lob his racket from across the court in a last ditch attempt to return a good shot. This was a regular move of his and I was always a little proud of myself the one or two times a night when I managed to hit a good enough shot that brought him to toss his racket. I think of Kevin often and I’m sure I will continue to. When I think of Kevin, I think of how passionate he was and how he prioritized relationships. He’d always be the one to spontaneously push for doing something else. “Let’s grab dinner... Let’s go to the super market to research tea for my business idea... You’ve never tried Jimmy Johns?!! What’s wrong with you we have to go!... I feel like watching a bad horror movie, let’s watch a bad horror movie.” Kevin valued his friends and packed his schedule with plans to see them. I learned a lot from him about the importance of making time to develop friendships and I’ll always be grateful to call him a friend. I’m so sorry for your loss and want you to know that in just a couple years of knowing Kevin he made a difference in my life.

I greatly enjoyed working with you but most of all playing tennis at clubsport. Your energy and positive attitude will be missed. . . . reminisces David Vahlsing

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Moreover, Manisha Dixit remembers . . . I really enjoyed meeting Kevin and was glad he came into my life even for a brief time. He was always a ball of energy and ready for adventure. One of my favourite memories is when we went to Tahoe and learned to ski together. Kevin was quick to take on the steeper blue slopes. He talked me into one blue slope, but I soon went back to the greens. But, he really took off! He also took me to my first driving range and gave me some pointers on how to work my swing. His enthusiasm for life and all that it offers was truly infectious. I loved his genuine curiosity and his permasmile.

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While Andi Lusha thinks back . . . It was August 2003 when we became more than just friends. We became brothers. It was a privilege to have known someone who was a caring and thoughtful person. I remember the times when we would go to the gym. We made it a point to encourage one another to stay fit and healthy. You were a very driven and motivated individual with the goal of a healthy body and mind. Your determination has helped me stay fit and healthy. You were one of the smartest people I have ever known. You used to give me excellent advice when school got stressful. I remember the times when you would encourage me to keep going and finish my flying degree. You always admired flying and you were very proud of what I had accomplished. As a pilot, I knew that your love for airplanes made our connection as brothers even stronger. I remember all the times we spent on the road going to and from O’Hare Airport. We were both looking forward to the road trips which gave us the opportunity to think and reflect about our lives. You were welcomed into our family and we were always excited to have you over. I guess I always thought you would be there. Last November I had the opportunity to visit LA. I was very excited to see you and we were both reminded of the brotherly bond that connected us. I was also reminded of how blessed I was to have a friend like you. By the way, last time you paid for dinner and you said that I would pay the next time you visited Chicago. Kevin, I owe you dinner. I guess I always thought you would be there. I can honestly say that you will be missed. I can honestly say that I will miss my brother. Until we meet again, I will cherish the happy memories that you helped create. May your soul rest in peace.

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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a lively friend In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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evin’s lively and mixing nature earned him a huge number of friends. It used to take him no while to form a group of friends around him even in an unknown atmosphere. Kevin’s childhood friend Kartik Pattabiraman reminisces . . . It was winter break after our first semester of college. We both had late November birthdays. I celebrated in the usual modest fashion with a few friends and family. Kevin had much grander plans. He rented out a hall (I think it was the Golden Bull restaurant), and invited at least 50 people from our graduating high school class. I didn’t question this plan outwardly, but secretly thought, this is going to be uncomfortable. I would consider Kevin more popular than I was, but not by much. Our position on the social hierarchy was closer to the nerdy end of the spectrum. However, this fact never dissuaded Kevin from talking to anyone, and going to parties. His confidence did not arise from ignorance of our social standing, instead from a mix of curiosity and excitement to push boundaries, be different. The party was a little uncomfortable. No one really danced, despite Kevin’s encouragement. Still, Kevin was the consummate host, weaving between groups with his trademark smile. At the end of the night, Kevin was elated. Excited to have thrown a party with such a great turnout. Kevin carried this positivity with him through so many trying situations we faced both together and separately. When I flew into Denver Airport to visit him, I remember seeing that smile on a large sign for some office product. Kevin had called me a year earlier, telling me that he just went to get headshots. I laughed, as he continued to describe his plan to get print modeling jobs. However, once again, his confidence and incessant drive helped him achieve his goal. It also helped that he had grown out of his nerdy glasses and sweatpant/sweatshirt combination. Denver was one of many cities Kevin lived in after graduating high school. Yet at every stop, he quickly developed a close group of loving friends. It was hard not to gravitate towards him. He lived life with a certain lightness that I truly admired. He laughed more heartily than anyone else I knew. He took interest in even the most trivial conversation. He always questioned why and pushed the people around him to be better. At the same time, he was playful and goofy, never afraid to make fun of himself. This liveliness followed through every step of his journey: Gaithersburg to Urbana-Champaign to San Francisco to Denver to Los Angeles.

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Kartik further says . . .

