Answer by Lokesh Khandelwal:
, popularly known as to the coding community, and as Lord among his friends and the people close to him. We lost him in an on the night of 15th June'14.
Now everybody knows that he was the best coder India has ever produced. He was one of the first red coder from the country and continued to dominate until his last SRM. He was the TCO world finalist twice, and(GCJ) once. He worked on to make DP his strongest area (for the non-programming people, DP is Dynamic Programming and is one of the toughest things to master in programming). I have had the privilege to spend some time with him and know him more closely and that is what I am going to share in this answer.
For the last one year, Lord was working in a start-up (that he co-founded with) . I was selected in a 10 day , organized by the company, where he gave awesome lectures. But the 15 days internship , Hyderabad, (May-June '14) is how I came to know him more as a person.
Lord had this amazing passion to spread and share knowledge. This was one of his last conversations with Animesh :
Animesh: "If we can make some money, we can help more people,"
Harsha: "May be, we can enable 1000 people to help others."
I also came to know that he gave up Microsoft in his college just to train the college team for. He never went behind big companies, his wife works at Google and he could have easily been a Googler himself. He worked for his passion. "You do not need too much to live. It's all the social conditioning that makes you desire a big job and a fat salary. You can live with less and be free." This is what he used to say.
Contrary to the second part of his TC handle(humblefool), the first part is completely correct. Lord is the most humble person I have ever met. With the knowledge and experience that he had, he could have easily commanded us all. But instead, he was always open to us, and on many instances came for our opinions and suggestions. You would never know that you were sitting next to a person of his stature.
Now you will never associate such a geek in other domains. But Lord was awesome in every field. Maybe that is why he is called Lord. Many know that I defeated him once in chess(that too on time) because I posted it on facebook. No one except me knows the second part of the story. He came back strong and forced me to resign from that game. Played tennis and he beat us all most of the time. Always a winner in stratego. Banged on karaoke, he hit the best score 98 twice (even without any practice). He single handedly won Counter Strike against two of us (FYI, we are not noob at CS). He was a complete all-rounder.
His thoughts were always full of clarity and vision. I had a half an hour bike ride with him,(we had all gone to Prasad's for a movie, and not everyone could fit in the car, so I was the fortunate one to come with him), I discussed my career and future plans with him, and he made it crystal clear for me. What a moment of pride it was for me!!! Wearing his TCO '07 bag while he was driving, I made sure I showed it off to everybody as if it was mine.
Memories flashback, as I write, and take me to his birthday, we had planned a surprise for him. Never had I imagined that it would be his last. A photo on his birthday treat. (Harsha is the righmost).
Harsha is a true legend. He has been an inspiration and idol of many indian programmers. And as Animesh puts in, "He has chosen to go to heaven because God needed a genius programmer there".
May his soul rest in peace. RIP Harsha, RIP the Lord.
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