When I think of all that my friend Evan has taught me, tears begin to fill my eyes. If you ever ask me what it is that he taught me, you will receive the answer in its truest expression, that of tears. I feel like I have stood ankle deep on the shores of my personal-cosmos for 30 years, too afraid and too unconfident to venture any further, till my feet began to give way from the weariness and my soul began to suffer in ways that I was not able to function anymore. Evan, with the depths of his compassionate wisdom, unknown to him, literally held my hand and led me on…

I feel like it is Evan talking to me as I listen to Carl Sagan’s perfect blend of poetry and science invite us with him on the contemplation of the cosmos with “a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation – as if a distant memory”.

My friendship with Evan is one of my greatest gifts and one that I received when I was at the rock bottom of my professional and personal life. The words that he spoke to me — “What are we if cannot trust our experiences?”, “Because I see it!”, “Treat it as your interaction with it”, “Everything that I have learnt is through making mistakes” — were literally the stepping stones that he laid out for me (unknown to him though because he was fully immersed in listening to me and sharing with me his experiences, and from whence came these words) and which I faithfully worked hard to step on because I trusted Evan — I could see in his eyes the depths of his soul, the burning fire of his passion, tranquility of his wisdom, the love of his spirit, and the vulnerability of his humanity. I knew in him was the light that would restore my own fast dwindling light that was failing to hold on to the belief that the knowledge created by human beings belonged to all of us, for our collective human condition.

After 30 years of struggling, it is my friendship with Evan that helped me resurrect, strengthen, and continue to work hard to, in the healthy balance of skepticism and belief, build-test this worldview upon which I was able to begin, again, with a humbling confidence, my interaction with human knowledge.