Mr. Shah has provided Tuya Pal’s speech from Sameer’s service this past week:
On behalf of Sameer’s caring parents, his loving wife Surekha, and Shalin and myself, we’d like to thank you all for the tremendous support with which you all have provided us during the most devastating time in our lives. All of you have dropped everything to be with us during this difficult time, with many of you travelling far distances, which is something we will forever cherish.
For all of us who knew him, I think you will all understand when we say they broke the mold when they made Sameer – he was a unique, inspirational, and caring individual who’s touch on our lives is irreplaceable.
We wanted to start off by remembering some of his unique attributes:
– as one of his good friends wrote to dad yesterday, he was known for his brilliance, love of art, and friendship; in fact, he was the most popular guy in high school and highly admired by all, including those that wanted to be his friend but were not. His brilliance is clearly evidence through the impressive combination of having gone to Amherst for undergrad, Stanford for an MBA, and worked as a consultant at McKinsey both pre and post his MBA.
– his love of hearing about scandals, which went along with his unique sense of humor that he shared with his brother and many of his male cousins
-he was an exceptionally high energy individual who was never bored – he ensured this by making sure he always had ‘anti-bunge’ reading materials with him
-he was a voracious reader, whether it be literature, magazines or the newspaper, but he was particular about his reading materials:
as for magazines, whereas many of us like Shalin and myself, enjoy reading Sports Illustrated and People, Sameer read the economist (which he also really always pushed me to read); for newspapers, whereas we generally read the local one, he would read the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times
-he also had unique taste in his TV shows – his love of politics is illustrated by the fact that the Round table with George Will (which is a segment of the Sunday morning show – this week with Christian Amanpour); in terms of comedies, as much as he loved Seinfeld like many of us, to no surprise, he also loved John Stewart, who hosted a late night political comedy show – we’ll never forget his laughter when he watched this show; this unique taste in TV shows also filtered down to his children, who prefer to watch the less conventional shows such as Madelaine and Cailloux, which is a testament to what he and Surekha have exposed them to over their lives.
-his great love of art, classical music and museums, which he and Surekha have instilled in their children
-his infatuation with airplane routing systems – as a child, he had predicted hubs and spokes system, which is essentially the concept upon which Southwest Airlines is based – Sameer’s concept was that Winnipeg should be the hub for North America (my birthplace) – so when we were planning a family vacation years ago, we was exceptionally excited to join us in Winnipeg where I was visiting my childhood friend on our way to Banff – again, I no of no one else who would be excited to visit Winnipeg, including those who are from there – but again that was Sameer
-his fascination with airports – how he explained to me in detail how Tampa is one of the best designed airport for which it has won awards – again a fact I would have never known without him, and something I have in turn been able to share and explain to others
-his sense of fashion, which included high taste in his clothing and accessories, including his briefcase and impressive tie collection – in fact, to this day, I don’t think Shalin has ever bought a suit without Sameer; that being said, one of my particular favorites, on which I have consistently commented on through the years, is the ‘collar up look’ which he embraced.
-he was food connoisseur, and an excellent cook (which went hand in hand with having a cleaning staff to assist in cleaning up after his cooking) – he was also very particular about his food, and during 1 meal, he could fill up an entire sink with the dishes and utensils needed to eat his many course meal (usually well after we had all finished eating)
His many roles in our family included:
-being our travel consultant and tour guide on any trips we took together, and even those we didn’t, where he would provide us with his research to enhance our travels and provide us with input of places to go that were ‘off the beaten path’
-being our financial planner – and to that end, emphasizing the importance of having a will as soon as we had children (as I speak for what he did for both Chetan and Hetal, as well as myself and Shalin), and taking it upon himself to facilitate this happening
-he was a talented delegator – he always had a ‘concept’ that he knew how to operationalize which involved recruiting the needed individuals (especially mom) to perform some (or much) of the groundwork; he was also the best man at our wedding, during which time he had many ideas and opinions which fell upon Shalin to implement…but again, they were great concepts, as always, and enhanced the festivities
-he provided us with unconditional love and support – we always knew that if we ever needed anything from him, if he was able, he would do whatever he had to do to be there for us
-great contributor to the family tree, gather facts about the family during each of his trips to India
-a great mentor and friend to his brother – they talked almost every day – and Shalin has always attributed much of his successes to the guidance and support he received from his brother throughout his life – through the last 12 years since I have known Sameer, he has consistently provided Shalin with advice when it has come to work interviews as well as many of our other major life decisions – there unwavering friendship and support for each other is especially impressive when you look at how different their passions were: with Sameer’s love of art, music, politics and museums and Shalin’s fascination with any type of sporting event he could watch on TV or attend in person – again speaking to his absolute love for his family, which is in large part due to how his parents brought him up and the important roles many of you played in his life
-he shared a special bond with his mother, and to this day, he would speak to her as much as he did when he was a child
-In fact, he was one of the main confidants to Shalin, mom and his dad, and to all of you in some form
-his parents, being first generation immigrants from India, learned many details about western culture, based on what Sameer learned at school and brought home to educate his family – even when dad retired, he was instrumental in providing the bridge to an active and fulfilling retirement – even when it came to using a computer, which he was not that proficient in using, it was Sameer who took the lead to teach him.
We are so thankful to have his children, who share many of his attributes – just an example for each of them:
-for Sanjana, her love of reading: prior to the age of 1, she would wake up at night and instead of crying, she would go to a nightlight and start flipping through the pages of a book (obviously prior to being able to read)
-for his 2 year old son Arjun, being as cool as a cucumber: just recently, when he was going on a train, his curious george monkey (which he has been attached to since birth) fell on the traintracks – Sanjana started to cry, whereas Arjun remained calm and had the sense to say ‘bye-bye’
Over the last 9 years, we are so thankful that he met Surekha because it has made him the happiest we have seen him – they were the perfect complements to each other, sharing their love of reading, art and classical music among other things…and of course, politics, which he needed his daily companion to become knowledgeable in
I wanted to finish off by saying that he will forever live on in our hearts and memories, and it has been an honor and privilege to have known him. There are not words to express how much he was needed by us, and how much he will be missed by us for the rest of our lives.
We will continue to update here with any news the family passes along.