Tag Archives: Obituary

Ajay Nanda / Curzon 1976 batch

Curzon 1976 Batch sent in this message :

“We lost a dear friend”

and they forwarded a message from Ajay Nanda’s family

With profound grief and sorrow, we inform you that our beloved father, Ajay Nanda, has left for his heavenly abode today on 19th july due to a clot in brain. 

A kind and loving son, husband and father & an brother like friend.


Ajay Nanda : Curzon 1969 -1976
Always smiling
Sportsman and an excellent cricketer. Classic spinner.
His name is on the cricket eleven board for 1976.
Pics are attached. In fact there is a pic attached of Curzon 1975 with the cock house.

Regards
Rohit Malhotra
Curzon 71-76


Always in our Hearts. We request friends and family to keep him in their prayers.

Ajay Nanda – a spirited Cottonian.

The first thing that struck you upon seeing Ajay was his brilliant smile. It reached his eyes and lit up his face. He retained that right through.
A good looking lad, friendly and of good disposition he befriended all his classmates and had a opinion to offer on a variety of subjects.
Had a precocious streak which made him wise beyond his years as a young boy and he always spoke with astuteness on relationships and worldly matters.

A good all around Sportman.
An extraordinarily talented cricketer he played for the School 1st Elevens for 2 years, a difficult achievement as it meant you were better than many seniors. He was equally adept with Bat and Ball along with being a brilliant fielder.
He remained in touch with all of us, his batchmates and the Delhiites used to meet him regularly over a evening of
merrymaking until the pandemic.Our deepest condolences to his family members.
He will be missed by all of us whose lives he touched.

– on behalf of the Batch of 1976

Rohit Malhotra


It’s been 45 years since we finished 6th form and walked out the schools gates. 45 years may seem, and is, a long time. Yet, when a batchmate leaves, time disappears and you go back to where you were, oh so long ago. We were both Curzonians, we opened the batting for the house team, he opened for the school elevens, while I came in 1 down. He was by far the best batsman of our time. I can still get the smell of school as I watch from the pavilion Nanda hitting his pads with the bat, as he makes his way to the crease.

His innings has now come to an end.

My condolences to the family. Loss is never easy, it was never meant to be. It’s full of great memories, and painful ones. Of time spent and time lost. Of things done, others forgotten and discarded along they way. The certainty, that which has gone will not come again. Its as you delve among these memories that will find solace. It is not going to be easy, yet slowly but surely you will find your way as you plan and go forward with your lives. I wish you well.

The last we met,  we felt live would never end. Everything lay ahead of us. Now 45 years later, I find I have lost an old friend. Where ever you are, wherever you’re going. Travel safe, go in peace.

Udayan Anand
68 – 76


Nishant Nanda is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Ajay Nanda’s Chautha – Link 1
Time: Jul 22, 2021 04:00 PM India
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85641815721?pwd=LzJvcEdEaEtpNnUzVkN2SkJpY2QrZz09
Meeting ID: 856 4181 5721
Passcode: Ajay

Old Cottonian Raja Virbhadra Singh / passed away 8th July 2021

Raja Virbhadra Singh [(23 June 1934 – 8 July 2021)] was cremated with the state honours on July 10th 2021 at Rampur.

His son, Vikramaditya Singh, had carried his father’s ashes to Haridwar for immersion in the Ganga the next day.

The ashes will also be immersed in the Sutlej at Nogli tomorrow, on July 17th 2021.

Mr. Mustaq Masih – passed away in 2020 – we just got to know.

