No matter what cellular telephone plan he had, Kiran Gopu exceeded the limit of allowable calls. He talked to his friends constantly, and when his younger sister, Deepa, came to the United States from India, he called her every day.
As a foreign graduate student studying at the University of Bridgeport for his master's degree in computer science, thousands of miles from his home in southern India, Mr. Gopu, 25, was intent on maintaining ties with his friends. When his former roommate Vamshidhar Velpula did not get into the graduate school of his choice, Mr. Gopu applied to Bridgeport for him.
'I was really down when the schools rejected me,' Mr. Velpula said, 'but Kiran told me `You shouldn't be down.' '
As a roommate, Mr. Velpula could say candidly that Mr. Gopu 'wasn't a perfect human being.' But he said that what most characterized his friend was his pursuit of personal advancement. Mr. Gopu practiced meditation and read widely. He was devoted to classical Indian music. And he studied hard. His plans started to come together in August when he was hired by Marsh & McLennan as a software engineer.
'His dream was to work at the World Trade Center,' said Deepa Gopu. 'He called me to say, `You wouldn't know how it feels to be at the financial center of the world.' '