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Sunday, September 10, 2006

I remember Vinod Parakat















Take a good look at this picture. This is an ordinary picture of a man, probably taken for his work ID. He’s in his middle 30’s, in a heavy coat, waiting for the photo op to be over so he can go on and do his job.

His job was to program software for a brokerage company in New York City. His job provided money for his family in New Jersey as well as for his widowed mother in Kerala, India. He was described as loving his job and being a hard worker by both his family and his co-workers. His job ultimately cost him his life.

You see, this man is one of almost 3,000 people whose lives were lost on 9/11/01. His name was Vinod Parakat.

I will take just a brief moment to apologize for not having much information on Vinod Parakat. I did my best but I was unable to find many articles about who he was as a person, what he enjoyed doing, what plans he had for the future. All I have is a sketch of a man who loved his family, enjoyed his job, working on the 103rd floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center, and was excited about his yet-to-be-born child.

Vinod Parakat’s child would now be four years old.

I hope that Mr. Parakat’s wife had an easy pregnancy and a safe delivery of their child. I didn’t find any more information than that she was due around 2/02. But they were looking forward to the birth of their first child. That was taken away from them both.

A beloved oldest son was taken from his family on 9/11. Vinod Parakat was the oldest of three children born to Parakat Saraswathymenon and Dr. Ug Unnimenon. He was survived by his mother, his sister, Lisha Arunkamur and his brother, Ajay Kumar Parakat as well as his wife and child. His mother was quoted as saying “I wish he had never come here. You lose your son, you lose everything.”

So little to know about another human being you’re trying to memorialize, on this, the 5th anniversary of his being taken from the world. He had a happy marriage, which was arranged by his parents and hers. He had a job he enjoyed in a city he enjoyed. He was about to become a father for the first time.

Who knows what would have happened to Vinod Parakat had he not gone to work at Cantor Fitzgerald that morning. Perhaps he’d be looking back now with relief that he’d been late or decided to skip work to play golf, as one of his friends did. We’ll never know, because Vinod Parakat went to work on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. He went up to the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center. He received a call from a friend who told him the day was way too beautiful to be doing anything but playing golf. And then he was gone.

I did not know Vinod Parakat, but I am holding his memory in mind as the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches. I remember him, an individual among many who died that day, but a person, a child of God, in his own right. I remember Vinod Parakat.


This remembrance was written as a part of the 2,996 Project originated by D.C. Roe. For other tributes to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, please click on the “2996: I remember” link on the left side of my site. Any and all mistakes are mine, but I hope there aren’t any.

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