Received from Vijay [Kuttu] Singh who received this news from Manjit Sehmbey:

Article quoted from this link online:
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts the family of Mushtaq Masih lost their patriarch on Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 8:59am. Mushtaq Masih was born in Northern India in 1935. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Physical Education from Batala Bearing Christian College and University of Gwalior. In India he was known as a competitive athlete and excelled at sports like sprinting, field hockey, and boxing. Mushtaq’s talent allowed him to represent India on several national athletic teams. He was best known as a member of India’s 3 fastest men- The Three Flying M’s (Milkha, Makhan, and Mushtaq) and his record-breaking time in the 100-meter dash. As a nationally celebrated athlete, winning dozens of awards across India, Mushtaq continues to hold records for his success in track and field. He went on to serve as a director of sports for the states of Punjab and Haryana.

Mushtaq arrived in Canada and settled in P.E.I. in 1966 with his young family. He was an educator in phys-ed and mathematics, and went on to serve as the director of physical education for P.E.I, and was a known champion for women’s field hockey across the country. Mushtaq was also the founder president of the P.E.I. Amateur Boxing Association and inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1973. The same year Mushtaq and his wife were guests at the Opening Centennial Summer Games, where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip famously and publicly greeted the only East Indian couple in attendance. Mushtaq’s passion for sports led him to become a pioneer for sporting equipment, and a titan in importing and exporting sporting goods across Canada. Mushtaq went on to become a national sponsor and delegate for the Canadian Olympic Team from 1972-1984.

Mushtaq was also widely recognized as a pillar of the East Indian community, sponsoring and helping to immigrate more than 20 East Indian families to the Maritimes. In the mid-eighties Mushtaq relocated to the Niagara region and continued his entrepreneurial journey, owning and operating Niagara’s first East Indian restaurant; stemming from his desire to continue to serve his East Indian Community and integrate its culture into the Canadian mosaic for all to enjoy. Throughout his life he had a passion for travel and accomplished his goal of traveling the world aboard PANAM in 40 days, touching his feet in every ocean. Mushtaq often gave back his time and donated to charitable organizations both in Canada and India.

Mushtaq lived a passionate life of gratitude, joy, service and love. He passed peacefully with his wife and eldest granddaughter by his side. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Zohara Masih and children Rita Chahal (Chander), Renu D’Cunha (Pascal), Varinder Masih (Sunita), and Vijay Masih (Preetshika). Mushtaq will also be fondly remembered by his 9 grandchildren Crystal D’Cunha, Ravi Chahal (Jiwan), Asha Bhanot (Sonny), Rachel D’Cunha, Joshua D’Cunha, Anjali Chahal, Zeena Masih, Sheena Masih, and Amora Singmasi; and 5 great-grandchildren Zorique Olayori, Tejas Chahal, Naveen Bhanot, Maeva Chahal, and Neela Bhanot.

