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In Remembrance of Pravin Lakhani
Editorial by Steve D`AgostinoIt was early afternoon on Monday Jan 28, 2019, when I opened a message sent via the "Contact Us" form on the TRCC website, which stated:
Hi everyone my name is Neel. My father was Pravin Lakhani was a member of the Tom`s River Chess Club. Sadly he passed away on Friday January 25 early morning in India with his family by his side. He loved the chess club and he was very passionate about the game of chess. We will cherish his memory and his love of chess forever. My email is **********@gmail.com My home phone number is 732-202-****.
I immediately choked up when I read it, and I thought to myself: "How could this possible be true?". I was in shock and disbelief - as less than 2 weeks earlier, (Thursday Jan 17, 2019 to be exact), I had seen Pravin at the club. He appeared to be in good health, and with his usual jovial demeanor.
And so at first I had really hoped that this email was only a hoax, although logically I doubted how that could even be possible, let alone explain any reason as to why anyone would do so. But later, after speaking with the TRCC president, and learning of the other text messages received by other TRCC members, it became clear that this was not a hoax, and sadly it must be true. It was later reported that Pravin had suffered a massive heart attack and passed away while en route to the hospital. This was shocking to me, as Pravin was only a few years older than me, and he appeared to be in good health - in fact, his state of health appeared to be a lot better than my own.
Although I did not know him very well, nonetheless I always thought of him as a friend. And aside from being a very good chess player, he also always seemed to be in good spirits, upbeat, and with a positive attitude. I specifically appreciated the fact that he used to be a web programmer like me. He was one of the few people at the club whom I could "talk shop" with about the technology I used on the website and my programming choices and techniques. (For example, he had developed websites using "Cold Fusion" databases, and we discussed how that compared to the MySQL databases that I have preferred to use for the last 15+ years).
And I even remember laughing and joking with Pravin at the 2018 Christmas Party just a few weeks earlier (on Dec 20, 2018). For example, as the food was being served, Pravin was watching a chess game I was playing with Rex Cristal, and we joked about Rex`s concern about possibly missing out on the cheesecake if we didn`t pause the game, joking that Rex might be "a tempo too slow" on his "cheesecake move".
So to say the least, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Pravin Lakhani. I can only hope that prior to his passing, that he enjoyed his trip to India, which I understand he had been looking forward to for some time.
Lastly, if any TRCC member had played a game agaimst Pravin and kept score, I would like to posthumously post that chess game on the website under his name.
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