There was an unwritten rule for visitors in 5-year-old 's home: You can't leave until you play with him.
To Amartya, everybody—no matter age, gender or species—everybody was a potential playmate and he wasn't shy about asking people to join in his quest for fun. And because of his engaging and spirited manner, people—young, old and everyone in between—couldn't resist obliging.
At a candlelight vigil held at Wednesday night in Amartya's honor, it was clear this was a boy who had a gift of gathering and connecting people to him, and around him.
; he died later that evening. Friends, neighbors and family gathered at 8 p.m. on Wednesday to remember the little boy with the mischievous eyes, bright smile and curious mind.
"He was a bundle of joy. He was life. That's what we will remember, that's what we want to remember," Amartya's father Arvind Chinya said as he stood with his arm wrapped around Amartya's mother, Mala, at the conclusion of the vigil. "I will miss his laughter. I will miss his touch. I will miss his smell ... the essence of him was joy, was bliss, was play."
Amartya loved anything red, said one relative. He loved cherries, strawberries and one of his all-time favorites was the tomato-red car, Lightning McQueen, in the animated movie Cars.
The spirited boy had a way with animals, too. Wandering dogs were his friends, and chickens and peacocks were worthy of being chased by the boy whom some said had no fear.
"God made a mistake" when he took Amartya, said Prem Vishwanathan.
Children from the neighborhood, most of them older than Amartya, spoke about his fun-loving, playful ways.
"He was really happy and he was willing to do almost anything," said one boy.
"When we were playing outside, if we got bored or anything he would always come and make us happy and energetic again," said one girl.
Amartya—which means immortal—was described as a boy who was a gentleman, "just like his father," and someone who could rally people around him.
"He was a cheerleader for all the kids in the community," said one speaker at the vigil.
As the family grieves they also have a message for drivers to be cautious, be aware of surroundings, to slow down.
"We all have to be responsible in our driving; where we are; how we back up," Vishwanathan said, who added he was among the "band of uncles" to Amartya.
Amartya's family—including his band of uncles—will speak out more later on safety, but this night was about a child, mature beyond his age, who was a sparkle of light in a family, circle of friends and neighborhood.
"We were truly blessed to have him as our son," Arvind said.