Tragic end of a young Bengaluru based writer


Read about the tragic death of Arun Veembur, writer from Bangalore.

I am not sure, how many of the members of this forum have noticed the tragedy occurred to a journalist turned writer from Bengaluru in the night hours of last 9th November in a remote place in China. The unfortunate young research minded writer was none other than Arun Veembur (28), born and brought up at Bangalore. He served as journalist with Silicon India, Deccan Herald, and Mid-Day Bangalore before kicking 'wage-slavery' to pursue an independent way of his own.

It was by chance he came across the story about a road,while holidaying in Assam, known as the Stilwell Road built by the Allies during the Second World War to ship supplies from India to China. It runs from Ledo in Assam through Myanmar to Kunming, Yunnan’s capital and has a length of more than 1600 km. He was so much fascinated about the history of this road and wanted to know everything about the road and record it in a couple of books.

So he started his journey to China and moved to Yunnan, a hilly province in the south- west of China. He never wanted to stay there for a long period. But he went into the details of everything connected with the road. He became deeply knowledgeable about an often-ignored part of the continent. He travelled wherever his research — and the Road — took him, even to the remote interiors of Myanmar to the heart of its ethnic strife.

In the three years of stay there, Arun became something of an institution in Kunming. He was a familiar face for visiting journalists and diplomats and a valuable guide for the regular trickle of Indian businessmen who frequent China’s southwest.

Arun sustained serious injuries from a fall while hiking, alone, in the remote mountains near Dali, a city in the Yunnan province where he lived. It took a rescue team until next day night to locate him. When the team arrived on the scene after a day-long search, it was too late. Thus the search for an unknown road and the culture of those residing nearby came to a tragic end.

Arun had studied at St. Joseph's College, where he was part of the college team that won the Karnataka Quiz Association (KQA) rankings in 1997. He tried engineering for a year at MSRIT but gave it up for a BA in Literature and Journalism at Christ College. He continued quizzing through college, and also took part in open quizzes with the team 'The Answer Guys.' He was a regular at MQ meetings between 1999 and 2001 and also conducted an Open Quiz for KQA in August 2002 along with his team-mate Roshan Mehboob.

Arun was the only son of V.K. Godan, a retired Scientist with DRDO in Bangalore, and Usha Godan. Both of them are from Kerala originally and have settled back there after retirement.


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