Remembering Ranjan

24 Mar

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, the most noble and promising life I had known personally was cut short. A part of me still does not want to believe this and is looking for “undo” button. Another part wants to go into a private space where I don’t have to share him. But I know he belongs to the world. Every moment of his life was about making a positive difference – professionally, for non-profits he worked with, as an alumnus, as a famly member, as a friend, as a colleague, and even as a stranger who just happens to be in the same location as someone who needs help. He has brought so many smiles on faces big and small, near and far, known and unknown. So many people have been touched by him. So many lives have been transformed or influenced by him. He never stopped. Not for a moment. I pray to God that he never stops. That his life becomes a light of inspiration for all of us and we can each do at least a fraction of the good that he did. That will be the fitting tribute, the way to remember.

– Gautam

PS: In addition, if you have known him, please take a moment and share your memories and reflections and pictures in the Comments section below. For context, please note your name and how you are associated with him.


53 Responses to “Remembering Ranjan”

  1. UmaShankar Kopalle March 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I find this as an unfair act of God.He was such a nice and inspiring person. Why did God feel he needed Ranjan. I’m very very sad and may God give him eternal rest & may his soul rest in peace.Accept my condolences and be strong & patient.

  2. Ranade A V March 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Oh God or whoever you are !!!!!,This is a greatest injustice and blunder. You have taken away a brilliant person, cut short a most promising career, made his daughter to continue live further without her most loveable Guide and crushed his wife’s dreams. And all this in an instant.

    No,I have stopped believing in YOU.

  3. Puru March 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    You often meet people who believe in themselves. Very rarely you meet ones who make others believe in themselves. Ranjan was one of the latter kind. He often used to tell me – “Give me any person. I will transform him/her into a productive technologist”. I don’t hear remembering anything like that before in my living memory. And he did exactly what he said. He has changed my perspectives forever.

    Ranjan was a great teacher, mentor, technologist, friend and above all, a gentleman.

    I will miss you, Ranjan. RIP.

  4. Brinda Narayanan March 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I am pinching myself again and again hoping that what I have passed through is just a dream. It is very hard for any of us to come to terms with reality that Ranjan is not with us any more with us and not going to be anytime in the future.

    My husband who happened to have some association with Ranjan in the past mentioned that ‘ we have lost one of the illustrious sons of India’.

    Ranjan did his BTech from IIT Kanpur and MTech from IIT Chennai, globe trotted in various projects and assimilated and spread as much of knowledge as he possible could.

    Ranjan was a voracious reader, thought leader, highly techno savvy, humble and humane, ever willing to mentor people. He has donned many roles in the past as an entrepreneur, a CTO, pioneer in knowledge spreading, working for the under privileged all the while using software as knowledge articulated and activated.

    ‘I have come to view software as knowledge articulated and activated. Activated knowledge spans a much broader spectrum than tools of information technology’ – this was his philosophy.

    Perhaps he had many moments that ‘took his breath away’ that God decided that he has lived a ‘full life’ more than any of us.

    Otherwise noting can explain the crude mystery as to why God snatched him away from his family, friends and from all of us when he had a whole meaningful life ahead of him .

    Let us all pray to Lord Almighty to give strength and courage to his family and to his young daughter to bear the loss of this illustrious soul.

    May the knowledge lamps that he has ignited shine for ever and spread the light everywhere.

    May his soul rest in peace .


  5. Sanjay Lall March 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Ranjan – He was a swarm of positive energy, an abundance of knowledge and ideas, a captivating articulator, had such an ingenuous empathy towards everybody around – an awesome positive personality that will continue to live in our memories.
    It has been a high privilege to have worked with him, to have known him.
    He is an Inspiration.

  6. Kumar Rampura March 25, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    As Benjamin Franklin said “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

    I understand Ranjan has done so many things that are worth writing about. I only knew him for the last two months and within those two months I saw him work with passion to build the Big Data practice. The way Ranjan pushed the boundaries to become a thought leader and encourage each one of us to push our boundaries to grow is something I am going to remember forever.

