Krishna has been a constant presence in my life for the past 14 years. Not only did we maintain a beautiful friendship across distance and time, but he was also an incredibly reliable friend. I talked to a mutual childhood friend recently, and we struggled to find the right words to describe Krishna. He was just so… Krishna.
Krishna and I loved sharing bad puns with one another. In fact, he’s the one who got me hooked years and years ago! The first pun he told me, which I still use to elicit groans today, is the following:
Why did Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head prohibit their daughter from marrying Tom Brokaw?
-Because he is a common tator
And here is a snippet of an email conversation we had in 2010:
Me: joke: what’s the difference between santa and tiger woods?
Krish: Santa only has 3 ho’s?
Me: MAN you really are the master. joke: how do Mexicans like to play basketball?
Krish: Juan on Juan?
Me: okay now this is getting ridiculous
Inspired you to be better
I will never meet anyone who is more organized than Krishna. He was literally the pinnacle of human organization. I still distinctly remember the moment in college, when he showed me his financial spreadsheet. Within this Excel file, Krishna had documented every transaction (credit card, check, PayPal, etc.) and had assembled yearly summaries in the form of graphs and pie charts. I was floored by the cleanliness of the formatting and by his commitment to keeping this up for years. When I indicated some interest in creating a similar filing system, he warned me that it takes a lot of time to maintain, but was more than excited to share his template.
I still update my “Expenses” Excel file, and every time I do, I think of Krishna.
Bragged about others but never himself
When I first met Krishna in 8th grade, I already knew he was one of the smartest kids at school. He took 9th grade math class (which meant that his math teacher was off-site and taught via video conferencing), he was one of the highly sought-after group members for group projects in our PACE (gifted and talented) class, and he was actively involved in multiple academic clubs, like Odyssey of the Mind. As I got to know him better, what surprised me the most was his indifference to the GPA rat race, which was ingrained in Plano academics. He never asked about other people’s grades or commented on his own (which I later verified to be stellar, naturally). He even got a perfect score on his SAT (!), which he meekly admitted after I squeezed it out of him after college. In recent years, whenever I asked him about his work at Microsoft, he would list all the cool and interesting projects he worked on, and follow that list with a remark about his amazing teammates and how their success was a function of team effort.
Instead of bragging about himself, he loved bragging about his friends. Our conversations throughout college, and even afterwards, were peppered with Krishna’s high praises for other people’s accomplishments:
“Andy is taking this really hard engineering class with me, and he’s doing so well. And he’s pre-med, so he has even more classes than me! That’s amazing.”
“I’ve been emailing with Ray, and he’s been asking advanced engineering questions. I can’t believe he’s doing college-level engineering, and he’s only in junior high!”
“Have you talked to Lindsey about her business recently? I can’t believe she’s doing it all by herself. It’s really impressive.”
And on, and on. That was Krishna.
Always thinking of others
Earlier this year, I had a painful breakup with a long-term boyfriend. I tried online dating very briefly and had disastrous results. When I talked to Krishna about it, he encouraged me to continue online dating, and gave me pointers on how to better filter for potential dates and how to craft my profile. In his classic Krishna way, he shared articles that analyzed empirical data taken from online dating sites, and he gave me his very thorough assessment of the various sites and how to get the most out of each one. I was still unconvinced – the people I had met seemed unbalanced, and I had grown weary of the online dating pool. “Tiff, it’s all about filtering. It took me a while too, but I met a couple of really cool people.” Of course, he knew what I needed to hear to convince me that it was worthwhile: “I’m doing it, and I’m normal!” Krishna followed up our phone conversations with texts about a new site that yielded much better matches, and how his dates went great.
I found out from Lindsey about a week ago that he wasn’t even doing online dating at the time. He only told me because he wanted to encourage me to keep trying. Classic Krishna.
These past few weeks have been hard for anyone and everyone who has known Krishna. His parents have lost an amazing, truly special son, and the people who knew him have lost a lifelong friend. I seek solace in the knowledge that for more than a decade, Krishna has been a part of my life, and I was a part of his. We love you, Krishna, and thanks for the memories.