Aalaap Narasipura, often called Appa, lived in Utah until he came to Cornell in 2014 to study electrical engineering.

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Aalaap Narasipura, often called Appa, lived in Utah until he came to Cornell in 2014 to study electrical engineering.

May 21, 2017

A Daring Photographer With a Love for Frisbee: Friends Remember Aalaap Narasipura ’18

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Aalaap Narasipura ’18, an engineering student who was known on campus for his love for frisbee and daring photography, was found dead Friday. He was 20 years old.

Police confirmed Narasipura’s death two days after he was reported missing. While authorities are still investigating the case, they say that no foul play is suspected.

Narasipura, often called Appa, lived in Utah until he came to Cornell in 2014 to study electrical engineering.

Friends say he developed his passion for science during high school, when activities like robotics allowed him to experiment with technology. Still, he always split his time between the lab and the dark room, where he would spend hours developing his pictures, according to Narasipura’s childhood friend Rahul Mukherjee ’20.

After he came to campus, he continued to pursue engineering projects and to photograph. He also joined the ultimate frisbee team, which quickly became one of his favorite hobbies.

“He was always the one saying ‘let’s go outside,’” remembered Dhruv Gaba ‘18, one of Narasipura’s friends and a fellow engineering student.

His other interests, though, started to merge as time went on. He looked at science creatively and at art mechanically.

His room was filled with knick knacks, like old TV sets or radios, that he liked to take apart and put back together, Gaba said. When something was broken, he tried to find ways to make it new again.

“He would always find the good in everything,” Gaba said.

His photography, meanwhile, aimed to discern order. His Instagram feed is full of graphics that show symmetry or repetition, creating patterns from randomness. The first portfolio showcased on his website, called Transcendence, shows close-up images of plants that are eventually integrated with, then subsumed by, images of machines.

“I just remember him showing me his website on day one of college, and being totally floored,” said Cameron Pollack ’18, The Sun’s photography editor. “He looked 18 but shot, even two years ago, like he’s 60.”

His friends say they will remember Narasipura for his fun, quirky personality and his steadfast loyalty to the people around him.

The campus community will gather to memorialize Narasipura on Monday in Sage Chapel at 5 p.m.

Narasipura is survived by his father, Jayadatta, his mother, Sandhya, and his brother, Eshan.

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