    He has touched my heart and mind deeply. He will always be in my memory.

  7. Pramath Raj Sinha (@PramathSinha) March 25, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    For now, my 140 word tweet says it all: Ranjan, you were an inspiration, always will be. You lived an exemplary life & walked the talk. Privilege to know you. Farewell, my friend.

  8. Shyamalesh Khan March 25, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    Very sad and shocking news. May his soul rest in peace.
    Our condolences to the family.

  9. Radhika March 25, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Every conversation I have had with Ranjan I always felt like the dog chasing after its own tail, immensely frustrated that I couldn’t win it. Very stimulating , interesting human being I have come across, impacting me in such a short span of time. Not able to still comprehend it all, repeatedly saying this is unfair , angry at the system that could have contained this, amidst the disbelief is also the selfish regret that there is more to have known about such a wonderful person.
    Praying for the wellness of his dear ones he has left behind.

  10. Ram Chinta March 25, 2013 at 5:32 am #

    It is very unfortunate and sad to hear this news. Can this news be false. Many interactions I had with him on building the Big DATA practice were very interesting, valuable and productive. He gave lot of inputs on client perspective on what is expected in adopting the technology so we could plan to build the talent accordingly in the practice. It is rare to find such talent and extensive knowledge. I personally miss a good thought leader to have in-depth discussions on the technology.

    My deep condolences to the family and may his sole RIP.

  11. Dhirendra March 25, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Tears and heartbreak. Numbed and distraught. Have lost a brother in Ranjan.

    I always felt his best was yet to come once he would be able to focus
    more on things close to his heart.

    Talented energetic thinking individual. So full of wanting to do genuine
    far reaching good for society.

    Irreparable loss.

  12. sokcin March 25, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Dear Ranjan, You have lived a life worth living. And I say this having known you for 15 months only. I envy the people who have known you more.

    I am writing this note to you knowing that you have an omnipresence about you in your afterlife and you will see this note. I have two regrets – i wish i had invited you home and i wish i had hugged you. You are one of the finest person I ever met. You will be cherished through the years.

  13. Mahendra Ranpise March 25, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Feeling extremely sad after hearing the news that Ranjan is no more with us. Still don’t want to believe this, that the person who has gives us identity as an IT professional is now not with us.We will all miss you.

  14. Anurag Agarwal March 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I can only express my deepest sorrow and grief for the family. May they have the strength and support to carry on without their missing family member. Ranjan and I spoke a few months ago as he was building the profiles of all batchmates. He will be missed all around.

    • Atul Mathur March 26, 2013 at 5:57 am #


  15. Dev March 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    I knew Ranjan during our undergraduate days at IIT and his smiling easy-going manner and happy face would always come back whenever I saw an email from him in our alumni group. It was easy to see from his passion in his emails, whether they were around ITI or the IIT-Kanpur Tinkering lab, that he continued to live his life with passion and desire to contribute.
    Our sincerest condolences to his family and our prayers are with his daughter and wife in their grief.
    A loss that is hard to comprehend

  16. Tina March 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    A great teacher and colleague, he was precious in so many ways, and had so much to give. I am thankful to have known him, worked with him, and learnt from him.

    I will always remember you Ranjan – RIP

  17. Anshumala Gupta March 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I was fortunate to be Ranjan’s project-mate, in those dreamy young college days, when one was just opening one’s eyes to an unknown professional world, taking a leap into the unknown…..He somehow already had the imagination of that world, just by taking every word he came across deep into his gut, absorbing it like a sponge, to give it new meaning through his own creation……..and we- him, me and Ajay Bordia, worked like crazy on an year long project, driven by the great passion he could bring to anything he put his hand into….there were times we did not sleep through nights…many times we would miss breakfasts and dinners. I actually have a memory of him bringing a musk-melon when we could not get anything else to eat….. I remember sleeping on lab tables in the night, exhausted, and get up during the night to work again on the drawing board….I felt for the first time what the romance of engineering was, and what a natural engineer could be like….for him Engineers were creators, dreamers who changed the world with their solutions….and to create those solutions they had to struggle through the toughest of terrains and toughest of circumstances, where they did not have the luxury of ‘pure academics’, that of NOT providing solutions….he was the one who introduced me to some extraordinary and inspiring authors in engineering too, not really my IIT teachers (but that could be because he listened to teachers talking about books, I didn’t)…….and of course, Bordia would remember those train journeys to Jamshedpur, where we three youngsters, laughed our hearts out at everything…a man whose shoes made funny sounds, and a daal we got into the train which had a petha piece in it…..