ROBIN NAKAI [Rivaz 1963-69] writes
Memories of a School Boy . When I joined Bishop Cotton School in Shimla , I little realised that I would be meeting and rubbing shoulders , though I was far to short to rub shoulders , with existing legends and those who would go down in to the annals of time , as legendary figures . Games were an integral part of the school curriculum and it was totally compulsory to be on the playing fields in your games kit , every evening and participating in the game of the season – as games were played in pre set and planned fixtures in the year , and divided into compartments , keeping the weather seasons in view , as football was a rainy season fixture . It was first in class that I was to meet Mr. Mushtaq Masih , and there is no recollection in my mind of the subject which he taught and of which class he was then the class teacher off – I think it was Lower 2 or maybe Upper 2 — I do recall , one year , that Krishna Rana ( Tiger ) and I went one day after the final exams , to Mr . Mushtaq Masih’s house , to ask him to give Tiger Rana some grace marks , in maths I think , so that Tiger would not fail the finals , and thus not be allowed to come back to School in March for the next session . Tiger being a fabulous natural born sportsman was a favourite of Mr . Masih , and I recall standing down in Remove Dormitory , out side Sir’s house and hearing Sir laugh and say – Don’t worry Tiger , go enjoy Kathmandu and your holidays , and you will come back next year ‘ Tiger got his grace marks — and came back to school next year —that was the magnanimity of Mr . Musthtaq Masih . My encounters with him were to happen on the hockey field , and it was from this legend – of whose glory we school boys were totally unaware – that I was to learn the art of dribble , trap , scoop , backhand pass whilst at a full run , snap the ball between the defenders legs to the team mate behind , and if one was lucky – to sound the boards , to the roars of cheers from the stadium . Boxing would come and Mr . Mushtaq Masih would be there in his white flannels and with his whistle shinning in the sunlight around his neck – his signature dress code , guiding , coaching the art of block , jab , hook , upper cut , head down defence and the foot work required for being a good boxer . Sir , would be on the second flat every athletic season , teaching the art or gliding over a hurdle with the body bent low and the take of leg skimming the top of the bar , he would be there teaching the art of the take off from the starters gun , the slick magic of the baton exchange which was so critical to the winning of the relay – was an art that was to be perfected . He was there for it all , and I can remember those days , so clearly . Then , one day Mr . Mushtaq Masih announced that he was migrating to the young country – Canada . It was a sad sorrow – the parting – as he was a well liked man , as was his wife Zohara . News would filter about down over the years about his life and we were told that he had started Women’s Hocky in Canada , and had then a big name in the Canada in the games arena , and so on and so forth . Time passed on , as it inevitably does , and we lost track of Sir – till today when Manjit Sehmbey – a sprinter from my batch of 1969 and also my School Captain , sent an article to Kuttu Singh , for the school magazine – The Patina Times . It seems that Mr . Mushtaq Masih ran his last race in 2020 , when he passed peacefully to the great halls of Valhalla . What makes the design of the story so poignant today is that today we have all received the sad news as regards the passing , of the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh . It is sad to know that he was one of the ‘Ms’ of the Three Flying Ms of Punjab – Milkha – Mushtaq – Makhan . One wonders where the Third M ( Makhan ) is today . So today as Milkha and Mushtaq stand at the starters gun in Elysium , there must must be a hush of anticipation as the crowd waits with a bated breath for an epic race to start . Rest in Peace Sir , and know that the mark you left of your coaching us , paid us good heed in our years of growing up in the Bishop Cotton School , Shimla . I participated in all hockey fixtures and also won the medal for the Best Loser in Boxing . My name , in Gold Leaf is on the honours board in Bishop Cotton . The names of all my team mates and of all those other teams who were coached by you , are a testimony to your untiring patience and guidance . It’s is there sir , for you were our coach . I shall , along with all the other players and athletes shall cherish that memory , eternally .

Vijay Khurana writes:

It is with great sadness we just learnt of the passing away of Mr Mushtaq Masih. He passed away last year. Our deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife and their family members.

Mr Masih joined BCS in 1958. I think he was one of those teachers, like Mr Roshan Lal, who came to Simla from Palampur with Rev Dustan when he joined the School as Headmaster.

Until Mr Masih’s induction into the School’s staff, BCS never had a sports coach. Just prior to his entry the School had employed Mr Kumar, ex- Indian Navyas a PT instructor but he did not remain long. Mr Masih was the first sporting coach at BCS. Until his entry there was no coach for athletics with most of the training being conducted by teachers who had an affinity for a particular sport e.g. Mr J D Williams (Soccer), Mr E A Cuzen (Cricket) or the famous Mr V E O Carville (Boxing), formerly with the Burma police. Mr Masih made a difference to the track and field events, especially the short distance sprints. Standards improved and as Inderjit Singh “Badal” (Lefroy 1951-63) testifies on the obituary page for Mr Masih:

“Badal Singh 338
Sincere condolences to the entire family ,
Mr Masih was my Athletics coach at Bishop Cotton School Simla” in 1962/63 And helped me improve my 100 yard dash and to break the school record ….. I will always remember and be grateful to him 🙏”

BCS also began to fare well at the Inter- public school meets at Patiala which for the most part was usually dominated by YPS, Patiala. We attributed that dominance to their significantly older ages than the acceptable average for boys in school.!! However, in later years with somewhat more professional training inputs by Mr Masih the results began to be visible. His impact was greatest with those who ran the short distance but the long and medium distance runner seemed to gain little. Some of them still remember, with a degree of remorse, their potential never being fully exploited. Mr Masih was no task master and his approach, in his inimitable rustic style, was always persuasive. He gave you the direction but the incentive and urge to win had to be yours. His influence was visible and some of his methods probably endured after he left BCS in 1966 or thereabouts.

