An Indian student studying music at Victoria University in Wellington died of a heart attack last weekend.

35-year-old Prakash Hariharan died of cardiac arrest on Saturday morning. His body has been sent for post-mortem. Prakash is survived by his wife who lives with him in Wellington city.

“Prakash had some cough and wheezing for the last four days, and we saw his GP who said it was season allergies. He had medicines, but on Saturday morning, while coughing he collapsed, and I called the emergency services,” Prakash’s wife Deepthi Sukumar told The Indian Weekender.

Ms Sukumar added that he was conscious when attended by the medical team and but failed to respond after some time and passed away.

“We do not know what led to his fatality, and we are waiting for the coroner’s report due after his post-mortem,” Ms Sukumar said.

Hariharan came to New Zealand from Chennai, India in August 2019 to study Masters of Musical Arts majoring in Jazz Performance at the Te Koki New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University, Wellington. Hariharan was well-known in the classical Indian music scene and had held several concerts in India and Wellington.

Prakash was also a very proficient cricketer and received four awards for his performance in different categories and leagues for Victoria University of Wellington Cricket Club.

Speaking to The Indian Weekender, Prakash’s friend Kannan Sankara said he remembers him as a very positive and friendly person with a talent in both cricket and music.

On Facebook, YouTube and amongst his fans back in India, he was known as under his brand Mandolin Prakash LIVE, a classically trained electric mandolin virtuoso performing in South Indian classical (Carnatic), contemporary, fusion and film music for more than 20 years.

Prakash Hariharan has collaborated and commissioned film works for the finest artists in the popular Indian music industry including the likes of A.R. Rahman, Harris Jeyaraj, Imman, Rex Vijayan, Anirudh and moreHe has trained students worldwide, in Carnatic instrumental music for more than a decade through private direct/online lessons.

Prakash has recently launched two music brands, Carnatic String Conservatory – An online music academy and MP3 Mandolins – a signature model custom-designed range of electric mandolins.

Prakash also has several albums, music projects to his name and performed in a concert in Newlands, Wellington earlier in March just before the country went into lockdown.

Renowned Indian music composer working in the Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam film industry D Imman tweeted of the news Prakash’s untimely demise on Saturday.

“Too early to leave..An efficient Electric Mandolin player who had played numerous music pieces in my films so far.. Totally in a devastated state hearing this news.. My prayers for Prakash’s family,” musician D Imman tweeted.

Prakash was teaching music online here and was working on a startup, part-time, his wife Deepthi Sukumar said.

Deepthi Sukumar is liaising with the Indian High Commission in Wellington with the possibility of his repatriation back home in Chennai, India, to conduct his last rites with his family and community there.