Farewell Naveen

It has been a rather long time between entries, but I have a valid, although anything but good, excuse for this. In the early hours of Sunday the tenth of March Naveen Yawanarajah, one of my bosses, the guy who programmed the iNews system this weblog runs upon and an all round really great guy, died of a sudden heart attack. He was only 32. So things have been pretty tough going for the last two weeks both professionally and personally, and I haven’t been up to writing much.

I’m not going to write a vast long entry about this, because frankly I don’t feel like writing about it, and I don’t think anyone would really want to read it. However I feel I owe it to the guy to mention a few facts, so bear with me.

Naveen was born with four holes in his heart due to his mother contracting rubella during her pregnancy. At school he developed a passion for and talent with computers, and as a teenager wrote the first commercial software ever produced in Malaysia. In time he came to Perth and studied for a degree in computer science, despite his health problems, which included a trip to Melbourne for highly complex and experimental heart surgery. This actually went horribly wrong, and his heart stopped for a full 32 minutes on the table. Normally the surgeon would have declared death after such a period and given up, but he and the whole operating team had been so impressed by Naveen’s remarkable personality that they put the extra work in to bring him back. Even so it was painful months of recovery, although he never let this hold him back and with the support and encouragement of his family and friends he was even back to DJing comparatively soon afterwards, despite the fact that at times it was even a struggle to walk.

In 1996 he founded Gateway to Perth with Dale, and wrote an entire e-commerce system, GTP iCommerce, from scratch, when no-one else in Western Australia was even considering a locally based e-commerce enterprise. Over the years this system expanded to incorporate contact management, website maintenance and affiliate systems, and the company expanded from a partnership to a Propriety Limited, under the business name GTP iCommerce.

In the last month Naveen had applied for and been accepted into the Curtin PhD program, planning to develop and write a thesis on an online robotics control protocol. He was very excited about this, and once it was developed he planned to release it into the public domain, in his own words to “give something back” to the computing world. He’d given plenty back to the computing world already, but unfortunately his robotics work will now never happen.

Overall Naveen was an amazing person with an incredibly friendly and outgoing personality, and great sense of humour. In the two years that I worked with him I can honestly never remember seeing him in a bad mood even once. The sheer quality and quantity of work that he did for GTP means that we’ll able to carry on and thrive without him, but he was the true heart of the company, and we all miss him like hell.

See ya man.

(31st May 2002 – I must thank Naveen’s good friend Natalie, who contacted me to correct some mistakes in my account of his life. She also commented…

Just one more thing – you wrote that Naveen had a heart problem but he didn’t. He had a heart condition. I am sure you will agree that Naveen’s condition never stopped him from doing anything. I think he achieved more in his 32 years than many do in their whole life.

I couldn’t agree more)

But onto happier matters.

On Friday night my brother Andrew finally *g* got around to holding a birthday dinner for me. This turned out to be a great night, and I would like to sincerely thank him,Travis, Katie, Lyndah, Elisabet, Kevin, Clare and Emma for organising/attending and putting up with me 🙂 I also got some totally kick arse presents which were totally unnecessary but very appreciated, scratch lottery tickets, magnetic frogs, and an original Ra figurine from Stargate the movie, which has apparently been sitting on the shelf down at Valhalla since 1994.

The whole night went very well, the food was supplied in such copious amounts that numerous references to Babette’s Feast were made, and even the mushroom sauce for thevol-au-vaunts turned out all right after the third attempt. Extra points must go to Lyndah for managing the entire meal despite having eaten before coming. Also for the magnetic frogs, building towers of which proved a source of much entertainment when the evening started to wind down (and also for repeated amusing use of the phrase “cat’s arse”).

Thanks must go to especially to Clare for her many flattering comments about the Tales. Her comments were so flattering in fact that the upcoming Easter long weekend will probably see at least another chapter going up. And also much thanks for (when appointed buyer for the Clare/Kevin/Elisabet/Eric gift committee) going for the Ra model rather than the poster of the big breasted fantasy chick in armour. Even if that’s what you really wanted to get 🙂

So all and all a good night. Even if I did sit out the climatic tea-towel fight:)

In other news I got a rather puzzling email the other day, asking what “my site” is about, and if you get money for joining. I am not sure if this is a genuine request for information, or a rather devious spam, and hence have not yet replied and probably won’t. In any case, let me clearly state here that there is no way to join Wyrmworld, or the Tales of the Geek Underclass (although I am considering an email subscription service to send out update announcements and occasional extra goodies), and if there is any way to make money out of them I have yet to discover it.T-Shirts anyone? 🙂

That’s all I’ve got to say today. Updates should be more regular from now on.

PS: Yey! Ghostbusters DVD! Thanks Helen:-D

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