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.

DNA India writes

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


  1. bhattathiri April 17, 2007

    Virginia shoot out death is cruelsome. Let us pray for their soul rest in peace.It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us

  2. Sourav April 17, 2007

    I was just going through her profile on Orkut, and it seems within the last couple of hours thousands have left her a message. I fall short of words though, because no matter what you say, it doesn’t make up for the loss of what is really invaluable, and what was snatched away inconsiderately – a human life.

  3. vrushali April 18, 2007

    Dear Arzan,
    I remember you well…one of the many faces I thought I had forgotten after I quit architecture for good. But it’s just a name that brings back all those memories; it’s just that right now all those memories are overwhelming me so much that I don’t know whether to cry or just close my eyes and try to forget.

    It would be great if we could meet up, like you said. My email id is vrushali.lad@gmail.com

    Take care and god bless.

  4. SurAj April 18, 2007

    Today 157 people were killed in Iraq. May be some others were murdered in Kashmir and a few hundred lost their lives to hunger in Africa.

    No eyebrows are raised about that ! No CNN headlines – no countless blogs – no orkut communities.

    What hollow people the western civilization has become ! How hollow we have become !

  5. vipin April 18, 2007

    What a cruel act of a sadistic psycho? I wished the police could shoot him down. Psycho escaped justice for having delivered injustice to 30 people. He should go to place worse than hell

  6. paresh April 19, 2007

    dear suraj,
    the point here is that this situation is very sad one.whether its sad or not,just express it.but please donot compare it with people dying else where.it concerns us so much because an indian professor of 30 yrs has been killed.a student who joined just in fall of 06 has been killed.All these are students and learned people who impart knowledge to the community.places of study are places of worship and when something tragic happens there everyone cries.

    coming to iraq,africa,everyone cried when bad things happened there for the first time.but over time,we all got used to things over there.if shootings were regular in VT and someone gets killed the every other day,then possibly there wont be this kind of hue and cry.

    why cry during bombay blasts when hundreds are killed in palestine every day???the answer is in the question.bombay blasts happened to innocent people unexpecteldy,interrupting peaceful lives.

    I hope u got the point.

    Thanks man,

  7. J. Patel April 20, 2007

    My hopes, prayers and wishes are you with.

  8. J. Patel April 20, 2007
  9. Shruti April 24, 2007

    The news about Virginia shooting has stuck many people…and same the condition with other pasrt of the part, where every day innocent people keep on murdering…
    Hope they all find peace…
    Take care…

  10. perspective inc April 24, 2007

    Its a damn shame what happened…

  11. Janak Panchal May 17, 2007

    Whatever happened is really very bad. I don’t have nay words to say.


  12. Anon May 17, 2007

    @ Janak : if you have nothing to say – why did u say it ?

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