Keshav Sanghani, an Indian American sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, died June 30. He was 19.
Sanghani, of Willowbrook, Ill., was an accomplished student who was studying math and economics. He also spoke four languages and was teaching himself a fifth, Russian, the university wrote in an obituary.
Many of the faculty members characterized Sanghani by his intelligence, compassion, integrity and courage in Student Life, the university’s independent student-run newspaper.
Madhavi Verma, a lecturer in Hindi languages and culture, described Sanghani as “very bright, very thoughtful (and) very sensitive.”
“He was very passionate to know about his culture… He was very interested in current events and what was going on in India… All the students just loved him, because he was so good in Hindi. Not only Hindi, but even his knowledge of Indian epics, Indian history or in ancient folk tales, it was extremely good,” Verma wrote.
Richa Sinkre, one of his classmates, wrote: “…Not only did he absorb all the information we were taught like a sponge, but he also helped anyone else that was struggling or needed help.”
Sanghani’s older sister, Saryu Sanghani, is a 2019 Washington University graduate and a faculty assistant in the university’s department of chemistry in arts and sciences. “Sanghani appeared to frequently follow in his sister’s footsteps, choosing the same classes, musical instrument and, ultimately, college,” the university shared in the obituary.
“But each of those things were decisions I made with his advice,” Saryu said. “No wonder he made the same ones… One could ask Keshav profound questions and be guaranteed that any answer he gave, he had thought of at length and believed not for its impact on the asker but because it was compatible with the perpetual, if at times uncomfortable, truth that guided his brilliant life.”
Sanghani also sang devotional songs in Gujarati, Hindi and Sanskrit.
“He was great at anything he took on,” Keshav’s father Dhiren Sanghani wrote. “He was compassionate yet expected the most from all of us.”
Sanghani died of unspecified causes although his father shared in Student Life that Keshav was battling depression.
In addition to Saryu and Dhiren Sanghani, Sanghani is survived by his mother, Kailas Sanghani; his grandmother, Sharda Sanghani; and his sister, Jahnvi Sanghani.