I have a mail from K S Dugal, who is currently in the US, that Mr B R Roberts passed away yesterday, Thursday, April, 12, 2018.
I have just received another message with the obituary notice which is sent as an attachment to this mail.
There are many memories of this warm and affectionate teacher. He was House Master, Lefroy and he meant a lot to so many of us. I will write more and in detail as more and more memories pour in. Right now the shock of his passing away is hard to bear. Leaves you empty.
I am trying to find more details since I am sure some of you would like to contact his family.
May his soul rest in peace.
From: KS Dugal
Sent: 13 April 2018 07:39
To: Vijay Khurana
Subject: Mr. Roberts
Mr. Roberts passed away on 12th April. Haven’t got any more details yet.
He had been n Pune since early ’80s as principal of Bishops School here. He retired several years ago.
Dear Fellow OC’s,
As informed earlier, OCA MUMBAI CHAPTER is organising MUMBAI OC LUNCH on SUNDAY, 4th FEBRUARY.
The Goose & Gridiron,
Murzban Road, Near Sterling, FORT, South Mumbai.
Lunch & Drinks
Rs. 2500 for single
Rs. 4500 for a couple
Please pay through online banking to Old Cottonians Association bank account (details below) :-
Bank Account number is 50100055857431
Name of account OLD COTTONIANS ASSO INDIA MUMBAI CHAPT (Please note the exact name including the truncation to Asso & Chapt)
IFSC Code of the branch where account is held HDFC0000666
Branch Area : ANDHERI WEST – SEVEN BUNGALOWS, MUMBAI
You can also pay the contribution in cash at the venue on arrival.
Please convey your attendance to –
Suneel Bandhu – 9833789090
Pravin Agarwal – 9892762229
Our humble thanks to the OC’s who have been helping us to organise this Lunch. Many thanks to everyone in OCA India at Delhi for their co-operation and support.
Sincere request from OCA Mumbai Chapter to all OC’s to make the OC Mumbai Lunch a warm occasion for OC’s to come together!
Pravin Agarwal (Rivaz, 1980)
OCA MUMBAI CHAPTER
10th Feb update:
A couple of photos sent by Suneel Bandhu
Deepest condolences for a good woman and a wonderful teacher. She was virtue defined and I can still see her in that class room, which had a view of the Tara Devi Hill, teaching us the first lessons in arithmetic – how to add, subtract, multiply and divide in that order, over those lovely days in the Spring of 1954.
Basic life’s lessons came from people like her. We imbibed them like sponges and what haven’t they done to make our lives fruitful and productive ?!! She also taught us Divinity for a brief while but her lessons had little to do with the Bible. She devoted her time to inculcating the basic value systems for a good life to 7 year olds eager to learn life’s first lessons.
The Varughese couple will always occupy an enduring presence in the lives of so many of us. They were exceptional people and made a deep impression on us. To this day they are remembered as teachers who were committed and cared deeply for the students in their care. They tailored their influence based on the needs of the individual which is why they were so impactful.
The people who really make a difference are not what they say to you but how they make you feel. She and her husband made us feel wanted and feel really good. Thank you.
We convey our respects and whisper in her ears our everlasting love.
Our deepest sympathies to Anna, Sara, their respective families and to you.
From: Mary Varughese
Sent: 17 June 2017 08:34
To: Vijay Khurana
Subject: Re: Mrs M. Varughese departed
My mother went to her heavenly abode, yesterday afternoon. Funeral will be tomorrow afternoon in Kerala.
Please inform BCS OCA
Thank you to all for your support.
Mary, (Ramani, Anna and Sara)
I am writing an article to explore the qualities of outstanding teachers. After much thought and introspection, I decided to use my BCS student experience as a guide for analyzing the qualities of good teachers. Any thoughts you might have on what makes a good teacher would be most welcome—especially if you can draw on your personal experience from your school years.
The purpose of this note is to solicit your help in getting relevant information on the teachers and staff with whom I interacted during my years at BCS from October 1948 till August 1954. Any inputs on my request, including resources that might be able to help, would be much appreciated.
More specifically, the following information will help:
1. The full name of Mr. “Taffy” Jones. The years he worked at BCS—he may have been at BCS at two different times. The classes he taught—I know he was the class master for Upper II. Any biographical information—where he came from, his formal education, … —would be of great help.
2. The full name of Mrs. Nanavati, Matron (Linlithgow)
3. The full name of Miss. Hannah, Matron (Box Room)
4. The classes taught by Mr. and Mrs. Murray and their full names.
5. The classes taught by Mrs. Barker, her full name and that of Mr. Barker (Bursar?)
6. The classes taught by Mrs. Fisher, her full name and that of Mr. Fisher, Headmaster.
7. The classes taught by Mr. & Mrs. Knight (Senior Master) and their full names.
8. The classes taught by Mr. Cuzen (House Master, Lefroy) and his full name.
9. The classes taught by Mr. F.M. Brown (House Master, Ibbetson?) and his full name.
10. The full name of, and classes taught by, Mr. T.P. Paul.
11. The full name of, and classes taught by, Mr. Das Gupta (Art).
Looking forward to your inputs,
And with regards and best wishes,
Vijay K. Stokes
Rivaz House: 1948-1954
We are deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Mr. Ram Advani. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and stand by them in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace – OCA India.
