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Columbia Spectator Staff

Ehtesham Raja didn't believe in planning ahead. A party animal at
heart, Raja loved his car, a BMW 740iL; his girlfriend, Christine
Lamprecht; and the excitement of New York. According to Shahab
Alam, human resources head for TCG software in Bloomfield, N.J.,
where Raja had worked since February 2000, Raja believed only
"in laughing and smiling--[he believed] life just
happened."

In fact, the only pressing plans in Raja's near future were to fully
devote himself to Lamprecht in the early half of 2002, finally giving
up his "male activity" to marry his love. With laughter Alam recalled
Raja as "a hell of a naughty guy."

"He once got into trouble by asking two ladies to call him at the
same time," Alam said. "He loved that situation!" Raja's
freewheeling spirit often took comedic turns, which he shared with
those around him in his normal good-natured, self-mocking way.
His deft maneuvering after angering a girlfriend by calling her by
the wrong name was the source of much office laughter. "He was
that kind of guy," chuckled Alam, "all over the place. [And he] loved
being in the company of women."

Raja's nature included and infused those around him. Often, after
working late, Raja would pool together his coworkers for a
late-night romp in the city. He loved to dance and stay out as late
as humanely possible. He worked as hard as he played, though,
and after such evenings would show up at work on time the next
morning without a problem.

"Guys loved him for his competitive attitude and for the fact that he
loved having people around him", Alam said.

Raja, who did his engineering work at Columbia University and his
management at Emory, loved playing cricket with his office
buddies. Raja was the creator and captain of the cricket team
while he attended Columbia.

He took pride in crafting his own identity as distinctly separate from
religion. He was a self-proclaimed atheist who detested
fundamentalism and was quick to dismiss conversation on it. "He
felt it [religion] was useless, he wanted to maintain an identity that
wasn't tied to religion in any way."

Raja was an original in the workplace as well, one of the architects
of Internet banking. Before coming to TCG, Raja worked for IMG in
Amsterdam, Bank 1 in Delaware, and a Connecticut company
called Neweius.

He is survived by his mother and his brother, who is currently living
in Pakistan.

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