Just received terrible news from Robin Nakai that Manjit Sehmbey [popularly known as TALLI. School Captain 1969.] collapsed at the gym, was rushed to hospital but could not be revived.
Rest in peace dear Talli.
This is all we know at this point in time.
From Robin Nakai:
Manjit Singh Sehmbey. Curzon House Captain . School Captain Bishop Cotton School , Simla . The Class of 1969 .
Go Gently Into The Night , dear friend …. We shall miss you , and your absenceleaves a gap in our lives ! The friendship and camaraderie we shared from the school days in Bishop Cotton, will always be a part of the lives of the Class of 69 ! From the playing fields of BCS , Sanawar , YPS we were a part of a well knit team that soared to many glorious successes and honours . The Class of 69 wishes you farewell . Walk the golden fields of Elysium with the sun eternally in your face , with the classmates already gone .
Rest In Peace !
We woke this morning to the news of the passing away of our captain and friend, Manjit Singh. May the Almighty give all his family the strength to weather this storm and may his noble soul rest in eternal peace.
We , the class of 1969, will always remember Manjit, fondly called Talli, as our school captain. A great individual who left an indelible mark on everyone he came into contact with. Manjit was an accomplished sportsman who was always modest about his many achievements. A perfect all-rounder, he played cricket, football, and hockey, and was a core member of the athletics group. He was shoe-in for the Full School Blazer in Sports, he excelled in every area of the sports field. Hurdles, 100 & 200 yard sprints, he was a true Spartan! He was also the School Captain, and was responsible for maintaining discipline, order and harmony amongst all of us. More importantly, Manjit was a caring individual who was always ready to help anyone in need . He will be sorely missed.
Many of us classmates were fortunate to spend a little more time with him recently in Shimla in 2017 and then again in 2019 [some photos below]. We were also able to share in his love for nature through his excellent photography through our WhatsApp group. It is very hard for us to accept that Manjit is no more. We pray that his soul rest in eternal peace.
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.
The class of ’69s reunion story actually started two years earlier in 2017 when, sitting in my office one morning and looking at our class of ’69 VIth form group photograph, it struck me that out of a class of 29, 10 of our classmates had already gone to the happier hunting grounds….
Back row: Dinesh Sud – Vivek Srivastava – Anil Gupta – Vijay Singh – Ravi Thomas – Thanasak Tipparcorn – Amar Rana – Gurrinder Khanna – Praveen Sachdeva – Ravi Pawa – Adnani – Sadhana. Middle row: Kanwaljit Singh – Ravi Pandit – Sunil Sood – Robin Nakai – Anil Bhasin – Ravi Charanji – Rajat Mukherji – RS Mehta – Himmat Kahalon. Sitting: Anil Sood – Taranjit Lehra – Paramjit Nat – Manjit Sembhey – RK von Goldstein – Sunil Singha – Blondie – Ajay Sawaheny – Sekhon.
…Classmates with whom we’d spent our childhood growing up, studying (at times), playing, raiding plum and apple trees and then together maturing into our teens and then aging. In the ensuing years, tied up with work and earning a living I realized that I personally had lost touch with most of the guys. And so began the exercise of combing through the net which, one step at a time, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, helped the class to re-establish contact.Which led to me suggesting that we should all meet before our numbers diminished further. And what better place to meet than our very own ‘Patina school’.
Dinesh Sud, with Robin Nakai as has been and continues to be his wont sticking his finger in, worked his charm with the Heady who was most forthcoming.That led to 15 of us making our way up to Simla and the school in early September of that year. The 15 were joined by P.S.Nat’s Dad and younger brother, and Satish Singha representing Sunil.
1969 get-together in 2017 at Simla. This is how the 1969 batch looks like after a marathon 48 years .. (and tears …)!! Standing: Arun Bhalaik, Satish Singha, Dinesh M. Sud, Paramjit S. Nat, Himmat S.Khalon, Ravi Thomas, Rajat Mukerji, Jasbir S. Sadhana, Gurinder S. Khanna, Bikram S. Sirsa, Harsimran S. Sarron, Ajay Sawhney, Parveen Sachdeva, Anil Mahajan, Manjit Singh Sehmbey, Ravinder S. Mehta, Robin S. Nakai Sitting: DM Sister (Neena Sood), DM Wife (Meenakshi Sud), Ishita Kahlon, Mrs. Mukerji, Kitty Khanna, Mr. Nat, Sangeeta Sawhney, Sareena Sachdeva, Mrs. Sehmbey, Kamini Mehta.
2017 turned out to be almost like a dry run for our actual golden year reunion in September this year when 14 of us 65+ year olds, along with our respective spouses met up in Chandigarh from where we drove up to Manali for two days of partying courtesy Dinesh Sud.DM went the extra mile pulling out all stops and hosting us at his resort – The AnantMaya. Then on to Simla and Bishop Cotton School where the Headmaster, the school Staff, the Boys and Support Staff went out of the way to give us three days of sheer pleasure.
