from Follow the Money

Dhananjai Shivakumar: In memoriam

This is a different kind of post – far more personal and far more painful.   Those looking for commentary on the global economy should check back next week. 

Almost two weeks ago, I learned that my dear friend and college roommate, Dhananjai Shivakumar, had died.    Suddenly. Unexpectedly.   His heart just stopped.

Danny was – and it is hard to use the past tense, since I always somehow assumed that I would be talking to Danny about how I didn’t really understand Nietzsche (true) or the various crushes of his college years when we were both doddering around fifty years from now – brilliant.  Breath-takingly smart.

He was apparently rather popular in law school.   In college too -- though he didn't try to be.    He was at the center of about every imaginable social circle.  Being witty and naturally charming has its advantages. 

Danny helped to make -- at least for me -- a college more renowned for its academics than its undergraduate life an intensely fun place.    

About four years ago, Danny drove me to the wedding of another of our college roommates in the hills behind Berkeley.   He had rented a car - a convertible of some sort - for the day.   And as we climbed up into the hills, he slowed the car to crawl.   We were early.   We didn’t have to work.  We weren't in the cold and snowy northeast.  It was a beautiful California day. Danny just wanted to enjoy the moment.   I trust he did that often.

And once we arrived at the wedding, Danny amused us all with tales from what then seemed like the ancient past and now seems a lot closer.  If I had Danny's near photographic memory I am sure I could remember a bit of what he said.  All I remember is laughing harder than I had for a very long time, before or since.

I cannot even begin to comprehend the grief of Danny's family.

Bye, Danny.  You had a pure and noble soul.  You were loved widely and loved deeply.