Local and international residents of Kunming and Dali are mourning the tragic passing of Arun Veembur, a young Indian writer who died from injuries sustained after falling during a solo hike in Dali.
Veembur, 28, was hiking alone in Dali's Cangshan mountain range on Monday when he fell and sustained serious injuries. He was not located by a search team until Tuesday night, by which time it was too late, according to friends and family cited in a report on The Hindu.
Veembur was born and raised in Bangalore, where he first took interest in writing before becoming disenchanted with the constraints of conventional journalism. Prior to coming to China, he worked as a reporter for the Deccan Herald.
While on holiday in northeast India's Assam state, Veembur learned the story of the Stilwell Road, the World War II supply route connecting Ledo in Assam with Kunming via northern Myanmar.
Veembur's obsession with the road compelled him to travel its full 1,600 kilometer length, including unstable regions of Myanmar, for a travel history book project. He ended up staying at backpacker hostel The Hump before getting a job working for the Yunnan provincial commerce department for two years. He was a welcoming face for many Indian businesspeople and journalists visiting Kunming.
After his government stint, Arun joined the management of The Hump Group, owners of the hostel that was his first home in Yunnan. The Hump Group recently opened a hostel in Dali and in late August, Arun launched dalichina.info, an English-language website focusing on Dali prefecture. He wrote nine articles for the site prior to his passing.
Known among his friends for his big smile, sharp intellect and unique brand of humor, Arun described himself as a "half-baked journalist and much-less-baked writer" on his dalichina.info bio. In addition to enjoying travel and a good party, he was also active in the promotion and organization of the Hump Group's charitable ventures.
Arrangements to return Arun's body to his family home are being made.
All of GoKunming's staff knew Arun personally and will miss him. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and close friends.
Image: The Hindu