There was a special Chapel Service which had most of us with a lump in the throat and holding back our tears, followed by a ‘cricket’ (in a manner of speaking) match between the staff and a bunch of lumbering and out of condition OCs making feeble attempts to run and bend down to retrieve the ball (a tennis ball I may add). The cherry on the pie the next day was the tennis match between a ’69s pair and two school boys which, most surprisingly, was won by Jasbir Sadhana and Himmat Kahlon.A lunch spread in the dining hall, the like of which I’d never seen in my 11 years at school, followed by 2 dinners over two evenings, one hosted by Mr Robinson in the HMs lodge and the other by the class of ’69 at Cecil, ensured that not only were we well fed, but were also nicely pickled.
I would be remiss if I did not add my personal two bits which left me mentally thanking my parents for seeing me through 11 years in BCS to end up as a ‘Cottonian’ in the true sense of the word. That feeling for me was defined and reiterated by the very poignant chapel service, when sitting in the rear pew in the chapel, I watched the choir walking out singing the recessional hymn. I for one am not ashamed to say that I had tears streaming down my face looking at young 10-16 year olds, wearing cassocks, holding up their hymn books with their heads held up proudly. What hit me between the eyes was that about 20% of those kids also had on blue turbans. To me, THAT one moment is what defines the ‘Cottonian’. A young boy entering the portals of Bishop Cotton, maturing into becoming a good human being all the while developing a bond ‘as close as ivy grows’ and finally stepping out into the world totally unaffected by any ‘narrow domestic walls’ and far removed from bigotry of any sort.
Could one say it any better that what George Lynch Cotton left us with – “Overcome Evil With Good“
⁃ Gurrinder [Indi] Khanna [on behalf of the Batch of 1969]
Indi Khanna – Amrita Nakai – Robin Nakai – Kitty Khanna – Swatish Singha
Manjit Sehmbey and Bikramjit SIngh Sirsa
27th Sept update:
Some more group photos and letters from Indi Khanna
Uncharacteristic for me, but have to say that I am somewhat lost for words.
It’s been a wonderful 4/5 days. Loved every minute of it, including the fact that I had to miss out one full day of fun! All par for the course.
To all of you who were here for these wonderful few days, it was a treat catching up with you folk, a couple of whom I actually met after all of 5 decades. To those who were unable to make it, you don’t know what you missed. The arrangements, all along, were perfect in every way. A very special thanks to DM & Meenakshi for going the extra mile. Whether or not we’ll all meet again being a toss-up, I at least have the satisfaction of this meeting.
Stay well, stay happy, stay in touch and (while this may well sound like a cliché) Overcome Evil with Good!
Should anyone of you ever decide to head towards south India, you have a home to come to.
Indi (Gurrinder Singh Khanna – R ’59 – ’69)
Dear Mr Robinson,
Just a short note to thank you for a wonderful couple of days.
Thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to relive and renew the bonds we have with this wonderful institution which has literally (I proudly say this for myself) crafted our future.
For me, personally, it’s been an experience I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
Please do also convey my personal thanks to Dorothy for smilingly bearing up with the rowdy bunch.
Should you ever be heading towards the south, we’d love to have you visit us and giving us the opportunity to reciprocate your hospitality.
Gurrinder Singh Khanna (R ’59 – ’69)
Very well said!!! I wholeheartedly second your sentiments. Overall, the entire event will always rank as one of the most memorable events for me.
A very special thank you to Meenakshi and DM for taking such good care of us and for giving us a fabulous few days in Manali! Also thanks to all who “sponsored “ various events. Your generosity is much appreciated. Most of all thank you to all of you for making the effort to be there at this occasion so that we could reconnect.
Please stay in touch and if your travels bring you to the US, rest assured that you are very welcome to come and stay with us in New Jersey.
From Left to Right: Indi Khanna, Rajat Mukerji, DM Sud; Blondie, Jasbir Sadhana (Sao 1); Ravi Thomas; Bhalaik (Owl); R S Mehta; Praveen Sachdeva (Padu) ; Ajay Sawhney; Vivek Srivastava Missing: Talli, Nakai
It was an honour for Meenakshi and me to be able to get everybody together again. Thanks to all who made the effort to be with us in Manali and subsequently also for the School functions. We missed the ones who could not make it. Rexu and Harry you guys were great to make it to Simla inspite of your compulsions.
Our heartfelt thanks also to the sponsors for the various occasions. I hope we are able to meet up like this annually.
Dear Mr Robinson,
Let me wholeheartedly second Gurinder Khanna’s thank you message to you.
On behalf of all my classmates I would again like to convey our profound thanks for a wonderful reunion you arranged for us.