    And was he a dreamer and an academic himself!! We passed out of college and I saw only bits and pieces of his life…..passionate, driven, inspired and inspiring….who knows it better than Sayali that there was a time he would not sleep for 3 nights in a row, and felt proud about it too, giving me HUGE complexes …for being in such a hurry to take charge of his own destiny, for giving shape to his dreams and of those around him.He was always so driven, always so driving….and driven by a genuine quest for learning too…So his company had these shelves and shelves of books for employees to read…any new book he could lay his hands on, read by himself too….I remember hearing about these Saturday sessions where he would prepare special enrichment lessons and write-ups for those youngsters, to change them into an inspired lot, the words of a born leader…..I got to see only some of those….. I remember once he told me a story, which I took back to my own organization…..that if you put a frog into a pan and keep heating it at a very slow pace, the frog will get boiled without realizing it. This happens to organizations and individuals both…. But if you put a frog in hot water it will try jumping out with all its energy, with all its survival instinct….

    I moved out of engineering into social sector, and realized that Ranjan was the rarest of rare person in the corporate world, thinking about what could be done for the poor, the uneducated, the unreached…His anger at the mess Bihar was turned into used to be palpable. It was from him I heard about many social movements and thinkers for the first time, as well as sanskrit sholkas he used to draw great strength from….We had prolonged debates about a ‘community center’ he used to dream about, and so much more, as to what could be done for this country whose sons and daughters have forgotten her en masse….though he would be upset every time I told him I was a non-engineer, he would be one person genuinely interested in listening to all I was doing and experimenting with, in my own life, everything out of the world of technology…

    We went to Japan and stayed in his house, taken around with affection and care…he even packed my luggage when I was desperately packing, barely an hour to our flight…

    Then we lost touch for decades, lost in our own struggles…and I , once again impressed, came to know of his passion for improving the ITI’s through IIT’s, since they served the ordinary Indians…he even used to dream about taking education and health to under-priviledged Indians and villages through use of IT-technology….

    I got to know only little of his life at large, but he was so easy to connect to, to share dreams with, and so appreciative and encouraging too, who made you feel you could transform the world too…

    To lose Ranjan, is an irreparable loss to anyone who ever came across him, but to have come across him has also been a blessing, not worth forgetting, not worth frittering away….Let us cherish his memory.

    The one thing I would like to say to his family is: Be proud that you share your blood with a soul like him. To Ma, be proud you gave birth to a son like him… and to Sayali, be proud that you were his life partner, by his side in all his dreams, struggles, and endeavors…. and you gave him the pride of his life, Urvi…

    To Urvi: his blood runs in your veins…make it proud, in your own life. He has not died, he lives in you….and in many of us. This is the only permanence any one of us can hope to ever have: to live in hearts and souls of people whose lives we touch…..


    • sokcin March 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      Thank you for sharing a glimpse into his life.

      • Rajnish March 26, 2013 at 6:33 am #

        It was lifelong ambition “Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya” and then the institutional motto “Atta Dipo Bhava” kept enlightening throughout…we see the flame always awakening!

    • Ghufran Ahmad April 2, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Ranjan!Where have you gone?Had it been another trip toUS and we would be meeting again! I know you have gone to eternity.Last time when we discussed about your passion for modernizing ITIs and preparation of training module.You were very much enthused to launch it as apilot project in Bihar.May God had given you some more time.
      You have left your lovely daughter alone!MAy God give her blessings and consolation.Still difficult to believe that you are not with us.

