|The student and the professor: Bhutanese-born Pritam, a Hindu,|
and Israeli-born, Dr. Yedidia Neumeir, an Orthodox Jew.
We can never know which goodbye is the last.
Pritam, grew up in a refugee camp, in Nepal, his 100,000-person community victims of ethnic cleansing in Bhutan, their homeland. In the camp, playing with paper airplanes, Pritam's early childhood dream of becoming an aerospace engineer was born. In August 2008, his family joined the growing Bhutanese refugee community in Atlanta. Last Sunday, his parents and immediate and extended family, friends, and community — more than 1000 people mourned the courageous, brilliant, accomplished, and confident soul who was without a trace of arrogance.
In late 2010, when he was applying to colleges in the USA, he asked me to review his personal essay, a requirement for all applications, and to work with him to present a sharp, clear picture of his candidacy. Today, Pritam's essay has become a written legacy and testament that neither false privileges of income, skin color, gender, nationality, nor "status" of any kind will deter a young refugee with pluck, brains, focus, faith, and support and love of family, community, and allies worldwide.
Pritam, your life’s journey is a gift for eternity. And, I thank you, grateful that we met.
Pritam's personal essay
An Appreciation: Pritam Adhikari
In Memory of a Wonderful Friend
The dream recedes unrealized
At Georgia Tech: You're never too young to learn