Friends and colleagues of journalist Arthur J. Pais, who died in January this year in New Jersey at the age of 66, fondly remembered the legendary Indian-American scribe during a memorial service at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in midtown Manhattan, New York City.
“Today we have gathered here to celebrate the life of Arthur,” Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the co-founder of South Asian Journalists Association said at the outset of the memorial service. Many of Arthur’s former colleagues from India Abroad weekly where he worked as an editor till his death packed the auditorium, sharing their memories of Arthur described by journalist Lavina Melwani, as “our community’s story-teller.”
Sreenivasan described the event as a “lovely, joyous celebration of a man who made us all smile.”
Besides his friends and admirers, Arthur’s wife Betty Pais and some of her relatives, were present as well. Some shared anecdotes about Arthur who was a writer, a foodie, a movie aficionado and mentor for some, and above all a friend of almost everybody who came to know him. Some described Arthur as a man who lived for the story.
Among those who paid tributes to Arthur included Aseem Chhabra, Rediff.com columnist and contributor, Suleman Din, Managing Editor, Sourcemedia Investment Advisory Group, P Rajendran, Deputy Managing Editor, India Abroad, and Arun Venugopal of WNYC.
The memorial which was webcast live were watched by an estimated 30,000 people.
A painting of Arthur made by artist Manoj Vyas, who had known Arthur and now works for Desi Talk in New York, was presented by the artist to Arthur’s wife.
The painting, along with some of his rare photographs, were displayed at the memorial service.