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News Release

Program Notes from the Memorial Service
for Bhavesh Vijay Gandhi, Swaminathan Jayaraman and Jithesh Parameswaran

December 2, 1998 | 6 p.m. | Glass Pavilion
Johns Hopkins University

Reading: Rabindranth Tagore, "Gitanjali" 96
When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen
is unsurpassable.

I have tasted of the hidden honey
of this lotus that expands
on the ocean of light,
and thus am I blessed---
let this be my parting word.

In this playhouse of infinite forms
I have had my play
and here have I caught sight
of him that is formless.

My whole body and limbs
have thrilled with his touch
who is beyond touch;
and if the end comes here,
let it come---
let this be my parting word.


Bhavesh Vijay Ghandi
Bhavesh Ghandi was born in Bombay, India on January 18, 1977. As an elementary and high school student, he had an outstanding record, being consistently placed at the top of his class. His unwavering determination and exceptional aptitude helped him overcome several obstacles to join the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. His sincerity, hard work and superior intelligence consistently placed him among the top of his class and won him the admiration of all professors he worked with. In July 1998, he received the Bachelors of Technology degree. He was ranked fifth in a class of 60. His impressive academic performance secured him a position in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University as a doctoral student.
   Bhavesh was an ardent admirer of Hindi Music and reading was one of his favorite activities. He had a great fascination for fundamental theory and was deeply interested in physics and mathematics. Bhavesh Ghandi will always be remembered by his friends as a friendly, warm-hearted and lovable person. He was always ready to sacrifice himself for his family and friends. His classmates will never forget his smiling visage as he went around touching many hearts with his kindness and generosity. Cruel destiny snatched him away at the tender age of 21. He is survived by his parents and sister. He leaves behind several friends and admirers who find it difficult to believe that he is no longer with them.

Swaminathan Jayaraman
Swaminathan Jayaraman was born on June 15, 1972, in Bangalore, India. Swami, as he was known to everyone, was the eldest of three children. Right from the start Swami was a dedicated, intelligent student. He studied metallurgical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Swami was admired for his keenness by his teachers at IIT, and his friends appreciated his sense of humor and his accommodative nature. He graduated second in his class in 1993. After a brief tenure at the R&D division of Essar Steel, Swami came to Johns Hopkins for graduate studies in Fall 1995. He brought with him both his joviality and his intellect. Here, too, he excelled as a student and earned the respect of his professors. Sports - cricket, volleyball and chess - were a passion for him. He brought an intensity, fairmindedness and love of the game to the field which made playing with him a delight. Swami lived his life according to his strongly held religious beliefs. His honesty and integrity won him the love and respect of all who knew him. Words cannot express the grief we all feel for the tragic loss of one who touched the hearts of so many.

Jithesh Parameswaran
Jithesh Parameswaran was born on 2nd April, 1974 in Coochin where he spent his early years "either trying to get into the ships that dock at Cochin port or running away from the devilish music teacher." He was a sportsman, playing field hockey for his school and college, playing cricket for his class team in college, doing Taekwondo at Hopkins among other things. Off the field he was still a competitor, excelling in quiz competitions, going up to the national level. It was not just his academic achievement but also his spirit and enthusiasm which earned him the respect of his friends in REC Calicut where he did his BTech in Computer Science, at bangalore where he spent a couple of eventful years working and at Hopkins where he was pursuing graduate studies. The terrible tragedy which took him away on the 28th of November is all the more difficult for those around him to deal with because of the love that he invoked so easily in their hearts.

* * * * *

Additional Comments by
Sharon M.K. Kugler, University Chaplain

Over the course of the last few days, we as a community have been swept by tragedy. It has brought us literarily and figuratively to our knees. We are raw and we are stunned. Much of what we have felt and are continuing to feel has come in fragments.We askourselves, how can this be?

Three beautiful, vibrant, young people, three sons from families who are aching so far away, are gone. Two more beautiful young souls suffer the torment of what is left behind. They suffer the memory, the very notion of their survival.

We ask ourselves, what can we do? When will this pain ease? This moment is so unwanted and yet it is upon us. We are left trying to understand the fragments.

What has struck me so profoundly, so deeply these last few days, is the very experience of incredible, unmistakable tenderness. This community has come together, ravaged by loss, yet drawn to actions of compassion and love. We have not hidden ourselves and we have not hidden our grief. We have chosen to let it move us toward a higher way of being. We have taken the fragments, the broken pieces of ourselves and made a new whole, realizing that we can never separate from the pain, but we can also never separate from the power of and the very need for love and tenderness.

In the planning of this service,
in the vigils kept at the hospital,
in the painful communication back to India,
in your gentle care of the personal effects of Bhavesh, Swami and Jithesh,
in the moment to moment support you have shown to one another.
My sisters and brothers, tender you have been.
There is a poem by Robert Browning Hamilton which says:

I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me.

I have learned that in a moment so unwanted, that once again, the gentle face of God is revealed in those around me. We have learned that in a moment so unwanted, we as a people can release such tenderness upon one another that we cannot help but feel grateful to know what had previously been hidden.

We have learned that in a moment so unwanted, so fragmented, that we can become whole. Peace be with each and everyone of you, on this night and evermore.

* * * * *

As a result of this tragedy, two funds have been established:

The Students Memorial Fund and
The Family Assistance Fund

Contributions may be sent to:

Johns Hopkins University
c/o The Homewood Student Affairs Business Office
4 Shriver Hall
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

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