  18. Mira Prasad March 26, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Bhagwan aisa beta sab ko de!

  19. Mira Prasad March 26, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Har Janam men de!!

  20. Bunty (Abhishek Ranjan) March 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    He was my personal hero, the jewel of our family. I used to show him off to my friends, colleagues and seniors. He was the sole reason for me to pursue the dream of IIT. I remember he personally called me to congratulate when I did get into IIT. Next year, he called my parents to congratulate on their 25th Wedding Anniversary. An amazing visionary that he was, he always went beyond his personal ambitions to think of society and made contributions that mattered. And he had so much more give. He had plans, he wanted to give IT projects to underprvilieged teenagers in Gaya, our home city. He dreamt of seeing Bihar as an IT Hub someday. Most people dream but he knew how to add details to that dream and very effectively execute them. All I can say he didnt get a fair deal. Life was unfair to him. But he’ll continue to be an inspiration, to me and to thousands who were lucky to have known him. I will miss you, Ranju Uncle.

    Chhotu Uncle – I am so sorry I couldnt make it in person to NJ.

    • Ananth Sankar March 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      Ranjan’s idealism shone through in his mails that he sent to our IIT/Kanpur batch mailing list. But, unlike most, his ideals remained true and did not die with youth. Because we were in different depts in IIT, I did not know him personally then. However, I was fortunate enough to get to know him more recently when he attended my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with his family and then later at our batch reunion. After his passing, I read some of his blogs. His most recent one, written in Hindi, about his school teacher, was a beautiful piece of writing.

      He had views based on ideals, wrote convincingly about them, and acted on them as well. This is a sad time for those he left behind, but let’s celebrate his life, ideals and achievements. My thoughts and prayers are with Sayali and Urvi and his extended family.

      I’d like to share this song, “Oh very young,” by Cat Stevens, which speaks to me about Ranjan:

  21. Dheeraj Sanghi March 26, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    We had rooms in the same wing of the same hostel during our under-graduate days. Here is what I have written elsewhere about Ranjan.

    RIP Ranjan.

  22. Dheeraj Sanghi March 27, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    I did undergraduate with Ranjan. We were in the same hostel, and in the same wing. I have written the following about Ranjan.

    RIP Ranjan

  23. Ganapathy Subramanian (Ganaps) March 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Ranjan, I know you are not there today to read this post but still I wanted to write this. I have seen many people who are extraordinarily brilliant and those who have the down-to-earth personality but very rarely I have seen these qualities go along together. You were both.

    It has been 10 years since we met (Last I saw you was at Kandy’s house in London where we played cricket along with his kids) and before that we only connected few times ever since the initial days of Citi Japan assignments through COSL. I do remember the day when I visited your residence in Tokyo where you also had a place to sleep along with cupboards of books on topics that I couldn’t begin to count. I Still remember the chilly nights of Tokyo where you’d walk with shorts and T-shirt while all of us used to wear 7 layers of clothing. I do remember the occasional times that I met you when I used to leave office late from Citi office at Tennozu Isle – the time you used to start working in the office.
    I remember the day when I introduced Sayali to you for the first time when she landed in Tokyo to work on your project without knowing that she’d become larger part of your life.

    Though I feel sad when I hear that someone has departed from the world, I have been successful in not allowing it to haunt and burden me for days (however close they are) as I always think it is the individual or the soul who decides to depart in their elevated plane of consciousness while enacting a drama for outside observers in the form of sickness or accident. But, I have no shame in admitting that I have failed in your case. Frankly, I don’t even know the reason and I don’t want to delve into it – may be it was your friendly gestures to one and all or your disarming smile or your respect for others or your wide ranging ability or the absence of well-deserved eccentricity a genius would have – or may be all of these that led to believe that this world needed more of you and more like you.

    I don’t know what’s the hurry for you to leave this world so early. All I would like to say that you’ve left wonderful memories and a sense of proudness to those who knew you.

