When graduate student Sneha Polisetti remembers fellow graduate student Akash Sharma, she said she thinks of laughter.“Every memory I have of him is either him laughing or making other people laugh,” Polisetti said. “That was Akash all the time. He was never sad or angry.”Sharma, a third-year Ph.D. student in the chemical and biomolecular engineering program, died Jan. 1. The University did not comment on the cause of Sharma’s death, but friends said he died of health-related causes.Sharma was a native of Delhi, India. He served as co-president of the Indian Association of Notre Dame during the 2012-2013 academic year and was a teaching assistant for several classes. Sharma was also a member of the Notre Dame Men’s Boxing Club. Photo courtesy of nd.edu Polisetti, who is a third-year student in the chemical and biomolecular engineering graduate program, said she and Sharma are both from India and lived in the Fischer Graduate Residences.“I can’t even think of one person who he did not get along with or he had a problem with,” Polisetti said. “He got along with everybody, and anyone you talked to, they’d have a good word to say about him.”Sharma was “extremely giving,” Polisetti said.“He was very willing to help, but I don’t even think he did it consciously. That’s just the way he was,” Polisetti said. “He would not even think twice about doing something for somebody else, going out of his way. He would be happy to do it.”Nick McNamara, who is also a third-year graduate student in Sharma’s program, said he met Sharma in their math class.“He started telling a few of us this story about a problem he was having back in India with a monkey and a dog,” McNamara said. “He was surprised at how much the American students loved hearing about monkeys, because they are so common in India. He told us a bunch of other hilarious stories about monkey antics.”Sharma constantly was smiling, McNamara said.“He always had a huge, goofy grin on his face,” McNamara said. “He was always telling jokes and trying to make people laugh. And he was never mean or rude about it. He was just a genuinely nice and friendly person.”Grief counseling is available to students through the University Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, and International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA).Rosemary Max, director of ISSA, said her office is planning a memorial Mass for Sharma in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Details are forthcoming.Tags: Student death
Grammy AwardIn the year of his death, Tosh’s last studio album, No Nuclear War, was released. It won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1988.Late last year, a museum honoring the Tosh legacy opened in Kingston, the Jamaican capitol. It is just a hop and skip from the Bob Marley Museum which was once a hangout for Tosh, Marley and Wailer.Peter Tosh’s songs are still played on Jamaican radio, but not many of the younger generation know of his stance against Apartheid, his fight for ganja rights and social equality.But as Tosh sang in one of his most famous songs:“You teach the youth about Christopher ColombusAnd you said he was a very great manYou teach the youth about Marco PoloAnd you said he was a very great manYou teach the youth about the pirate HawkinsAnd you said he was a very great manYou teach the youth about the pirate MorganAnd you said he was a very great manSo, you can’t blame the youth of todayYou can’t fool the youthYou can’t blame the youthYou can’t fool the youth.” The Fieriest WailerPeter Tosh was the fieriest of the famous Wailers, the others being Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Even on the group’s early albums with Island Records, he wrote the most provocative songs — 400 Years and Get Up, Stand Up. After leaving The Wailers, he continued to take on the establishment or as he called it, “the sh.itsim.”Two of Tosh’s greatest statements were the albums Legalize It and Equal Rights, released in 1976 and 1977, respectively. The former called for the legalization of marijuana (also known as ganja in Jamaica) for which he was a passionate advocate.Thirty years after his death, the Jamaican government is doing just that. Politicians, who once shunned Rastafari as ganja-smoking riff-raff, are fast-tracking legislation, with many among the country’s private elite pumping millions of dollars into ganja-based initiatives. By Howard CampbellAmericans will forever remember September 11, 2001 for the tragedy that took place at the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York. That terrorist attack killed just over 2,700 people.Tosh and two others murderedReggae fans also recall the date September 11 with dread. On the evening of September 11, 1987, Jamaican reggae artist Peter Tosh was murdered at his home in Jamaica at age 42.Tosh, a member of the original Wailers and a solo star in his own right, was killed along with impresario/Disc Jockey Jeff “Free I” Dixon and Wilton “Doc” Brown in a bloody incident that shocked Jamaicans.His common-law wife Marlene Brown and drummer Carlton “Santa” Davis, a member of Tosh’s Word, Sound and Power band, were injured in the attack which was led by Dennis “Leppo” Lobban, an ex-convict the singer knew.