Thank you for your message which has come as a shock and a surprise.
Emotions overwhelm you on such occasions.
My earliest memories of Ramani, which is the name we knew her by until she
changed to Mary, is of a little girl immaculately turned out playing in the
garden just above the basketball court which is where your parents first
resided when they moved to Simla. Your parents did not hesitate to display
their affection for this little girl who always seemed shy. She found it
easy to constantly attach herself to her mother and then peer at you from
behind her mother’s sari. She would then smile with hesitation. Small and
casual images but they remain such clear memories etched in my mind. Trivial
and insignificant as these are, they take you back to the happy days of
places, people and events that happened so long ago.
There is now a graphic contrast from that little happy girl to a grown woman
who just past on in life. Two starkly different events more than 50 years
apart strike you as collective memory and you say to yourself, “What
happened ? Did this passage of time move so quickly ?” Disbelief.
I just called and spoke with Sara a few minutes ago. This is another hard
blow after the passing away of your mother in June this year. Ramani’s
photograph bears such a close resemblance of your father, Mr P M Varughese.
Suddenly this family comes back and we can only think of them with affection
and gratitude for the fact that they touched our lives.
On behalf of all those who remember and knew her, The Old Cottonian
Association, we offer our deepest condolences to your families and you. May
her soul rest in peace.
With kind regards
From: A. Siromoney
Sent: 28 December 2017 12:07
To: Vijay Khurana
Subject: Death of Mary d/o PM Varughese
Dear Mr Khurana
I know that my older sister Mary (Ramani) Varughese kept in touch with the
old Cottonians. She was suffering from terminal lung cancer diagnosed in
July 2016. Thanks to the efforts of the doctors at CMC Vellore she enjoyed
fairly good health for nearly 16 months; but the cancer eventually overtook
the available therapies by September. I regret to inform you that she passed
away on 20th November in Delhi at my other sister Sara’s home.
The funeral and burial was conducted in at her church in Coonoor, Nilgris
Dist, Tamil Nadu on 24 Nov.
She studied up till Std VI in BCS, VII -IX at Convent of Jesus and Mary,
before my father moved to the Nilgris where she completed her schooling in
I am attaching the PDF of the obituary in the Hindu (all editions).
I have been hunting for information about the gentleman and what I have obtained is grossly inadequate but entirely complimentary. To anyone I turn, all that I am able to glean about this life is his abiding interest in cars and the single malt whiskey club. It would have been sufficient material for PG Wodehouse to write a seriously witty piece. I possess no such talent. Surely there was more to the man than his frequent run-ins with Badal on these mails. Badal could not resist twisting his tail and Billy never failed to honour the bait. Those exchanges were hilarious and I had to often urge Badal to tone it down a bit lest it got out of hand. Badal was always in control and he knew exactly where to poke or provoke.
Billy, the son of an army officer, possessed all the bearings of a person from the services. It was the way he tied his turban, neat, clean and with accentuated folds that resulted in a pointed sharp turban unlike the sloppy placement that resembled a hot water bottle on the skull. His Sunday suit was always well ironed and his double-breast blazer made him always look impeccable. He was always well turned out. He learnt that possibly from his father. Billy was always in the lead when it came to issues, never the one to be left behind and Sukhinder will remember those encounters only too well. I witnessed one such meeting but I am told that these were a regular between the two them. Often the result was a stand off and no one the decided winner but within minutes they would be discussing the next drinking session and the previous exchange had been set aside as idle banter, which it often was!
My little impressions are vague and very generalised but the Billy I recall was feisty, a good friend and most of all generous. Is there more than any one can add on this day in memory of a good man. I will be grateful for any input.
May Billy rest in peace.
Dear Old Cottonians
This is to inform that my father, Arjun Advani, passed away at Simla on 25th June 2017. Cremation is scheduled for June 26th at 230 pm at Kanlog crematorium at Simla.
Sincerely Anil Advani
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 have just received the following message from Vinod Pawa:
Sad to inform you that my brother, Tilak R. Pawa (Tilly) passed away today at 12;20 PM, Singapore time.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2008, had it operated on and was ok till August 2010. He’s been bed ridden since then.
We’re sad to see him go but happy that his suffering has ended. He will be missed by many here as we as from BCS. Always jovial and helpful.
His cremation is on Sunday. He is survived by his wife, Hemlata, son, Vikas and daughter, Sheetal
Terrific person and never harmed any one – ever. May his soul rest in peace. Our deepest condolences to the family.
Warmly, Vijay Khurana
Message from Vinod Pawa :
Tilly was cremated yesterday. We collected his ashes this morning and they were immersed in the sea just of the coast of Singapore. At last at rest and at peace.
I wish to thank you all for the condolence messages I have received. Give me a while to compile them after which I will forward all your messages to his daughter Sheetal. His wife Hemlata (Hemy) is not up to all this as yet. I have already mentioned to her of your messages but good for her to read them herself. She said she would try and respond.
I had forwarded this email from Vijay. She called me and said “He is talking about Dad as he is today”. I said “He’s talking about your Dad of 50 years ago”. He hasn’t changed that much. So she asked me to read out Vijay’s email before the cremation. Without taking his permission I highlighted the main points of his email to all. It just confirmed what we all knew of his nature and character.
Thank you all once again for your kind words and support.