Letter to Mr Goss from Vijay Khurana and OCs:
My dear Mr Goss,
On behalf of my friends, the Old Cottonians, and myself, we wish you every happiness and good health on your 90th birthday. Congratulations.
You were instrumental in affecting the lives of so many of us. You taught us a lot of valuable lessons and those we have not forgotten with gratitude and appreciation. You have our profuse thanks
I have never forgotten your versatility as a teacher. One of the few, perhaps the only one, I know who taught us such diverse subjects as English and Mathematics with admirable ease. You introduced us to Sherlock Holmes with those reading sessions during class hours fostered an interest that led us to reading so many more of the “classics”. You showed us the light and developed the interest in reading.
You encouraged us to conduct debates in the classroom and it led to some of my peers turning out to be wonderful orators whose presence in the law courts is remembered to this day. Rajive Sawhney was one of them.
We trembled at your marking system. It then seemed harsh but it goaded us to do better and this was apparent in the marks that most of us obtained at the Board exams, more than what you ever gave us !! Thank you, again.
On the games field you coached many soccer players and the boys enjoyed the process never to have forgotten the game they played and won against Sanawar.
Thank you, Mr Goss for being the wonderful guide for so many of us.
We wish you well and we wish you every happiness.
With our love and good wishes to Mrs Goss, the family and you.
The Old Cottonians & Vijay
From: Ronald Goss
Sent: 08 May 2019 23:37
To: Vijay Khurana
Subject: Thank You.
My sincere thanks to you and the OCs on whose behalf you have sent me such a beautiful letter. How can I tell you what it means to a 90- year-old retired school teacher whose greatest reward in life lies in the remarkable achievements and successes of his students? It is indeed gratifying to know that so many of you have attained such heights in your careers and brought such honour to your families and to your old school. My congratulations to every one of you.
Thank you so much for your generous birthday wishes. My 90th birthday celebration was an occasion to remember, and Mrs. Goss has my undying love and appreciation for all the hard work she put into planning such a wonderful party. It was held here in our condo party room, and all my family were present, a rare occasion indeed. Also present were many old friends from Vermilion (our home for 41 years), our condo friends, and friends from my church. Yvonne’s brother and his wife came all the way from Australia, and another brother-in-law, who has just been declared cancer-free after his many months of sheer agony, was present much to our relief and delight. It was a grand reunion. Regretfully missing were two Old Cottonians, Dilip Tinani and Inderjit Singh Gill, who were going to drive from Calgary but were deterred by the snow fall that morning. We look forward to their visit in the near furure.
Mrs. Goss and all my family send their regards. Thank you, one and all, for your good wishes (your words were music to my ears) and for remembering me in my old age.
Good health and happiness to you all. “Overcome Evil with Good”.
(Editor’s note: The exchange with Mr Goss is, as expected, lively. Here is an amusing yet poignant incident which seems to have ended happily after 50 years!! Little boys do carry grudges, real or imagined. !!
A background introduction is given to lend the correspondence a perspective
The intervening mail from Badal inducts a spot of fun in this exchange.
Badal is a gentleman-at-large and a mining baron in a day and age where this breed is currently under siege. He has a puckish and provocative sense of humour which is well meaning and really innocuous.
Joe Joshi is the elder brother of Dr. Jai Hind Joshi. Joe is a News Editor with Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar. He was in Vietnam during the years of turmoil in that country.
Jai Joshi is an eminent doctor and lives in Houston. Both these brothers, originally from Burma, did well and made their mark in society)
Rishi Rana may be the only other person who recalls this.
Do you recall a young boy who found a little white rabbit in the hills near school, brought it with him and then asked you to look after his little pet. He was not expecting you to agree but was thrilled when you did. For weeks the little boy dreamt about his rabbit, wrote home to his parents, and planed on how he would try and take his rabbit back home to Burma, a thousand miles away, at the end of the school year
And do you recall that a few weeks later when that boy came to visit and asked if he could see and play with his rabbit, the both of you laughed and said that you had enjoyed that rabbit for dinner weeks before.
I wonder whether you recall, also, that many years later, when that boy graduated, and would come visit school with his brother; you said something about how a bad penny was sure to always come back.