Kevin and I first met in fourth grade, but we didn’t really become friends until sixth grade. It’s a moment we both remembered. We were assigned to work on an acrostic poem about an animal. We choose a dolphin. We met at his house and worked in the computer room overlooking the living room. In hindsight, the poem was pretty bad, but I still remember how excited we got over the imagery we were creating. It felt like we were perfectly in sync with each other. We played off of each other’s creativity, wild ideas. We would later spend hours in that room, playing flight simulator, using Encarta for projects, and writing our cases for debate. I would not consider us the most popular kids in school. I was a chubby shy Indian boy, and Kevin was a short nerdy Indian boy with glasses. While I retreated into the background, I was in awe of Kevin’s confidence. He was not bothered by what other’s thought. Kevin loved baseball, and despite not being the best athlete and being traded off of the “good team”, his passion for the sport did not fade. He floated with ease between multiple social groups, hierarchies of coolness, from the nerds to jocks. I still remember the two-minute team ticker on the morning announcements. He dreamed of being a sports announcer, and despite the jokes, he continued to pursue his dream. He never let rejection stop him; he always bounced back, which was never more evident than when we would talk to girls. His confidence was infectious, and helped me through tough times. I remember the day in eleventh grade, when we both got our SAT scores. I was devastated. The fear of all my hard work crashing down around me. The first person I called was Kevin. He knew exactly what to say to support me and help me re-focus. I remember when we used to play catch in my neighbourhood for hours, talking about life, the future or nothing at all. He pushed me to question why I did things. He was innately

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curious, a trait vital to his success. He never put anyone down, instead strove to understand his or her perspective. He was always open-minded, and helped me develop that same attitude. Kevin has been there for so many of important moments in my life. Our summer together at NIH. We moved to San Francisco together after college. I stayed at his apartment my first night in San Francisco. He was my family at my white coat ceremony for Medical School. We went to Dubai to mark the beginning of my graduate school. He drove up from LA for my engagement party and down to San Diego for my bachelor. He was my best man at my wedding. I may not remember every detail of the countless hours we talked, laughed, were sad, played sports, but I will always remember the joy and passion he lived with. There was a sense of lightness in the way he lived. I admired that. He was my best friend, best man, but most importantly my brother. I pray you have found solace, and regained the joy that inspired everyone around you.

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Whereas Ryan Barnes revives . . . Kevin was one of the first classmates I met at UCLA for our Catalina Island Orientation trip. He had an easy way with all and I could see that his relaxed gaze into the morning Pacific waters had more depth than most. Later in the Fall Kevin went out of his way to help me adjust to business school and took me snorkelling off Palos Verdes one afternoon. He seemed to perceive that I was feeling down and he was bold and kind enough to break through and just force me to do something fun. I can feel his sense of adventure that day snorkelling off Los Angeles and how all became peaceful and light and clear by the time we emerged from the seaweed waters shivering and hungry for Mexican food. Any troubles were forgotten. I wish that I could return the favour of Kevin’s simple human kindness towards me that afternoon. That day has given me a lot of strength. I will always remember Kevin as calm, cool and fearless around waters. Farewell and rest in peace, Kevin.

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Instantly in my mind I flip to an image of him flashing that dazzling smile as he walks down the hallways of our high school. I will remember him and I send love, hugs and prayers to all his friends and family in this time of loss and sadness.

. . . recollects Andrea Rogers

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On the other hand, Ari Zandman-Zeman thinks back . . . I remember the first week of school I met Kevin randomly in one of the afternoon networking sessions. About five minutes after meeting, Kevin asks me if I want to go to dinner for excellent Lebanese food at Sunnin in Westwood, right now? I was so taken back and excited to meet such a spontaneous person that I accepted on the spot and had an incredible first one-on-one evening out with an Anderson buddy. He was such an enchanting character!

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While Amy Balkan remembers . . . It must have been junior or senior year English class, and you were sharing a story about having to merge into the same lane as a school bus. You said because of your “Type A” personality, rather than slow down and go behind the bus, of course you chose to zoom ahead and cut it off... The bus driver flicked you off, and the story sent the whole class into giggles.

One summer after college I remember going to Michele Tabach’s beach house for a fun little weekend getaway with friends. I think the crew was Michele Tabach, Mary Robbins, Randi Liss (?), Jonathan Dykes, Max Potasnik, myself (David Auerbach), Kevin and maybe a few others. We were all really excited to be at the beach and to connect with good friends after high school. The whole weekend was filled with great times, but what I remember most was sharing a small room (which had two single beds) with Kevin. After a long day at the beach, Kevin and I would head back to our room and have long, interesting, and sometimes weird discussions about his childhood and some of his idiosyncrasies. The one topic that really stands out in my mind is the conversation we had about “always having water on your nightstand before bed”. Kevin went into extreme detail about how important it was to have a full glass of water at all times near your bed before you sleep --- and that it had to be covered with a single tissue over the top of the open cup. He insisted that millions of dust particles would taint your water unless it was covered. He went on...and on. Finally, I just fell asleep while listening to him describe the biochemical and physical properties of water... Sure, Kevin was sometimes long-winded, nerdy, or even just plain weird - but he was a great guy and always willing to have a conversation with anyone about anything. I admired that in him. I send all my condolences and supportive thoughts at this time to Kevin’s family. . . . says David Auerbach