    Ganapathy Subramanian (Ganaps)

    NB: Sayali, When you read this, I am sure you’ll recollect some of the incidences I have mentioned above. All said and done, it is an irreparable loss for you and family and we are with you at this moment to share the grief. But, you can feel proud that he was your life partner and a very good human being who had profound impact on others – that a friend & admirer from the distant past felt compelled to write this note.

  24. Sri Ganesh March 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I am too shocked and dazed to say anything. I was interested in reading his posts and the last one on Big Data, I wanted to read later and discuss with him. And Alas! This prayer goes for all family members to have the strength to overcome this untimely loss.


  25. Swapna March 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    A brilliant, dynamic, inspirational and warm person … always striving to excel and motivated others to do so … A big loss not only to his family but friends and acquaintances as well …

    Pray for his family to get the strength to live without his physical presence and lead life as he would have liked them to have …

    May his spirit achieve excellence which he strived for …

  26. Punit Krishna March 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Very sorry to hear about this. I saw his FB post on March 20. What happened so suddenly?

    Hearty condolences to the family.

  27. Sanjay K Pandey March 28, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    I write as a batch-mate of Ranjan’s from IIT Kanpur who got to know him better recently since he moved to New Jersey. And even in our limited interactions, it was clear that he loved and cared deeply for his family. This was clear to me when Sayali and Urvi visited NJ last year and joined us for lunch at our home. At the lunch and in follow-up conversations since then, it was clear to me that Ranjan was a proud father, a devoted husband, a good brother. To people who know him better than me, this will not be a surprise. What I remember and cherish even more about Ranjan is his strong belief that we can make this world a better place and he contributed his time and energy to vocational education in India. In conversation we had over with our batch-mates electronically, he presented ideas to make the world a better place with forethought and boldness. When challenged on these ideas, he elaborated and once in a long while, if he was stumped, he said simply, yes the obstacles may be too big but it is still a cause worth pursuing. During his last hospital stay in NJ, as I visited the hospital several times over two days and once when I came away discouraged, my wife asked me, have you looked at Ranjan’s blog ( ) and I shared it with my batchmates to read and reflect. Ranjan writes about an American Hindu Guru (native American and White) in Middlesex County, New Jersey who is doing a wonderful job teaching Hinduism and Geeta to children. Ranjan figured this out in quick time and shared it on his blog with everyone. So, thank you Ranjan – your heart and soul lives on in our memories. Thank you, Ranjan for reaching out with your blog!

    • sriganesh March 28, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      I can only say that I am happy that someone was near him and not left all alone in a hospital. I know how impersonal US hospitals can be. I will read the blog. I usually read his FB posts.

      • Sanjay K Pandey March 30, 2013 at 12:50 am #

        Ranjan was surrounded by family and friends all through the hospital stay. His brother Gautam was there almost all the time, so was his sister-in-law, and Ratnesh and other friends from IITK 82 batch. Many of his colleagues from work were there as well. Ranjan was surrounded by love of family and friends, many of whom came to the hospital and others prayed and helped in other ways from places far away.

  28. Lt Col S K Bali (Retd) March 28, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    This news has left me and my family in total shock. We knew him through my daughter, Swati, who worked in Cygnus for 7 to 8 long years. I had met Ranjan briefly on two occasions in Pune and recently we connected on facebook. I admired his memory for remembering me when I solicited friendship with him. I have been enjoying his posts on facebook and could measure his intellect through them. The last time we met was at Crosswords many years back when he with his family were buying books. I could see and feel the warmth and affection he exhibited. May his soul rest in peace, and, may God give immense strength to his wife and family to bear this irreparable loss. Our heartfelt condolences to the family.

  29. Ajay Bordia March 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    My earliest memories of Ranjan are from our fresher orientation days. Dr. Dhoopar was delivering the welcome address to the incoming ME batch. Ranjan spent most of the hour looking for the right lecture hall and turned up at the door when it was almost over. As was his style, Dr. Dhoopar said, “ab jao, kahani khatm ho gyi”. It was a funny introduction to ME.

