Kanwaljit Singh [Rivaz 1969 Batch]

MESSAGE FROM HIS DAUGHTER [Namrita Singh McGarity]:

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that our father, Kanwal Jit Singh, is no longer with us. Dad fought a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s, and ultimately passed away at home, in his sleep, on Tuesday, January 13, 2021.
To the world Dad was a great friend, life of the party, ultimate prankster, travel and food enthusiast, Iphone fanatic, casino lover, and bona fide fashionista through and through. While he was all of that (and then some!) to us he was simply Dad…the man who taught us how to swim, shared his love for travel and adventure with us and taught us how to be independent and make something of our lives.
Though it has only been a day, the depth of this loss is already apparent. We will always love him and hold him in our hearts. As difficult as it feels at this moment, we are comforted by knowing that he is finally free of the walker, medications and all of the other constraints that held him back from living with the exuberance and passion with which he had always lived. Dad was larger than life. Only today did he finally transcend it once and for all.
Anyone who knew Dad knew how important family and friends were to him. There are no words to adequately thank each of you for the love and support you provided for Dad in his final years and that you continue to provide for us even as he is no longer with us. We would be lost without your support.

– Namrita Singh McGarity

14 thoughts on “Kanwaljit Singh [Rivaz 1969 Batch]

  1. Deepak Kumar Thakur

    Sad to know about Smuggler Kalu Malu passing on. May he keep opening all the locks in the Eleysian Fields of Paradise. Condolences to the family.
    D.K. Thakur, Rivaz 1964-1973

    Reply
  2. Kamar M. S. Aulakh

    Hello Namrita,

    Extremely saddened to hear about Kanwaljit’s passing away.

    Although he was a year junior to me, we were great friends. We belonged to Rivaz house, our turbans were somewhat similar in structure/design, and we both displayed an uncanny ability of getting into trouble – rarely got caught though. In my humble opinion, he was the leader and I a follower in most of those somewhat dubious but nevertheless exciting escapades.

    In the old days, Sixth-Formers (final year students) were allocated semi-private study rooms. As the name indicates, the purpose of the ‘Study’ was to facilitate ‘study’, though not everyone took that minor point entirely to heart. My classmate Gaba (also from Rivaz house) and me were allocated a Study above the Staff Common Room. This location had a multiple advantages. Not only could one overhear staff chit-chat through the open windows, but it also had convenient access. You could get to it from the Main School dorms (permitted entrance), and also via a somewhat secluded staircase (unauthorized access). One has to have an easy way to get in and out without being too obvious. Kanwaljit and I used to spend a lot of time here talking about life, planning adventures, figuring ways to ace exams without studying too hard, and discussing many other matters most significant to teenage intellect.

    I cannot discuss a lot of our adventures, I promised Kanwaljit I would not – and my lips remain sealed. However, I am free to talk about one exploit because ultimately we got caught –actually I think we had a mole in our midst who reported on us. After protracted reconnaissance, we discovered way to get into the school food store/pantry. We would go in late at night and retrieve what we considered to be ‘essential’ foodstuff. We had a similar system for the school bakery. Needless to say, the Study was well stocked.

    Such activity provided a welcome break from the monotony of studying for the ISC exam. I’d like to think that it actually helped me achieve good results. I did much better than most people (including myself) expected, and I have to thank Kanwaljit (at least partially) for my good exam results.

    Unfortunately I lost contact with Kanwaljit after school. We ran into each other about 15 years ago at Chandigarh airport. He recognized me immediately although I no longer wore a turban.

    I will always remember my friend. He was a good person.

    Regards,
    Kamar
    Rivaz 60-68

    Reply
  3. Gurpratap Singh Sahi. ( Class of 1956 )

    I didn’t know him but regret the loss to the Old Cottonian family. May his soul rest in Peace. My deep condolences to his family.
    His daughters tribute to Dad is touching indeed. God bless.

    Reply
  4. Namrita Singh McGarity

    Thank you all so much from the bottom of our hearts for these sweet tributes and some hilarious stories from his school days….. I shared these messages with mom, Amrita and his 2 elder brothers, Gurcharan & Surinder Pal Singh, also Cottonians 🙏

    Reply
  5. Indi

    Namrita,

    That’s a beautiful obituary to your dad.

    We only knew him as Kallu Mallu. The guy who, on the back of some connections his Dad had with the Oberoi’s, would sneak off from the gang on town leave to have himself a dinner in the Clarkes, which he would later boast about.

    Amongst many others, the one incident I remember about him was coming back from town late at night in pitch darkness, below Knollswood, we found Kallu sitting actually astride the Deodar tree right where the shortcut to the school branched off. This was a tree which had the main trunk shaped like an upside down hockey stick. Sitting astride because in the darkness he had veered off the path, walked on to the tree, had slipped and had ended up hanging on to the trunk for dear life with one leg on either side. Not that we helped him off without first making his life miserable,

    As you say, he is in a better place after all the health issues. RIP

    Reply
  6. Capt Vivek Bhasin

    Indeed very sad news about Kanwaljit – Kallu Mallu – Smuggler Bill-Rivaz & My Class of 1970. I do remember he was at least a foot taller than me and used to board at Calcutta with the BCS school party… way back when I was 5 or perhaps 6.. of course holding on to my Mum with tears streaming down my face at departure…. Smuggler’s Mum admonishing my Mum in Punjabi “ ainay chote bachay nu tusi kiss taraanh ainee dur akaylay phaij sakhday ho-how can you send such a small young son of yours away to Simla all alone ?”..
    I used to meet Kanwaljit in Calcutta in the early days after School when he worked with Sita Travels; although I jumped on board a ship and sailed out I knew my buddy wasn’t gonna hang around in Cal… he had other plans too…and he too took the dive, the plunge, the risks and moved on into the world..a great class mate full of fun, yes a prankster with a bag of innovative skills that ever overflowed! A “Solution to everything simple or complicated” .. “ Our Man “🙏Gone too Soon…
    Namrita, our most heartfelt condolences on Kanwaljit’s passing, a tremendous loss for you, your family and all of us who knew him… is indeed, indeed very sad news. 🙏🙏Vivek Bhasin Lefroy 1961-1970

    Reply
  7. Himesh Sabhlok (I) 1970

    He was just one year senior but a dear friend, my deepest condolences to the family and OCs RIP Dear Kallu 🌈💐

    Reply
  8. Vijay Khurana

    Dear Namrita,,

    Your emotional and very moving description of your Dad brings him alive for all who knew him.

    He was a few years my junior, certainly with one of my brothers, the Bhumitra boys. For us members of a close fraternity, such a loss is always hard.

    This little family of Cottonians cherishes each individual since he imbibes the value system and the motto we all live by. He will be missed especially by his class mates and those with whom he was friends during his years at BCS.

    Kanwaljit’s memory will live on in our hearts.

    We offer our deepest condolences to the family and you. With our sympathies.

    P.S. Please do forward more details about his life and a few photographs so that we may share them with those who will want of preserve his memory. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Namrita Singh McGarity

      Thank you all so much for the lovely words and hilarious stories about Dad……. I have also shared these with mom, Amrita and his 2 elder brothers, Gurcharan & Surinder Pal Singh, also Cottonians 🙏

      Reply

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