When I met Sameer: 01/03/1969
Extended thoughts about Sameer: These were our thoughts that we shared at Sameer’s services:
I apologize for my attire, we just flew in from Mexico and while we were getting shut out on flight after flight, I remembered 2 of Sameer’s famous travel tips, 1) Always keep moving whether it gets you closer to your destination or not, and 2) there’s always another flight, and sure enough he was right, there was another flight. I never had any brothers so I always had a special bond with Sameer and Shalin. Sangee, Sameer, Shalin, and I were called the “Cleveland Cousins”.
Some of my fondest memories of my childhood were our special summer vacations in Florida staying with Sameer and Shalin. As we all know Sameer had a wonderful fun loving spirit and could make anything interesting and fun. We had special times watching the Space Shuttle launches, catching turtles myrtle and yertle , and navigating swimming across the canal and 3 day games of risk…of course Sameer had special strategies and deals to combat all of us combined. To this day I remember riding the monorail at Disney at all hours of the day. I think it was these crazy fun times that created a special lifelong bond between us. I don’t know how Neena Auntie and Naren Uncle put up with all of our craziness.
Those trips being great, However I do remember playing Sameer’s favorite game, “The Boss” and invevitably I would get fired and start crying and Sameer would say his famous line “Grow up Saumil!” Now it sounds like he was being mean, but looking back through the years and even though he was 5 years older than me, graduated from Amherst and then Stanford MBA, worked at McKinsey consulting with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, he was treating me like his equal. And even though I was intimidated by all he had accomplished, he always respected my opinions and we had some great discussions.
Everyone knows that travelling was one of Sameer’s greatest interest. I had the pleasure of travelling with Sameer for a summer in Asia. I should have known from his map collections and from the time he was 10 and he would come out from the bathroom excited after reading the OAG (official airline guide)and finding a new nonstop flight that this was going to be an amazing adventure. His vast knowledge about the countries and love for discovering new things combined with the excitement of public transportation. You can only imagine our conversations on the long travels through china japan india and Thailand. I would never have been able to experience a trip such as this without Sameer. No matter where we were or the circumstances I was always confident that we would be fine because of Sameer’s talents in this area. Although it might involve him posing as a girl to get in to a girl’s only hostel ln Shanghai China or convincing a bus driver to go off his route in Japan because we had taken the wrong bus. I have always admired his global intellectual curiosity and so today I believe that my love for travel and adventure was fostered by Sameer.
Another one of Sameer’s passions was urban development and even though he lived in NY, he always had a soft spot for Cleveland. Everytime he would come to town he wanted to just drive around the city to see which areas were being developed, any new buildings went up, and he also wanted to go to some sporting events. Now you may find this curious until I realized he didn’t care if the Browns won or lost, he wanted to see the economic impact on the city of these games. Of course at times I felt my ticket could be put to better use when in the 4th quarter with the game on the line, I look over and Sameer would be reading the NY Times. But I loved discussing his theories on development, and the incredible part was to see many of the things we discussed years prior of how to rejuvenate downtown come to fruition.
Sameer had a true love for his family and children as evidenced with his close relationship with all of us. When Nisha was born and he held her as a newborn even though he looked awkward and I was a little worried that he might drop her I could see the love and excitement in his eyes and wouldn’t put her down. As a toddler you could only imagine his advice to me on toys in terms of improvement or decrease in her SAT scores. In contrast to naren uncles ceiling walk rides his approach was a little different talking to them like they were adults and really listening to what they had to say. I was so happy when he met Surekha and they had sanjana and arjun so he could fully enjoy this part of his life that he had waited for so long. He was amazed by everything she did and was truly a proud father.
You had an amazing life and touched all of us. I will miss the discussions on the economy and the markets, the controversies, eating lunch with you while you were eating breakfast, but most of all I will just miss being with you. You will always be in our hearts and we will always love you.