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Arden Farhi flashes on . . . I have forgotten more about the moments I spent with Kevin than I remember, but I will not forget - and cannot forget - his bright spirit. In middle and high school, when the popular blondes and the band nerds staked out opposite corners of the cafeteria, Kevin was never a part of either group. Kevin didn’t need a clique. Kevin floated. He floated gracefully among the jocks, chemistry students, pretty girls and loners with ease. He was an ally to all. His smile, wit and warmth unlocked social doors that were closed to most outsiders. He had friends of all stripes because of his optimism and curiosity in others. Simply, Kevin loved heartily and was loved heartily in return. Kevin was not my best friend, nor my closest, but I recall vividly his energy. The selfaware jokes he made often at his own expense. The movie quotes. His superior intellect. His passion for baseball and the Orioles. Seinfeld. The quirky asides he’d utter that resulted in doubled-over laughter. Perhaps the laughter concealed the impossibly heavy burden he carried with him. But that darkness was never evident in Kevin’s glow. I lost touch with Kevin after high school until about three weeks before his passing. When we saw each other over pizza and beer, we talked about his job, him wanting to return to the Washington area and yes, Seinfeld.....We laughed. Same Kevin, same spirit. Kevin was a friend. I’m glad he was my friend.

Conversely, Sam Robinson revives . . . I am so saddened by the loss of Kevin. For the first few days, I kept thinking, “But there be some mistake...” Although I am coming to accept this reality, I don’t think it will ever feel quite right. I first met Kevin through my boyfriend Graham, who was on Kevin’s learning team at UCLA. For their first year of grad school, I was living up in San Francisco, so I didn’t know very many of Graham’s classmates. However, Kevin always made a point to be welcoming when I came down to visit, and helped me feel included. His friendliness made a big impact on me, and on Graham. So when it turned out that the three of us would be neighbours in Pasadena, I was excited! Together, we explored our new town. We sampled beer at Congregation Ale House and laughed at the teenage suburban punk shows that played around the corner. Graham and Kevin played golf and tried just about every tennis court within three miles, always on a quest for the perfect court. We BBQd for the Superbowl at our place, and Kevin sneaked treats to our dog. We went to a fancy whiskey tasting, and Kevin considered splurging on the smokiest whiskey we sampled. We got terrible Chinese food that Kevin declared was great. (Trust me, it wasn’t.) We made plans to participate in a monthly Pig Roast tradition at our favourite local bar. We were friends. Thank you for raising such an intelligent, thoughtful, funny, warm friend in Kevin. He is missed. 50

In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)


Emily and I wanted to see the 50 Shades of Grey Musical and no one wanted to go with us. To our surprise, Kevin was excited and eager to be our gentleman of the evening. He did a bunch of research on restaurants in the area and found this lovely French restaurant with all you could eat muscles. We went and tried every kind of muscle. Kevin was so excited that we got to try so many kinds because there were three of us. We had so much fun. His face was lit up the entire evening. I think he laughed harder during the musical than I did. He appreciated the humour. Kevin always appreciated the humour.That night was one of my best memories of you. Not about dating, not about school, no stress. Just a few friends enjoying some of the finer things in life and you made it a truly wonderful night. I love you Kev. . . . recalls Diana Rosen

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On the other hand, Alexia Gonzalez reminisces . . . You knew how to make the party and could also sit down and have a heart to heart. I will never forget a dinner you and I had where you comforted me on the loss of my grandmother. I was in so much pain and you just sat there and listened and were a friend. I even remember your “off colour” Indian jokes and our outings on the river in Golden. The competitions you, Kevin Wright and Carlos Asenjo would have on who was the strongest dude. OMG, you were a child at heart. My only wish you could have only felt that love that you radiated because we all felt it. Thank you for having walked this earth with us. You will be missed and you contributed to great memories. I’m sure you are the Vegas part of heaven so when each of us gets there we shall do it up in style. Rest in Peace and our love to your family.

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Franklin Montelano conveys . . . Kevin, I hope you’ve found peace now as my prayers and condolences go out to your parents and other loved ones. You were one of the most genuinely friendly people I’ve had the pleasure of calling my friend. I have so many fond memories of our time together, especially in college, like when… …you would find a song you really liked and play it on repeat every day until you found the next song to play on repeat …you would challenge me in Soul Calibur while always choosing your favourite character, Cervantes, and we’d play for hours on end to the point of wanting to actually fight each other too …you would always take pride in your stance to not drink alcohol no matter how much of a hard time everyone (mostly Ben) gave you about it and then when you finally decided to drink, you called to invite me back to U of I to witness your first drink and celebrate that night with you …you and I would play catch outside on a nice spring day or in the hallway at Bromley and you’d compliment every strike I threw…you were just so passionate about baseball …you convinced me to go with you around our floor at Bromley to try to meet all our floor mates by knocking on their doors one by one, but in reality, you were hoping to meet a cute girl with me as your wingman and unsurprisingly, you actually did become friends with everyone you met including a couple girls you thought were cute …you first waxed your chest and Ben captured the moment on video to give us a laugh …you learned how to surf with my brother and me and then we all went to our first wine festival the next day in Livermore where we had such a great time we even managed to forget about the disaster that happened earlier in the day These are just a few of the memories that bring a bittersweet smile to my face while I struggle to wrap my head around losing you too soon and how much I wish we could have hung out together more recently. I’m hoping others can relate to my memories too as you clearly meant so much to many of your friends including me, which speaks volumes about your character and personality. I miss and love you bro.