    I spent a great deal of time with Ranjan getting crash courses a night before the exam, working on our B. Tech. project and discussing nothing as we always did. He once lectured to a VP at a TISCO affiliate we were doing our project with, told Dr Hatwal, then a new faculty in ME, that the way he was teaching the course was wrong. As Anshu wrote, he was a tireless worker.

    Over the next twenty years as Ranjan moved on in life and I withdrew into my cocoon, I lost touch with him. As I have seen and heard about what he was doing in the last few years, I have felt this is exactly the Ranjan I knew. He had it all in him, and he did it.

    Dr. Dhoopar’s words from the first day I saw Ranjan have been ringing in my mind with an entirely different meaning.

  30. sudhi raj verma March 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    unlike dheeraj i am a big fan of holi. in iit i barely knew ranjan my interation with him was during sjr. i was impressed by his clarity in thoughts and his passion to change the world.
    this holi i did not celebrate as i did not feel the joy and happiness. may god give strength to everyone to cope up with this loss

  31. Pushkar Misra March 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Friends, now that I’ve gotten over my initial shock and disbelief, thanks for sharing the details of Ranjan’s last journey. I agree our batch did a remarkable job in getting together and supporting Ranjan’s family and friends at this critical juncture.

    Some of my memoirs with Ranjan are:

    I knew Ranjan quite well from campus as we were both in ME but I really got to know him well in Mumbai when we joined L&T and stayed in the same chummery for about an year. We both worked in L&T Powai, he in the welding electrodes division and I in the heavy engineering division. As previously posted by some friends, Ranjan was an outstanding thinker and used to challenge most existing processes. This earned him a lot of respect from his colleagues but also became a source of frustration for him as he realised that he cannot bring change in the way he wanted to. That led him to think about pursuing M.Tech and eventually a change of field to IT. A simple example of his frustration was something hilarious – he told me he had demonstrated to the management how to improve accuracy and efficiency of CNC machines by installing a ‘feedback mechanism’. Thereafter, whenever there was any problem in any machine, they would tell him – Ranjan Kumar isme feedback laga do!!! He used to say in his inimitable style – Yaar kaise samjhayu in logo ko?

    He used to get so lost in work that he used to forget basic stuff like meals etc. I remember once he came back from work complaining about his feeling really hungry, then realising he’s missed breakfast and lunch. Then he goes : Chalo yaar khoob sara khana khate hai! He never used to take care of his clothes and I often saw him rushing to clean and iron his shirt minutes before leaving for office.

    As Chisty shared earlier, he used to write his “R” in hindi like a “T” so we used to call him Tanjan Kumar.

    We had great fun in L&T. It being our first job, it really opened up the world of reality before our eyes.

    In later years, he once hosted my mother in Tokyo. She was really impressed by his and Sayali’s sense of hospitality and she has told me to communicate her sorrow and grief at this untimely departure.

    We maintained touch when I was in Mumbai and used to meet at times but later lost touch when I moved to Manila, except over yahoomail. It was great to meet him during SJR.

    I feel I have lost a brother. I pray for eternal peace for his departed soul and for the well being of his family.

    Best Wishes,

  32. Naga Nagarajan March 29, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    Ranjan was a good friend to a lot of us. His idealism was apparent in any interaction with him whether over email, over a phone call or in person. This led to a lot of passionate discussions during our college days when I was his wing mate at IIT Kanpur hostels and subsequently over the years in any interaction I have had. He seemed to have a way of getting close to any one he interacted with very quickly because he was willing to go out of his way to try to help and do good for others. While I wish I had been in more frequent touch with Ranjan, the reality is that we hadn’t interacted since our Silver Jubilee reunion a couple of years back. This morning when I opened LinkedIn on my computer it showed me (sorry, I am unable to paste a picture here from my computer screen) that 7 days back “Ranjan Kumar endorsed you for 2 skills: Computer Security, Cloud Security” with his smiling picture from his LinkedIn profile.
    He was as always thinking of others and cared enough to take a few moments to endorse me on LinkedIn for my skills on what turned out to be his last day of consciousness. Ranjan will be missed. Rest in peace.

