Dr Gurinder: Courageous thinker who lived in the future

Harveen Narula remembers environmental warrior and educationist Dr Gurinder Singh Shahi who passed away recently

| Singapore | 18 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Dr. Gurinder Singh Shahi
Dr. Gurinder Singh Shahi

By Harveen Narulla

A good man, one of the smartest, most perceptive people I knew. A courageous thinker, unafraid of bold systemic thinking that had as its aim to improve the world we saw and knew.

He seemed to live in the future, the present was almost an afterthought, the physical world around him a mortal coil that kept him from inhabiting the future and delighting in its marvels.

I loved him despite his rough edges, as much for the fun-loving, adventurous person he was as because I was always conscious that he, my friend Gurinder, was a special one, holding in his mind the keys to so many problems that bedevil humanity and wanting to solve them.

SEE ALSO: Gurinder Singh Shahi: Thinker, eco-warrior who touched so many lives

I remember the long conversations we had while out cycling. I admired his tenacity to get well and stay fit; also his sense of acceptance about his health issues that were aggravated by the ineptitude of early interventions.

He was a teacher extraordinaire. I remember at his invitation sitting in a seminar for the Technology and World Change course he conducted at the Singapore Management University. The students were enthralled, and participated actively. Everyone left feeling they had gained something from the class. Gurinder was, afterwards, as usual, self-effacing about his skillful handling of the session. He made the difficult things look easy.

I am sure many of the things Gurinder created in his head will manifest in the world around us in the decades to come. As they do, I will be thinking of this intellectual giant. The spirit of multi-disciplinary inquiry that he embodied and his intense curiosity about the world were his great gifts and lessons to us.

I hope these stay constantly with us, as we, his siblings, cousins and friends, and his children, nieces and nephews, and their children in turn, honour his memory and spirit.
Rest in peace, bro Dr Gurinder Shahi. Knowing you it will be a short rest before you ache to come back into this world and talk God into sending you amongst us again to solve some major existential problem!

We love you and will miss you always.


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