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nyone who knew Kevin even a little, couldn’t remain unaware of his vibrant personality. Being a person of manifold interests, hobbies and humorous nature, his presence used to fill life in any atmosphere. Sanjiv Avashia and family strike a note: While Kevin was a student at the University of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois during 2003-2007, we loved it when Kevin came to our house in Champaign on the weekends. Every weekend Kevin was genuinely excited to come to our house and take a break from his intense college workload. From playing video games to attending sporting events, we had so much fun spending time with one another. Kevin’s vibrant personality made every weekend he visited us, a memorable one, because Nimesh and Anooj always looked forward to spending time with him. Kevin’s personality was multidimensional. Along with being a sports enthusiast, food and brands were Kevin’s major interests. Kevin – A foodie and an entrepreneurial personality Kevin was an extremely intelligent and smart individual. During his career at Nestle as Assistant Brand Manager of Butterfingers candies, he became very passionate about food marketing, food science and processing. He wanted to grow beyond his typical eight hour routine in a corporate environment and push himself to become an entrepreneur. He did a lot of research on novel beverage launches and decided to develop a bottled tea beverage with brand name “Halo”. He visited Whole Food Markets in his neighborhood and talked with their store managers. Later he abandoned this idea due to the possibility of a conflict of interest with his current job. Kevin’s sense of humor Kevin loved to share jokes and humorous videos during social gatherings. He was gifted with art of mimicry. We will always remember his mimicry on interaction of typical Indian parents with their kids which kept us laughing forever. Kevin’s rich tastes Kevin never compromised with quality of clothes, accessories, car and sporting goods. He always preferred good brands with excellent quality. Such characteristics will always remind us of Kevin, but the vibrancy of his personality will aways be missed.

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Simran, Sudha and Dhaval A contagious welcoming smile. A warm and joyous personality A man with a big heart Seen you grow up into a smart, respectful and handsome young man We will always remember that twinkle in your eyes and you will be missed

Neema Avashia recalls . . . My strongest memories of Kevin are ones from childhood. Mostly, the thing I remember about Kevin is his infectious laughter. As a small child, I used to take so much pleasure it getting Kevin to laugh, because once he started laughing, he wouldn’t stop. I can still remember sitting in mama/mami’s living room in their Akron house in the evenings, and watching Kevin rock on his rocking horse for hours on end without stopping. He would rock the horse back and forth vigorously, his head thrown back, laughing away. I think, in some ways that is a metaphor for how Kevin chose to live his life even as an adult. He pursued his interests with vigour and focus, and eked as much joy out of every experience as he possibly could.

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In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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Manish & Asha Kharod revive . . . Kevin is my youngest cousin. My first recollection of Kevin is our trip to Akron in 1990 and then from there to Niagara. Along with Parikshit Mama, KumariMami, DolarbhaiVaishnav, had also joined on that trip. Kevin was 5 and Anant was 2 years old. Anant had learnt to say Kevin Kaka. Kevin would get little puzzled, but then was excited with this new authority and respect bestowed on him. We would get a hearty laugh and Anant got kick out of it as he saw us laughing, so kept repeating again and again. Anant and Kevin hit it off well on that trip. But then things changed. In our next trip to DC and their next trip to Florida, both Kevin and Anant would fight on anything and everything. Mostly about the ownership of toys, but not limited to it. And then it got complicated with the entry of Shivam in the mix. Anant, who would not spare any opportunity to harass Shivam at home, claimed the ownership of Shivam as his brother and sole guardian. And fight intensified - with Shivam not knowing what all this commotion was, but certainly enjoyed the newly found attention and affection of both Kevin and Anant. We elders were praying that these three hopefully would get wiser. And they certainly did. Going forward, it was always sports that included tennis, table tennis in DC and beaches and water sports in Florida. Mostly we would get together around the holidays. So, we would either watch Wimbledon or US open in the morning and go to some fun places in the evening. In between and at night, it was table tennis, with the prize as the bragging rights for the day. In due course of time, the relationship really blossomed and Kevin, Anant and Shivam came very close. We also found out a hidden talent in Kevin - he could imitate people very well. So at night, Kevin would imitate people and that was hilarious. As Kevin got into high school, we started discovering his passion and talents in so many areas. His love for baseball was very deep rooted. When Orioles had the largest losing streak, Kevin was genuinely sad. I make no claims at understanding the game of baseball, but I started taking interest in Baseball and was relieved when Orioles broke that non illustrious streak. As I recollect, Kevin was very bright. He had the ability to get very focused to achieve the end goal. This by itself, might have earned him a title of nerd king, but he was very gregarious, confident and had an innate ability to make friends. This made him very popular. I am pretty sure you will hear more stories about him from other speeches. But coming back to his high

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school year, he scored very well in his SAT. He got quite a few admissions in prestigious colleges including Ivey league schools. Unlike most of the Desi kids, and to my surprise and delight, Kevin chose to go to engineering. Kevin decided to go to Urbana to pursue his chemical engineering. At Urbana, Kevin did really well. As we all parents know, transition from the school to college is always very hard. But he scaled up. Besides making lot of friends and having fun, he really studied well. He had a very high GPA and stood third in his class. When he graduated, job market had started tightening up, but Kevin got job very easily. He got his first job with Clorox. Here we found another side of Kevin. He decided to travel across the country in a car. This travel bug was evident in later years as well. He went to Dubai and Thailand and Coast Rica and other places. Kevin was also very interested in marketing. So, we always knew that he would end up doing his MBA. So he went thru his GMAT, scored really well and got admission in UCLA and Kelogg, both very competitive schools. His campus visit to Kellog/north Western on a brutally cold winter day sealed the deal in favour of UCLA. Coming back to Kevin’s knack for marketing. Kevin was very articulate, his communication was very effective. He understood marketing and branding really well. On top of it, he was a people person. His ability to make friends was really good, but it was reinforced in a very strong way when we met 50 or more of his classmates in LA. Everyone said literally in unison, how he quickly made friends, be it in classroom or on golf course, surfing or on the baseball play field. And this Kevin, with a twinkle in his eye, a mischief in his eye- is the one we will miss forever. Rest in peace, Kevin and may God give us strength to withstand this very sad loss.