Mr Masih during our time also coached the soccer and hockey teams as Govinder Singh (Ibbetson 1953-3) recalls:

” Mr Masih was a very helpful and friendly person to all athletes. That’s how I remember him. He spent one entire afternoon teaching me to improve my goalkeeping for the upcoming Sanawar match.
The obituary does not mention BCS.
I’m sure we all wish him well in the hereafter, and his family in Canada”

Mr & Mrs Masih retained their connections with BCS and Simla and would visit whenever they were in India having emigrated to Canada. His connections with BCS endured and I notice his wife and he were guests of honour at an OC lunch in Ontario in 2005. (http://www.oldcottonians.org/canada_31905.htm)

Looking back, Canada attracted a whole load of talented men and women from BCS – Mr Sasim Das Gupta, Mr Mathew Zachariah, Mr & Mrs Goss, Mr & Mrs Mal, Mr Ramesh Tiwari ,&  Mr & Mrs Masih. Rev & Mrs Dustan simply went home. They were Canadian citizens !! They all contributed in a significant way to that country with some of them holding positions of great scholarship and eminence. In the process, all of them without exception, created wonderful and financially rewarding lives.

Mr Masih went a bit further than sports education to become an entrepreneur in the restaurant business. That was a trait he never exhibited but shows how remarkably well talent blossoms given the opportunity. Rest in Peace, Mr Masih and thank you for all that you did for us !!

Saddened to inform: Mrs Kamini Mustafi passed away

It is with deepest sorrow I inform you that Mrs Kamini Mustafi passed away this morning at 8:48 am after having fought for a month.

Above is the message as received from Mr. Kabir Mustafi.
[10:23 AM, 6/4/2021] Vijay Khurana: Deepest sympathies and our condolences. We felt and had all hopes that we would win this battle. I am sorry we lost but you did not give up without a sterling and committed effort.
Our hearts go out to you, Adhiraj, Ishita and the members of your family. We share your loss and the pain is hard when life fades away from the ones you hold most precious.
Good bye, Kamini, you memories will live in our hearts. We thank you for touching so many lives and guiding so many of us. You left a mark and were an example to so many of your students. They were all your children. Thank you.
May He hold Kamini in His arms and may He give you courage to bear this loss.
Warmly
Cherzad, Kanav & Vijay

SAD DEMISE OF I. S. WALIA IBBETSON HOUSE CLASS OF 1956

With deep regret we wish to inform the sad demise of Inderjit Singh Walia (Kreature to his close friends), early morning of 21st.May 2021 in Chennai.He was suffering from Pulmonary  issues for some time.

A very fine sportsman, especially Cricket & Swimming where he brought great  laurels to the school.

Belonged to the famous Pioneer Sports Family most of whom were  Aluminis of the school.

Photographs posted are from his childhood friend & classmate Mr.ND.Mehra.
He was my chacha (Late Fathers Real Brother).

May His Soul Rest In Peace.


Regards
Chetan Singh
Ibbetson 1971.


[click for larger pictures]

Inderjeet Singh Ahluwalia (Creature) (I 1951-1958)

Shock and dismay hits you when a long admired and flamboyant idol of your school days is announced in the obituaries. No, he did not fall to the savage Covid. That was not the way he would ever want to go away. His exit would always be on his terms and on his “feet” as it were. I cannot for a moment imagine Inderjeet Singh Ahluwalia (Ibbetson1951-58, Roll no 370 and surname shortened to Walia, post School) leave this world with a Covid as a cause for his departure from this life. 