  33. Lalit S Kathpalia March 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Ranjan we at Rohan Garima will miss you. The hard work you put in for the society formation and all contribution to automate the Society work was amazing. My association with you though brief enriched me with the belief that there are GOOD people in this world. We will definitely meet in some other world and the association will continue forever…..

  34. Raj Subramaniam March 30, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Hey Ranjan, thinking of you and all the good times we had in Tokyo. It was so much fun those days, along with you, Sayali and Ajay Chopra. Will miss you

  35. Diwakar Pandey March 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    In our first semester at IIT/K I was looking for a roommate, and I found Ranjan — so began our friendship. We were both Biharis, both in mech, and both misfits in similar ways in the IIT system. I admired Ranjan for having made it to the IIT without any coaching, and without coming from a place that sent many to the IITs. He was simple and cheerful, as he remained so later, but he was also somewhat shy at that time, which suited me just fine. Over the months and years, I discovered that we generally liked and disliked the same professors and classes. Those were unarticulated feelings at the time, but years later, when we compared notes, we were able to put a finger on why we liked what we liked. We muddled through our IIT days, he with lot more cheer than I.

    I do not remember exactly how, but we both got it in our heads (probably Ranjan’s idea) that we needed to do something in mechanical engineering beyond the coursework that we were doing in the first year. Towards the end of the second semester we started contacting mechanical engineering professors for work, all of who promptly refused. Finally we trekked over to Vijay Gupta’s wind tunnel lab. Dr. Gupta gave us a small project to design a device to measure forces experienced by plane models being tested in a wind tunnel. This was the very first thing we ever did in mechanical engineering on our own. Dr. Gupta liked our work so much that he held it as an example to others working in the lab, which remained a high point of my time at IIT. We continued to work in Dr. Gupta’s lab, and ultimately took his design class in the 5th semester. Dr. Gupta inculcated a love for design (defined in a very broad sense) among many of us. From then on, Ranjan began to regard himself as a designer (of solutions to life’s problems), a sentiment that he embodied through the remainder of his life.

    When Ranjan was at L&T in 1986-87, I was at Telco, Pune. I do remember talk about Ranjan’s adventures at L&T that Pushkar has described above. During that year Bordia and I made a few trips to meet Ranjan & co. After that Ranjan moved to IIT/M, I came to the US, and we lost touch for many years. We connected again in mid ’90s through email. So many people here have talked about Ranjan’s friendliness and hospitality. It seems many of us have trusted Ranjan to host our relatives at far flung places. I asked Ranjan to help my parents visit London on their way back to India from the US. For that they always remembered him fondly.

    When I met Ranjan in 1999 (first time after 1987), Ranjan had evolved. He was now among the most connected people in our batch. He cared about many issues that went beyond engineering. Ranjan and Sayali had started their own company in Tokyo, braving Japan’s perpetual downturn, and navigating a culture not welcoming to foreigners. I joined Ranjan in his work from 1999 to 2003. These were years of promise as well as struggle. There are too many memories from that time, but some of the prominent ones are of Ranjan and Sayali’s visiting us in the US, our trips into the city during my months at Tokyo (especially Sayali singing at the Karaoke), the trip to Germany, Ranjan and Sayali’s hospitality at Pune when I visited alone and when I visited with my son, and Urvi’s nursery rhymes!

    RIP, Ranjan.

  36. Ashok Kalbag March 31, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Ranjan was committed to his cause and gave all the best he could. It was unfortunate that he had to go this early when he had survived worse earlier.
    May his family have the fortitude to bear the untimely loss.

  37. Somnath Bharti March 31, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    I had met Ranjan during PanIIT chennai n I must say that he was impressive. May god give his family courage to pass through this calamity. I have always believed that IIT alumni is the extended family of all alumni n hence l offer my personal support to the family members in case I can be of any help.