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Kevin and I over the years have shared so many memories, experiences, time, and most importantly, laughs together. My favourite thing about Kevin will always be the passion that he showed for whatever activity he was participating in. Whether it was cracking jokes in the basement while playing ping pong, imitating family members’ accents, or telling me a simple story about his day, the passion just oozed from him. His presence literally would change the atmosphere of whatever setting you were in into a welcoming, jovial, and happy environment, and it is for that reason that I believe that he meant so much to so many people. He brought out the best in all of us, and made any setting he was in brighter. I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about Kevin, and during that time I realized how big of an impact that he has had on my life. So many of my favourite memories, jokes, stories, mannerisms, pieces of advice, etc. that have become so ingrained in my subconscious memory have come straight from Kevin. He has been such a large part of me all of these years that I realized that just by going about my daily life, I am honouring his memory. So until we meet again Kevin, I’ll continue to make you proud. . . . says Shivam Kharod

While Sanjiv Avashia calls up . . . I remember Kevin as a very intelligent, energetic and warm family member with whom I enjoyed an opportunity to share our common interest in food science and food processing. Recently Kevin was very passionate about channeling his expertise of marketing towards forming his own start-up food company. During January this year (2015), he contacted me to seek formulation assistance on developing a flavored ice tea beverage. He shared ingredient labels of Bhaki Tea and Bolthouse Tea to help me with formulation ideas. On February 1st, he texted me “Was thinking about Halo Tea as the brand name…. the Halo brand can be applied to other product categories if we eventually expand. The domain name halotea.com was luckily available through Wix for just $15 per year. So I bought it for one year.” Kevin had great time in Champaign, IL while pursuing Chemical Engineering at University of Illinois during 2003-2007. He got along with Kashmira, Anooj, Nimesh and myself so well in our Champaign home that we always considered him as our family son. Kevin will always remain in my heart as an intelligent and caring family kid.

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And Yash Vasavada conveys . . . Kevin, you will be missed. In December of 1994, the night before I first went to Washington DC, I had come to know from you that Washington Monument is shaped like a pencil (and so, on the next day of visit, I was probably equally, if not more, interested in seeing Washington Monument, about which I had never heard before, than even White House, which I had always dreamed of seeing)! In 21 years since that day I first met you, a time over which you grew up in front of my eyes - from an eight year old to a teenager going to WoottonHighschool to a collegiate at Urbana-Champaign to Clorox in San Francisco to Dean Foods to UCLA, there were countless such interesting and lively interactions with you that are flashing in front of my eyes. Between a few rounds of golf and several matches of tennis (and you had blossomed from a rookie player to a formidable talent house in both these games) to many a gyration of the hamster that you had as a pet, from several rewarding battles with math and logic puzzles that you used to bring to the table to seeing you having a delight with Dhanvi and Dwiti when they were babies, from many a lively trade-off discussion about which school you should go to (Kellogg or UCLA) or which job you should take (West Coast or J&J on East Coast) that Darshita fondly remembers to the excitement in the voice of Ami and Shital on the phone whenever you went to visit them (“Oh! We met Kevin today, and he is so friendly and mixing and lively!”), there was always a vibrancy to the life wherever you were. That will be missed. The smile on your face and the interest with which you always met those around you - that will be remembered. Monument of Washington will now on always also be a memorial of you - one of many such memories that you have left behind that will forever be in mine and Darshita’s hearts.

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Anant Kharod thinks back . . . Allow me to preface this by saying that this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life, to date. Although technically my uncle, Kevin and I were more like brothers given that we were only two and a half years apart in age. My earliest memories of Kevin involved family trips to visit him in Maryland, where we would spend time outside playing tennis or walking around his neighborhood until it became dark around 3-4 PM (a concept foreign to me being brought up in Florida). At night we would play Super Nintendo in his room or his portable game gear in the living room. We made an adventure out of sliding down his stair case and played ping pong in his basement until we got in trouble for staying awake too late. He would take a great pride in reciting every line of the movie Mrs.Doubtfire, and he would not only have the lines perfectly memorized but was able to recreate the scene including accurate facial expressions as well. He was mischievous and had a grin on his face and a light in his eye that would frequently make me uncomfortable, as I knew he would be planning something that would get us both in trouble with our parents. He carried this smile and look of mischief with him into