He was much too proud, courageous and with so much exuberance in his existence that this virus was simply below his dignity. He left when he had exhausted all that this world had to offer him no longer mattered or simply that the attractions to continue with this life stood exhausted andwhen he had had his fill. No he did not leave this world as a disappointed man but one who had lived it to its fullest, as a consumer to whom that promise had been fulfilled.  

I S Walia was fondly known by all who knew him as Creature. Never figured out the origin of that description but he was a phenomenal creature alright. He was, as I recall, from the distance of being  his very junior Cottonian,  a handsome, dashing, flamboyant, carefree man, who possessed a devil-may-care attitude to life. His exceptionally handsome looks were not put to use in the business world where they would have mattered like, for example, on the silver screen or advertising. He was drafted into the large family business of sporting goods. Pioneer Sports, Ludhiana was the source of their wealth and it was compatible with his personality as well. He was a hugely sporting individual when BCS was invested with great athletic talent that was known throughout the Simla Hills and further afar.  

One memorable and indelible image of him remains in my mind and for all those who remember was his presence on  the cricket field. While friends remind me what a trusty and reliable pair of hands he had fielding in the slips it was his batting ability that mattered.  

Creature would enter the batting pitch, one down. After that the display from his bat was scintillating. Virtually every ball within those 15 to 20 minutes he was at the crease would find the boundary. The game came alive and that sparkling display had us enthralled. When he had concluded his innings he would run up to meet the pavilion steps and I can vividly recall what a dashing man he was. His bat was hauled in the air in front of him, as though holding a sword, as he ran up those steps, with that silk cricket scarf in those lively school colours tied like a belt around his waist. It felt like watching a knight in splendid armour having just exited the battle ground. He was dashing. He was an exhibition of vigour and he was what you wanted to be at that moment!!

It was a delight to watch him swim. Every movement in the pool saw him glide past the others with utmost comfort and no resistance visible in those movements in the water.Superb swimmer. Creature, playing soccer, was a midfielder. He was always the most dominant man on the football ground and easily identifiable. As the most visible and prime mover on the ground he strategized the play with utmost ease displaying an intelligence that he never exhibited, unfortunately, in the classroom. That was not his fault because BCS was never a teaching workshop during those times but an institution designed to give you a well rounded personality and an ability to handle life outside its boundaries.

He was bright and sparkling but his love for sports excelled any other interest except when his desire for fun overtook him. It got him sufficiently often in trouble with Mr Freddie Brown, who was also the man who loved this Creature like no other boy during those days. Creature was the kind of boy that Mr Brown probably had been in his youth, mischievous, full of life and loved by all including a large bunch of admirers from St Bede’s

Creature soon joined the family business and selling sporting goods came to him naturally. He was designated by the family to look after their business in Madras which may have just been the right choice for the outgoing personality that needed to be deployed in conservative Tamil Nadu. It took him little, given his ability to adapt, to make an exceptional business for Pioneer Sports in that metropolis.

His large hearted hospitality resulted in any one visiting that city naturally gravitating to his home where the drinks, the meal and the conversation were always great fun. NK and ND Mehra with their connections to Buckingham & Carnatic Mills, popularly called Binny, were regulars at his home in Madras. Their lifelong friendship endured.

I have little updates about this fascinating personality except seen from the days when I was a teenager. The impressions last with you forever and I never got to see him again. News about him would be often shared by friends. His wife passed away as a result of Big C in around 2009 and Creature was cared for by a loving daughter.

Our condolences go out to Deepak Ahluwalia, his younger brother who now lives in Solan, His cousins and nephews, Surinder AhluwaliaH S Mamik, who brother R S Mamik passed away recently, and Chetan Singh, Pioneer Sports in Delhi

“All things bright and beautiful,

All things great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

It was God that made them all” 

He made this one special for me to remember him in so many vivid images.

– Vijay Khurana