Monday, June 8, 2009

Rajeev Motwani Passes Away, Possibly a Swimming Accident

Just read that Rajeev Motwani passed away. Shocking news. Rajeev was a legend in silicon valley and had advised both Sergey and larry at Google (Sergey's blog about Rajeev) This is an enormous loss and a tragedy. I had met Rajeev once at the TIECon in 2005 and it was just humbling and inspiring to have met him.

It appears he fell in his house swimming pool and couldnt get out (as the Wikipedia notes, Rajeev couldnt swim very well). The nature of his death brings up one big concern, which is based on interactions with folks in my personal network and experience. Several of my friends from India (myself included) have had limited training and practice of swimming. Two years ago, a group of us were swimming in a lake in upstate NY and a person wandered just a bit further into the deep. Luckily we had a good swimmer who swam the person back to shore. A similar experience was replayed in Australia, when a friend and me scrambled (and gasped) to swim across a small lake. Thankfully nothing untoward happened, though things could have gone horribly wrong. And then just a few weeks back, when my raft flipped in the Colorado river, my limited swimming abilities added to my inability to really do much in the water.

And now this tragic death, highlights the need to create greater awareness for learning how to swim. This summer i am going to practice my swimming skills and urge folks in my personal network to do so. You never know what can happen. Perhaps this tragedy could have been averted. So sad.

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