Minal Panchal RIP
Minal Panchal was one of the two Indians who lost her life in the terrible massacre that took place at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg. A fellow student went on a shooting spree killing 30+ students and wounding dozens of others.
In most cases, this would pass off as news, in this crazy world, but Minal’s passing away has a personal touch for Shirrin and me. She was our junior at Rizvi College of Architecture, in Bombay, India.
She joined Rizvi College as part of the batch of 1998 just a year after Shirrin, and then after graduating moved to Virginia Tech to pursue a masters in architecture.
Here is a wonderful and personal essay to Minal, by WiseAss who is a fellow alumni of Rizvi College of Architecture.
Minal will always remain in my mind from now on…she who loved Frank Lloyd Wright and hence The Fountainhead…she who always spoke her mind impartially, about anyone…she who liked all things weird. I don’t know if I’m more sorry for the mother who would grieve for her younger daughter in a foreign country, or the scores of friends who have been scrapping her incessantly for news of her whereabouts. Her phone is unreachable, she’s still on the missing persons list, but everyone knows she’s gone.
Read the entire essay here
We join all our fellow alumni and others in praying for her. We hope that her family finds the strength in these impossible times to deal with this life changing tragedy.
Minal (26), a student of architecture at Virginia Tech, has been missing since the shooting in which 33 people, including students and faculty members, were killed by a South Korean student.
KK Parekh, her next-door neighbour, said: “I have known Minal since she was a child. Both she and her elder sister, Kavita, were loved by all in the building. Children from the building often went over to their house to ask for help in their studies.”
Another neighbour said Minal’s father, who was an architect, died of a heart attack two years ago. “Her elder sister married and settled down in the US,” she said. “Minal moved there last September to complete her studies. Her mother left eight days back to join her daughters.”
An ardent fan of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, Minal chose to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an architect. “A science student of Mithibai College, Minal went on to study architecture in Rizvi College,” said a friend.
“She was eager to join her sister in the US and was happy when she got the opportunity to pursue her master’s at Blacksburg in Virginia.”
More info on Minal’s passing away can be found here