Lucknow’s iconic bookseller Ram Advani passes away. Ram Advani was Bursar at Bishop Cotton School in the mid 1940s
Lucknow: The city is mourning the demise of its iconic book seller Ram Advani today. He was 95 and was not keeping well since he suffered a fracture in his femur in November 2015.
According to Advani’s younger sister Mohini Manglik (91), he was dull from the past two days and wasn’t willing to eat much. “I assume that he died in sleep and we came to know about his demise around 7 am,” she told TOI.
Family friend Mamta Tewari informed that the last rites may be performed on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. “We are waiting for his children to arrive,” he said.
Survived by son Rukun, a Delhi based publisher and daugher Radhika who lives in London, Advani’s family comprises people from different walks of life who have been in touch with him in some or the other way. A personal touch dominated all rules of business and the experience was potent of evoking a strong sense of nostalgia.
Advani’s best friend’s son Naveen stated that Advani started selling books in Lucknow in 1947 and was passionate about his work. “Everyone knows that Ram Advani was more than a bookseller. His store was a place to contemplate, learn and feel the pulse of society without feeling the burden of it. A visit to his store was an experience because of the love and affected extended by Advani to all,” he said in a previous interview with TOI, Advani “It is difficult to make a Tata or a Birla understand the happiness I derive when I can give my reader a book he’s looking for. Money can’t be equated with a book-store,” he had said.
He had admitted that there was competition from new chains opening. “I have been here for 60 years. I hope my son can make a century. I don’t want to accept defeat. Just by seeing the way a person reads or smells the book, I can say whether he’ll be buying it or not,” Advani had said.
Different social media groups in the city are remembering Advani since the morning. One such group, Jahan-e-Avadh, has mentioned that Advani was a book in himself. Another group Heritage Lovers termed Advani;s death as “end of an era”.
The Hazratganj boulevard starting from Jahangirabad Palace all the way to the intersection linking it to the Vidhan Sabha Road, is a scene of much activity, commotion and hustle-bustle throughout the day.
People ganj languorously, strolling, chatting, gorging on the famous basket chaat at the Royal Cafe or just window-shopping! The kinetic energy is very palpable. But amidst the clutter and clamour of the plush marketplace there is peace and quiet in the corner of the legendary Mayfair building in a sanctuary for book lovers.
Yes, we’re talking about Ram Advani Booksellers. This bookstore is a labour of love of Ram Advani who was born in pre-partition Karachi but the unpredictable designs of destiny made Lucknow his home for life. The man is not a mere bookseller, he’s a connoisseur! One is indeed transported to a bygone era while listening to his anecdotes from the rich repertoire of his life experiences.
“My father played an instrumental role in building this Mayfair complex as he was the administrator here. My father and Seth Gyan Chand Thadani came to Lucknow in 1926-27 in search of a new world, instead of going to Hong Kong or Barcelona, as many Sindhis do,” he asserts.
Indeed Lucknow proved to be a new world but few know that Ram Advani came from a family of leading booksellers. Their bookshop in Lahore was called Ray’s Bookshop which had branches in Rawalpindi and Nainital. In fact, few are aware that initially Ram was employed in Bishop’s Cotton School, Simla, where he made life-long friends with the likes of Ruskin Bond who was a student there. That friendship still holds. He had a job that was the envy of every young graduate. But the family business beckoned Ram that he opened a branch of Ray’s bookshop in Piccadilly House, Simla. Through the kindness of Acharya Kriplani, who was also a close friend of his grandfather, he got space in the Gandhi Ashram, Lucknow where he opened another bookshop.
“Though the opening was scheduled for February 1st in 1948 but Gandhiji was assassinated on January 30th and therefore we opened on February 15th, 1948. But after two or three years we were told to vacate the place and it was only because of the goodness of people like Mr. Larkins and Mr. A.P. Singh, then District Magistrate of Lucknow, that we got this place,” says the nonagenarian.
Nostalgia brims over his misty eyes as Ram reminisces about the good old days. Whether it was playing golf with Wajahat Habibullah, sharing a drink with Larkins at Mohammad Bagh Club or having animated discussions at his bookstore-cum-open house with the likes of Attia Hossein, V.S. Naipaul and Shanti Hiranand.
Ram symbolises Lucknow in letter and spirit. Especially in today’s times when the city is ever-expanding and in its cosmopolitan nature losing a lot of its charm. In those circumstances, Ram’s punctilious, sedate and staid demeanour is a happy reminder of the precious tehzeeb that Lucknow is known for. And just like the mere presence of books is soothing, even though one doesn’t read them, its the presence and aura of people like Ram that is like balm for the soul even though it is not possible to meet him every day.