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adulthood and I am certain anyone reading this will agree with me. He always had an aura of confidence around him (even at a young age), and any subject he spoke of he did so with intense fervor and enthusiasm. My first experience of this was with the Baltimore Orioles. Up until that point I disliked baseball, however after hearing him speak about his Orioles, I genuinely felt I was missing out on something. I remember attempting to watch baseball to capture even a fragment of the enthusiasm he had for it, but I would never be able to do so. He carried this passion and enthusiasm with him and this was very palpable whenever he spoke about anything. Academically gifted with an unrivalled passion, Kevin always succeeded in whatever he set his mind to. He made the rest of us look bad with his great SAT score and graduated amongst the top of his class for chemical engineering at UIUC. While most of us would be rejected by one of the best business schools in America (Kellogg/Northwestern), Kevin rejected them in classic Kevin fashion as he had a plan of his own. Where I was introverted, Kevin was extroverted and was able to light up any room with his charisma. He visited me in Kansas City and while we were out with my friends at a restaurant, he got bored of all the medical talk. He politely excluded himself and went to another part of the restaurant by himself, not knowing anyone. No more than seven minutes had gone by (I kid you not), and I hear a crowd chanting Kevin’s name and cheering him on. He had befriended a bachelorette party and began partaking in their festivities. Everywhere he went, he came back with new friends and the most interesting stories to share. With the same mischievous grin and sparkle in his eye, Kevin always sought adventure and strove to push everyone to do things outside of the comfort zone. I will always remember him for his passion, enthusiasm, confidence, and fun loving spirit. Kevin, you left us too soon and you stole a piece of all of us with you. Words can do no justice to the pain and grief we are all enduring right now. You will forever be in my mind and heart. I love you, and I cherish the time we spent together.

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Whereas Sunil &Meera Nanavati flash on . . . Kevin-our beloved nephew, As we were not in constant touch, we could know you from a distance. You were blessed with a loving and cheerful personality always smiling and friendly with persons of all ages. In an unfortunately short life span too you were very successful in study and job and made your mark on both the fronts. You were ambitious, focused and liked to take up challenges. Your love for outdoor games and liking for ocean brought you to West coast from East and you could pursue your interest. Today when you have left us and the world, we remember you very much. Kevin we will miss you for ever.

Kevin and I were on Suraj Arora’s bachelor party, which is where we first really met (in February 2015, we first met in July 2014). While sitting in a van at one of the activities, he got a call from his mom. He stepped out of the van and talked to her for 10-15 minutes. He came back into the van, and since I’m also Gujarati, he told me, “My mom called and said, ‘Malibu ma accident thayu, Malibu ma - tuthikchu ne?’ (translates to There was an accident in Malibu - you’re ok right?” He told his mom, “U atyaare Austin ma chu and LA ma Malibu ninajik ma nathiretho! (Translates to “I’m in Austin right now, and in LA, I don’t live near Malibu!”).While these were only two lines that he told me about, it showed a lot about him and his relationship with his mom. I even told my mom this story and she laughed and said “All moms are the same.” He seemed very close with his mom and loved his parents - who else steps away for that long during a bachelor party to talk to parents?! Kevin was also a great supporter of charity. He was actively involved with American India Foundation - as a part of this, he attended a charity event that I helped organized, a magic show in July 2014. He did not really know that many people at the event, but still attended and paid the hefty entry price. Not only that, he made a point to see me after the performance (since I performed the show), introduce himself and tell me how much he truly enjoyed the show. This was only a 2 minute meeting, but he left such an impression on me. There was no need to attend, no need to introduce himself to me and tell me about the show - but it was in his nature to connect with people personally, get to know them and leave the other person uplifted. He is a special soul - may he rest in peace.

. . . reminisces Saurabh Shah

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Jonathan Locke says . . . I loved listening to you imitate an Indian accent while you sang and you definitely were always the life of the party. I imagine you are currently entertaining God with that accent as we speak. I’m sure things just got more exciting with you up there now. We’ll miss ya!

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. . . May the divine light always guide your path, Kevin . . .

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K

evin was a dynamic personality. He was as sporty as he was studious, as thoughtful as he was adventurous, and as caring as he was vivacious. In such a short life span, he charted an exemplary career path, pursued numerous interests, explored places from different parts of the world, and built an absolutely huge network of friends and admirers. He was a wonderful person, but even more importantly, he was a man with tremendous potentials that had he lived long, he would have scaled great heights! It is our deepest regret that such a valuable life succumbed to the force of depression, and our sincere wish that no other life surrenders to this disease. The following section is a small effort in this direction, which we hope will help any other ‘Kevin’ to stand up to stress and depression and opt for life.

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Fighting depression some helpful hints In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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1) Manage Your Work, Manage Your Life By Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams, in the Harvard Business Review ( https://hbr.org/2014/03/manage-your-work-manage-your-life )

This article summarizes the interviews of almost 4,000 executives worldwide, conducted by students at Harvard Business School, and a survey of 82 executives in an HBS leadership course. The key points of this article are the following: 1) Success is something that each individual should define for themselves; different people have different ideas of what success is. Once success is appropriately defined, actionable steps can be taken to achieve this success. 2) Manage the technologic inputs into your life and control how you use them in order to prevent them from taking over your free time away from work. 3) Create a support group, both at work and outside of it. 4) While traveling for business can create new opportunities, consider the burden that it can have on your personal life. 5) Unpredictable events will get in the way of your plans, no matter how perfectly things are arranged.

