" If I could recollect the exact day, it was July the 28th, 1989 that I first happened to meet this guy, Manish Narayan. It was my first day at I.I.Sc. We were supposed to assemble at the TATA INSTITUTE main lobby near the Main Entrance by 8.00 AM and I was late by about an hour. The hall was Jam-packed and the Chairman had completed his introductory speech by then. I felt nervous when a section of the audience turned back and starred at me for being late. The function was nearly getting over when I noticed a guy walking into the hall through the rear entrance. He immediately caught my attention. A typical Bangalorian guy, wearing a leather Jacket and a goggles. I had never been to bangalore before but had heard that most of the guys in Bangalore were typically a freak-out character.

After the function, I never had a chance to meet this guy for some days. I did not see him in the hostel during the ragging sessions when the seniors were terrorizing us. Being a localite, I presume, he avoided staying at the hostel during the ragging sessions. I dont recollect seeing him at Metallurgy department during that time. Only after a couple of weeks I started hearing about Manish Narayan. The seniors judged him as one of the few pleasing guys who joined along with me. Probably he covered the seniors with his innocent looks and smile. He had tremendous sense of humor. He spoke Tamil quite differently from us (Kannada mixed Tamil) and this made him the center of attraction during any discussion. He ability to communicate fluently in Hindi, Kannada (only person to speak Kannada in our class) and ofcourse English, landed him in trouble. He would be the guy to enter the Professors room first when the students decide to get the Prof.s permission to postpone an exam or cancel a class. I swear, we have been quite successful in those and the credit obviously goes to Manish. Most of us do the planning behind the scene, but when it comes to performing the act, he would lead us through.

Manish was the only student in my class who pursued an academic career after a short stint with Titan Watches. A brilliant chap who gave his best in anything he did. I was in touch with him when he came to States for his doctorate. He had a couple of publications under his belt and I am quite sure, a few more were due. I used to make fun of him saying that he would surely be finding his academic life pretty tough for not being able to cope up with the research-pressure, but inside me I was knew that with his brilliance, he would come out with flying colors. And he did! He shifted to Lehigh for his doctorate.

Coming to my personal experiences, he was always the target when I return home for holidays. I would seek his help in getting some quality sweets from Shivaji Nagar. He had that old TVS-50 (his friends use it more often than him) on which he would take me to shop around for sweets. He never refused to come with me. All he would ask in return is a glass of Badam Milk. I soon realized that he was becoming close to everyone in the whole batch. Any Video session or any trips around Bangalore, Manish would be the target. As an Organizer, he did a great job. The trips we made to Mercara, Ooty and Kemmangundi are still in our minds. It makes me laugh even now when I see those snaps taken during those trips. Manish, with his long dark-blue shorts under the waterfalls, cannot be easily forgotten.

Recalling the Sports we played at I.I.Sc, Manish was not a good athlete, but was always part of any team we formed. Who can forget those Tennis-Ball tournaments at I.I.Sc., where some of us, who were left out from the mainstream formed a Cricket team. I swear, we did not perform badly, but were repeatedly knocked out after the league matches (quite obvious). We had guys in our team, who found it difficult to complete his over after the ball failed to go to the stumps but preferred the direction of the leg-umpire. Manish was one of the striking bowler and a middle order batsman for the team. Though he didnt score many runs, it was a real fun. He was also part of the Volleyball team which we played.

Though not in the first 6, he encouraged us from the bench. During a match, when he was in the bench, he had to be carried away to the Health Center after he got excited, made a jump and sprained his ankle. I later come to know that he kept telling guys (who did not watch that match) that he has sprained his ankle while trying to volley a shot. Clever chap but unfortunately could not keep it a secret for that long.

He contested for the post of Vice-President during our second year. Not that he was very keen to win but had to accept it because of the compulsion of some of the guys who also contested for different posts. These guys were obviously relying on him for their victory because Manish had a wide range of contacts in the institute. The sad part is that, each of them lost their deposit including Manish, probably because no one took him seriously when he contested. I am sure, with his leadership qualities, he would have performed very well if he had won that election.

His parents gave us the best hospitality we could ever imagine by repeatedly inviting us home. We had a good time at his place. Those delicious home-cooked food cant be easily forgotten. Its really sad that he isnt with us anymore. I just find it difficult to believe that! His memories would remain in our minds for ever.

Thinking back, I realize how I had mis-judged the guy who entered the hall (on my first day at I.I.Sc) with a freaky outfit. He turned out to be the most likable guy I have ever met."