PETALING JAYA, August 6 — Eddy Zachariah had been pals with A. Sanjiv Daevin for more than half of Sanjiv’s life.
Ever since Sanjiv was a fresh-faced teenager who joined the Aseana Percussion Unit (APU) in 2001.
That’s what made it so difficult for Zachariah when he heard the news that his “partner-in-crime” was found dead by the police on Monday, after falling from his 12th-floor condominium in Bandar Kinrara, Serdang.
Zachariah told Malay Mail that he was gutted when he found out what had happened and still cannot imagine that his bright-smiled friend would ever take his own life.
“It was a really big, terrible shock. We were very, very close and had so many good times together. We spoke a few weeks ago and everything was fine. He was normal and we were even making plans to go out one of these days,” said Zachariah.
“On Sunday night he was with some of his former pilot crew members, and they were shocked as well when they heard because when they parted ways he seemed fine and even said that he would catch up with them soon. But the next day it happened.
“That’s the big question mark that’s hanging. He never showed any signs of depression or sadness. That’s the thing that is so hard to accept.”
Sanjiv, 35, used to work as a pilot for AirAsia, before being let go during the MCO, and was also an extremely skilled musician who could play seven different instruments as well as a qualified music instructor at Music Mart in Petaling Jaya.
Zachariah said that while he is devastated by Sanjiv’s passing, he is determined to remember his old friend for all of his positive traits, saying that Sanjiv was always a kind friend and intelligent musician.
“He was a real go-getter. Since he was young, whenever he puts his mind to something, he really does it,” said Zachariah.
“He spent one year in Germany and could speak fluent German by the end of it. He studied and graduated in IT and then pursued his dream of becoming a pilot. After three years at AirAsia, he became a captain, but he would still perform gigs with us.”
He added that Sanjiv was also very professional and disciplined when it came to his work.
“All his friends at AirAsia said that Sanjiv was a real pro, who lived to work. And he really cared about his job too because whenever he has an upcoming flight he’ll tell me he can’t come out for drinks. But as soon as he has some time off, he will call me out,” said Zachariah.
Zachariah also said that Sanjiv used to love spending time outdoors and would go road cycling with his friends every weekend.
Edwin Nathaniel, APU leader and also a good friend of Sanjiv’s, fondly remembers how Sanjiv took over his sister Sujatha’s place in APU all those years ago.
“When I heard the news I just couldn’t take it. He’s is so, so dear to me and I trust that he wouldn’t do something like that,” he said sobbing.
“He was the youngest one in APU when he joined. When his sister left to study in Berklee, he took over. From there on, he moved on with us, he was teaching in my music school. He was the smartest guy in IT, if we had any problems we would just ask him and he’d fix it for us.
“It’s just sad for him to go like that. He was so talented and could do so many things, but at least he’s still with me in my heart.”
He added that Sanjiv was always musically-inclined and even had “perfect hearing” for music.
Nathaniel said that he also planned to release a second studio album from APU this year, and that Sanjiv was central to the making of the album.
“He has contributed so much. I planned to launch our second album with him, he was preparing to do everything for us.”
Nathaniel also said that he would like to thank everyone who has been sending in their good wishes to him and Sanjiv’s family, and said that people should remember him for the kind and funny guy that he was.
On Monday, Serdang district police chief ACP Ismadi Borhan said officers found Sanjiv dead at his condominium after they were alerted via a call at 3.10pm.
Officers classified Sanjiv’s death as a suicide.
* In Malaysia, suicide helpline Befrienders offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day via 03-79568145.