  38. Rajagopal Tampi March 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    I did not know Ranjan well. But my limited interactions with him left a lasting impression on me. I was responsible for the Knowledge Economy Track in the Dec 2006 PAN IIT Event in Mumbai and after the Event was over, we decided to take on a few follow on projects. One of them was IITians for ITI. I met Ranjan for the first time in IIT Mumbai and thereafter alongwith Atul Mathur he was one of the people who took over responsibility from there on for taking the Project forward from us (who were the PAN IIT Event Event Organizers).

    Ranjan was helpful with his quick and intuitive understanding, extremely supportive of the cause and made plenty of time for contributing to it incuding coming all the way from Pune to attend meetings in Mumbai. He was soft spoken and gave the impression of knowing people even when he was meeting them for the first time.It was this quality that I repeatedly felt when I spoke to him on the phone a few times after the initial meeting.

    I am really sad to read about his untimely demise and offer my condolences to his family and friends. The good that he did during his lifetime will live on and find greater successes in the Project in future. God Bless.

  39. kaushalendra singh yadav March 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I met Ranjan with Atul Mathur during PANIIT Chennai and was inspired by him and his work for skills development. I am in shock to hear that he is no more. May his soul rest in peace and his family get the the strength to live without him.

  40. Sanjay Ayyangar March 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Extremely sad ! He was so young and had so much to offer…..We have fond memories of Ranjan and his family when they visited us a few years back…he always had great ideas and followed them with committed action….May his soul rest in peace and may the good Lord grant strength to the family to bear this tragic loss….

  41. Revathi Kasturi April 2, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Very sad to hear about Ranjan’s untimely demise. Ranjan was passionate about making a difference and invested his time and efforts in the IIT’ians for ITI project generously.
    A friendly and soft spoken person who walked the talk.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

  42. Rekha Pathak April 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Average Person like me, is enjoying good quality life and career, only because of two people : My mother, who was booster for my education and Ranjan, whom I call my “Godfather” in career.
    It is unfortunate that I lost both of them within an year.
    I started my career with Cygnus. Ranjan interviewed me and I still remember all discussion we had on that day. Learning journey began from that day.
    I just want to mention one incidence here in which he gave me thought which will remain guiding principal for my whole career journey. I was finding it difficult to understand “Finance” domain. After mentioning that to him, he replied : “You have done ‘Masters’. Do you know what does it means when someone achieves masters in some subject?”. I was speechless. He replied – “It doesn’t mean you know everything in that subject but it tells you that you are now ‘eligible to learn’ anything”.

  43. Kishore Kumar April 9, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    Still at a loss for words. It hit us like a sledgehammer. Much younger to me but certainly proud of you. Mami is a courageous lady, and we all know how she brought up her kids. With you always, Mami, Sanju, Rajneesh, Gaurav, Gautam and Chhoti.

  44. Md Khalid Hussain April 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Very sad to know about his demise. Although I never met him, we came to know each other through Facebook Group : Zila School Gaya Alumni Association, our school from where we did our matriculation.
    Rest in Peace Dear.

  45. Ashank July 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Really shocked to hear about this . Unfortunately , did not know about this for so long . I was heading PANIIT-India during the period 2007-10 . Those were the early days of ‘IITians for ITI’ , the group that got formred post 2006 PANIIT event in Mumbai.In fact the event inspired Ranjan and few others in US to start this group . I was really impressed with the committment of this group. And for me , Ranjan was the face of this group . We met many times to plan, act and move.
    I was so impressed with Ranjan . Particularly for his sincerity , committment and above all very un-assuming nature. We in PANIIT were so keen to move the ITI action very fast and my only hope was Ranjan . And he did not let us down . Under his leadership we supported many ITIs , he was part of the group that produced the ‘Blue BOOK’ for ITIs with CII support. I am happy that the book is part of this movement , we PANIITians will always remember him through this book .This is a great loss to PANIIT movement , and ITI movement in particular . May his soul rest in peace.May the good Lord grant strength to the family to bear his early demise and tragic loss.

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