2) How to Make Work-Life Balance Work

By Nigel Marsh, in TEDxSydney

( https://www.ted.com/talks/nigel_marsh_how_to_make_work_life_balance_work?language=en )

The key points of this article are the following: 1) We must as a society acknowledge the undeniable truth that working in certain jobs

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makes it impossible to have the healthy work-life balance that we all would like. 2) We must take responsibility for creating a better work-life balance and not rely upon the government, or corporations, who will always look to get more out of their employee than possible. 3) We must be realistic about how many things we can do in a day, and we should judge the effectiveness of our work life balance over a long duration of time, not one day.

3) 9 Thought-Provoking Quotes About Work-Life Balance

By Heike Young, in medium.com

( https://medium.com/@salesforce/9-thought-provoking-quotes-about-work-life-balance-64673dea0747#.fblzm641n)

This article explains 9 short quotes listed below on work-life balance that will allow us to obtain a better understanding about what work-life balance truly is: 1) You don’t have to make yourself miserable to be successful. 2) You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life. 3) Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationship is. 4) You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. 5) You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you. 6) We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list. 7) Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. 8) Take a lot of time just to read and think about things by yourself. 9) Employers can help ensure that their employees have a balanced life, and that they are as successful as their customers and partners.

Image source: www.businessnewsdaily.com

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4) The Ancient Cure for Depression By Sara Burrows, in upliftconnect.com

( http://upliftconnect.com/ancient-cure-depression/ )

This article describes Ms. Burrows viewpoint on the environmental cause of depression, and methods to fight depression. The key points of this article are the following: 1) Depression is a disease that has significantly increased in incidence due to prolonged stress that has been made possible due to industrialization and modernization of civilization. 2) Medications alone cannot cure depression; it will take a lifestyle change to do so. Some of these productive changes include exercising, getting more sleep, getting more sunlight exposure, and connecting socially with more people.

5) Students Against Depression ( http://studentsagainstdepression.org/ )

This website offers resources and information validated by health professionals, in addition to tips and advice from other students who have experienced depression themselves.

6) Mental Health: A University Crisis ( http://www.theguardian.com/education/series/mental-health-a-university-crisis )

The Guardian has created a series of articles that exposes the growing problem of mental health disorders in university students, and methods to help those in need.

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7) Student Minds: The UK Students Mental Health Charity ( http://www.studentminds.org.uk/ )

This website is designed to support students who are experiencing mental health disorders. This charity has created a national network of university groups that identify students that are suffering from mental health illnesses, and provide them with support and outlets to help improve their mental well-being.

8) Crisis Call Center ( http://crisiscallcenter.org/ )

This organization operates within the United States, and is a free 24/7 phone service that allows people who are undergoing a crisis of any sort to call and receive compassionate care and advice. In particular, they have a 24/7 suicide hotline, in which trained volunteers provide support, intervention, and information for individuals in a suicidal crisis.

9) Campaign Against Living Miserably ( http://www.thecalmzone.net/ )

This organization is a UK based charity that seeks to prevent male suicides by using a helpline and their website to provide resources for those suffering to seek the help that they need. In particular, this website addresses the cultural barrier that often prevents men from seeking help, as they are often expected to be in control at all times, and failure to be seen as such equates to weakness and a loss of masculinity.

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10) The Internet to The Inner-Net

Webinar on Mindfulness By Gopi Kallayil

We hosted a webinar on Mindfulness by Mr. Gopi Kallayil. The goal of this webinar was to raise awareness on how to live our fast paced, technology driven, very demanding professional lives and yet lead a life of full engagement, peak performance and joy, fully connected to all of our inner resources and being. The five tips that Gopi shared with us in the webinar that may help us achieve work life balance are: 1. Say YES to what is important and say NO to what is less important or not important. 2. Focus and pay attention to 1 TASK at a time. Avoid Multitasking. 3. Take 1 MINUTE DAILY to search inside yourself and connect with your inner self — e.g. listen to your heartbeat, experience your breathing, yoga, meditation, singing etc. 4. Make ONE NON-NEGOTIABLE appointment per week. 5. FRIEND YOURSELF - Be kind to yourself. Don’t judge yourself. Engage in activity that you love and which gives you pleasure.” About Gopi Kallayil: Gopi Kallayil is the Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing at Google. He works with Google’s sales teams and customers, and helps grow customer brands through digital marketing. Gopi is the author of ‘The Internet to the Inner-net: Five ways to reset your connection and lead a conscious life’. He is an avid yoga practitioner, triathlete, public speaker, global traveler and Burning Man devotee. He has spoken at TEDx, Renaissance Weekend, The World Peace Festival and Wisdom 2.0. Following are the links for Gopi’s TEDx talks: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxBerkeley-Gopi-Kallayil-Conn

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Social-Media-for-Social-Good-Go http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxBerkeley-Gopi-Kallayil-Soci http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Social-Media-for-Social-Good-Go http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxBerkeley-Gopi-Kallayil-Soci

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxBerkeley-Gopi-Kallayil-Conn http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Social-Media-for-Social-Good-Go

The Internet to the Inner-net

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Social Media for Social Good

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxBerkeley-Gopi-Kallayil-Soci