That was more than fifty years ago.
I was happy to hear that you have done well as I was to hear about Mr. and Mrs. Williams. I remember Ms Gardner (who later became Mrs. Williams) with the fondest of affection as our KG home room teacher and Mr. Williams was my house master. I have always held them in very high esteem, and hope Mrs. Williams is part of this mailing list
Regards to you both
Jai Joshi, MD
Hey Mr Goss…… you can Run But you can’t Hide…… This lil burmese boy is hot on yr tail…. and like the elephants in burma he dosnt forget anything……suggest you go to australia next… hear theres lots rabbits there . maybe you can send him one..or like the proverbial bad penny he might show up at yr door one day…. last i heard … his bro Joe was joining him in the hunt …. whoa.. he has had some really wild experiences as a gunfighter in vietnam…. near death stuff… he’s a real bounty hunter… i was you id be scared …..REAL scared….your sins are catching up on you mr goss…….LOW MARKS…. RABBIT KILLING…. JUGGED HARES…. We don’t even know whether you preferred sherwood to BCS …….. so tomorrow by Sundown you better be outta town boy….. (as we say in the deep south uf the United States)…. ADIOS AMIGO.
Inderjit Singh Badal
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 17:32:39 -0400
Badal – you are just too nicely funny. Am sure Mr. Goss will take it all in good sport. He did reply to my story, by the way – and very pleasantly, too. As for crossing the river, again: the situation now is a lot different, with texicans not gringos as border patrol men, the coyotes are now gringos and the river at El Passo is all dried up, so your swimming prowess will not help- you will have to walk
Jai Joshi, MD
Thank you for your letter. You will forgive me if after all these years I cannot recall looking after your pet, but I can assure you we did not have him for dinner as neither my wife nor I have ever acquired a taste for rabbit stew. Telling you that we had feasted on your pet was probably our way of letting you know that the rabbit had escsaped to be reunited with his family in ithe hills despite our vigilance.
Surely I didn’t refer to you as a “bad penny”! My sincere apologies, although 50 years too late.
Tell me more about yourself.
With kind regards,
Correspondence between OC Vijay Khurana and Mr. Ronald Goss for your reading pleasure:
Dear Mr Goss,
I am taking the liberty of introducing myself as former student of yours from BCS. I was a boarder and finished with the class of 1963. I owe your e-mail address to Mr Sasim Das Gupta, who has my profuse thanks.
You taught us English in Shell and then educated us in the less complicated Mathematics for those that opted for the Arts or the humanity subjects. Your readings during class periods of Sherlock Holmes is an event I recall because it eventually encouraged me to buy the entire volumes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. The Sherlock series was offered in two volumes by an Indian publisher.
What I also recall is the devastatingly frugal marks that you dished out for our English tests. Govinder, who was a good student of the subject, on that occasion obtained for the form order a decent 46 when most of us barely hovered just above the pass mark of 40 and more particularly in the region of 41-43. I was awarded a low 38, the only time I ever failed in the language. It caused me much anguish and I thankfully obtained a 43 at the end of year final examination, sufficient enough to proceed to the next class!! I recall collecting that detail before heading to the railway station. I then knew that the impending holidays would be more cheerful!
I also recall your disarming honesty. While preparing for our final board examinations we tested ourselves against the previous years exam papers. One winter evening you were passing by when you popped in to where Rishi and I were attempting to solve an old paper. Rishi asked you the meaning of the word “bottleneck” and while you answered all the others you were candid to say, “I do not know the meaning of that one!!” That word has stuck with me and I made it a point to discover its meaning even though it was a long while before I eventually made the discovery !! Traffic bottlenecks is now a feature we live with !!
I am sending, as an attachment to this mail, a few photographs to refresh your memory. I do hope you will enjoy seeing them since they will inevitably revive a host of memories.
My kind regards to your family and you.
V K Khurana
(Vijay Khurana, Lefroy 1954-63)
P.S. I am taking the liberty of sending this mail to members of my class and those for the preceding years of 1961, and 1962. With the aid of modern technology, it has been convenient to remain in touch and we exchange notes fairly often. We also meet as often as is possible but that becomes distinctly difficult for a bunch of 60 year olds who still seem rather busy !!