Social Innovation for Social Good


11) Finding Hope in Despair

Seminar on Depression By Dr. Vasudev Makhija

Another event we hosted was a seminar on depression and its possible cures by Dr. Vasudev Makhija at Maryland. The central point made here by Dr. Makhija was that according to American Psychiatric Association, major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder rarely appear “out of the blue.” Most often family, friends, teachers or individuals themselves begin to recognize small changes or a feeling that “something is not quite right” about their thinking, feelings or behavior before one of these illnesses appears in its fullblown form. Hence, he suggested that it is important to recognize signs of mental illness. Any one sign should raise a flag. If the individual exhibits several of these symptoms and signs, it is time to get help. Here are some signs of mental illness: 1. Marked changes in personality – social withdrawal, excessive anger and hostility; odd, eccentric, uncharacteristic and peculiar behaviors. 2. Decreased functioning at school, work, home and socially. 3. Problems with thinking- difficulties with concentration or memory, suspiciousness, paranoid thinking, unusual beliefs or incoherent speech and excessive worrying. 4. Mood changes -Prolonged depression and apathy – loss of initiative, motivation and desire to participate in any activity; and unexplained mood swings and nervousness. 5. Thinking of or thinking about suicide 6. Abuse of alcohol and drugs. 7. Significant changes in sleep, appetite and weight. 8. Inability to cope with problems and usual daily demands. Further, he added that when you are hesitant to getting involved for fear of appearing rude or intrusive, consider the consequences of untreated mental illness: 1. Potential for physical harm to self and/or others, aggressive or violent behavior, suicide, neglect of other health problems and family. 2. Becoming angry and abusive to or neglecting of children. 3. Becoming emotionally or physically abusive towards spouse. 4. Financial problems, accidents, homelessness, legal consequences and even incarceration.

Image source: planetary peace

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It was recommended to encourage the person with any such signs of mental illness to seek psychiatric evaluation. The ultimate tragedy of untreated severe mental illness is suicide or homicide. According to the recent CDC report suicide rates have increased since 1999, and suicide prevention is everyone’s business. Hence, he explained, it is important to recognize some of the suicide risk factors and warning signs listed below: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Feelings of hopelessness with no reason to live. Making suicide plans. Past suicide attempts (not all completed suicides are preceded by past attempts) Alcohol and substance abuse Impulsive or aggressive tendencies Isolating one self from family and friends Behavior suggests that the individual is saying “final goodbyes” Barriers to accessing mental health treatment or unwillingness to seek treatment Loss (relational, social, work, or financial) Physical illness Easy access to lethal methods firearms, fatal amounts of medications or drugs History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression Family history of suicide Watch for postings of suicide warning signs on social media.

Further, Dr. Makhija indicated some “protective factors” for the same: 1. Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders. 2. Family, social and community support 3. Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships 4. Good coping skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes. 5. Lack of impulsive behaviors. Lastly, he provided some tips to help coping with a suicide of a loved one: 1. Acknowledge the loss. Don’t pretend it did not happen. 2. Acknowledge all the confusing emotions that follow - numbness, anger, sadness, crying, confusion, guilt, sadness, shame, embarrassment, etc. 3 Don’t try to explain the death by saying it was an accident or some other inaccurate explanation. 4. Healing begins when the veil of secrecy is lifted.Talk to a close friend or family member. It helps. Get help – see a counselor or therapist if needed. 5. You must take care of your self. 6. Accept the emotional pain to surge on first anniversary and other special occasions. Don’t be surprised if you relive many of the details surrounding the suicide. Surround yourself with family, do something special in the loved one’s memory, attend more support group meetings if you have been attending.

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7. It gets easier with time and insubsequent years. 8. Learn to forgive the person who committed suicide and to forgive yourself. 9. You will always miss your loved one. 10. Find a suicide support group in your area through American Foundation for Suicide prevention website: https://afsp.org/find-support/ive-lost-someone/find-a-support-group/ Following are some helpful resources suggested by Dr. Makhija: 1. https://psychiatry.org/patients-families/warning-signs-of-mental-illness 2. http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home 3. CDC report, April 2016: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm 4. Impact on suicide survivors: http://www.suicidology.org/Portals/14/docs/Resources/FactSheets/SurvivorsSuicideLoss2014.pdf 5. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 6. Text 741-741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis. Trained volunteer crisis counselors can help turn a hot moment to cool moment. 7. Some mental health resources for the South Asians in the U.S.: www.samhin.org A few suggested readings: 1. I am not sick, I don’t Need Help! – How to Help someone with mental illness accept treatment. – Xavier Amador, PhD 2. No Time to Say Goodbye, Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One – Carla Fine 3. Surviving Schizophrenia, A Family Manual – E. Fuller Torrey, MD 4. Live Life with Ease: Everyday paths to Self-Worth - Harish Malhotra, MD 5. Touched by Suicide, Hope and Healing after Loss - Michael Myers, MD and Carla Fine About Dr. Makhija: Dr. Vasudev Makhija is the Founder and President of a not-for-profit organization, SAMHIN, South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network to address a broad range of mental health needs of South Asian Community in the U.S. He has been in private practice in adult psychiatry in New Jersey for over 25 years. He is Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has served as the President of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association (NJPA). He is currently Chair of the Council on Member Services of NJPA. He is a recipient of the prestigious Golden Merit Award for his contributions to NJPA. He served on the Union County Mental Health Board for 6 years and was the Chair of the Board for two years.

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Thank you In loving memory of Kevin Vaishnav (Nov 1985 - June 2015)

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