It is with deep sorrow to inform you that your friend USUM has passed away peacefully last night at 7.30 pm. He became unconscious about 9.30 pm on Christmas Day and the doctors tried to revive him which actually he didn’t want. However, I was not there and, of course, the doctors must do what they can first. When we arrived at the hospital he was already in the ICU and not conscious. He didn’t regain any conscience the whole day yesterday and his blood pressure kept getting lower and lower. About 7 pm we chanted some prayers infront of him and just when we finished, he just left us peacefully. I think he went away blessfully. The cause of his death can be summed up at heart/kidney failures, diabetic and he lost the will to live.
We had a bathing rite for him this afternoon at a temple followed by religious ceremony. Hundreds of his friends and colleagues attended. Tomorrow we will hold another ceremony during the midday and one in the evening again.
Monday morning after another religious ceremony at midday, the cremation will take place at 1 pm.
He is at peace and happy now. We have done the best for him and judging by the numbers of people attending his funeral, it shows that he is well loved and respected by many. A great tribute and I think we can be proud of him.
Thank you very much for all your kind wishes and moral supports. Together with my children, Toto and Tota, we will always remember this and hope we can continue our friendship even in his absence.
Thank you for your mail.
The saddest news for the year finally arrived. Almost inevitable it did seem. On behalf of all the members of his class and his very numerous friends, we Cottonians, offer our deepest condolences on the passing away of Usum to you, Toto, Tota and members of your family.
Your mails were clear as a bell as to the condition of his health and the direction in which it was headed. We fervently hoped it would be different. Honestly, I would have loved to see Usum standing once again. In my mind’s eye I can still see the shy, smiling and lanky Usum. That is the lasting impression I have of him. I had spoken to Usum a few years ago, and again recently, when he had indicated his poor medical condition. Your mails confirmed all that with the significant difference that the urge to fight and live on had been depleted from his system.
“Vital spark of heav’nly flame,
Quit, oh, quit, this mortal frame!”
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying!
It broke our hearts. Some of us called and spoke to him while most sent in mails urging him to get up and lift himself. I guess he had his compulsions. We accept that loss with great sadness.
The world recedes; it disappears;
Heav’n opens on my eyes; my ears
With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my Soul! can this be Death?
I have quoted liberally from Alexander Pope but I guess these words aptly would sum up Usum’s feelings in these last few years. It makes us unhappy since it seems like yesterday that we were all together laughing and happily together. We will miss Usum. Good bye, dear friend.
Usum was one of the first boys from Thailand to come to Bishop Cotton. From being seemingly different, they entered so easily and so much into the system that you always expected to see a few Thai boys at the beginning of each school year. Usum was always different for his easy going manner, his affable disposition and his friendliness. A warm individual. He shared what he had most liberally and easily. He gave of himself extravagantly. Usum was the one you turned to for anyone in need ! He gave with abandon expecting little in return. You can imagine what an indelible impression he left on us since I recall these attributes after a lapse of several decades since I last met him. That goes for the majority of us. However, we have confirmation of his genoristy from friends who did venture to meet him in Bangkok from time to time to enjoy your hospitality.
Usum enjoyed our respect and love. There was huge equity that he had created. For your family and you, those feelings will always exist with all of us with the same degree of warmth and affection that was Usum’s due. Yes, we would love to hear from you and will be delighted to remain in touch. Usum still binds us.
Our deepest sympathies, once again.
Vatsala & Vijay
P.S. I have requested, over the phone, several of my friends to send in pictures of Usum since we would like to place them with messages of condolence on the OCA web site. Please be kind enough to forward any pictures you have of him. That would be appreciated. Thank you.
It was indeed a sad bit of news to end a rather sad year as far as such news is concerned. We all fondly remember him for the cheerful soul he was. He was my house mate and class mate too and we had many interactions both on and off the playing field. I clearly remember the thrashing we gave to KGS school, Chail where after collecting the rebounds I sent long passes to him ‘hatching’ under the opponents basket and he had no problem scoring! The school never lost a match that year in basketball. YPS scored 5 points against us. He had the inter-school meet record in high jump and was a very agile football goalkeeper. We even had to box each other – was too fast for me. There was always the prankster in him. In all we cherish his memories and even though we did not meet after school he is distinct in our memories. With very warm condolences B.M.Singh & Ravi
I am really sorry to hear the sad news of the passing away of our 2 OCA’s. May the almighty give their family members the strength & courage to bear this loss? I hope the OCA is sending condolences on behalf of us all to the respective families. In sorrow – Anil Mehra
Very sorry to read the sad news.I didn’t know them but my heart goes out to their bereaved families to whom I wish comfort and peace. God bless the their souls. GPS Sahi ( I – 1953-56 )
May I take the liberty of replying to all your kind notes in one go eventhough I would love to answer individually? However, the time is not much there at the moment so I apologize and hope you understand.
Thank you very much for your kind words. My children and I very much appreciate them at this time. We are sad at Usum’s passing away, however, we are also relieved that he has gone to good place and no more suffering. He had wanted it so. Yes, Usum was indeed a good man. His funeral also showed that he was well liked by many. Despite a very short notice since we wrapped it all up in three days instead of the usual 7 because of the new year coming, over 500 friends and relatives attended his cremation including a member of the Privy Council to HM The King (a relative) and the Prime Minister (because my son Toto works for him at the Democrats Party). His ashes was thrown into the meeting point of two big rivers in Ayudhya, our own capitol, under the supervision of 5 highest ranking of that province. We are very happy for him. Further actions in the near future are that we will hold a 7th day religious rite tomorrow and then plan to bring parts of his remains that we keep to make a 50th day ceremony in Chiengmai and to put it into his family stupa there. Another big ceremony for his 100th day anniversary will also be held in Bangkok so that those who couldn’t attend the cremation can participate too. We hope that with all these actions will help to secure him a good place upstairs.
The only sad part is that he won’t be able to meet you all again after all these years because he did want to. Well, that’s life. So enjoy your great friendship as much as possible while you can. Pls don’t hesitate to let me know when anyone of you is in Bangkok, I would love to meet you all. Just email me.
Take care and thank you for your friendship and support.
Here a re few of the photographs of Usum, who was a good friend of us all.The vaccum created by his demise will be difficult to fill up. However, happy memories can still be shared by all.
I am also one of Usum’s class mates from school. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the very sad demise of Usum, a very noble soul indeed. May God rest his soul in peace.
We were in the same house in school and our beds were near each other. So I new him very well. He was indeed a very good friend who could be depended upon at all times.
I visited Bangkok in 2006 and spent a few occasions with Usum which was great fun. He was a lovely person to be with. Unfortunately, my wife and I did not get a chance to meet you though we did use your car to go to Pattaya.
Next time we visit, I do hope that we get a chance to meet.
Finally, may God give you the strength to bear this great loss.
God bless you and the family.
Rear Admiral Rakesh Chopra,
After a long attempt, I’ve managed to forward you some pictures of Usum’s last journey on 29.12.08 at one of the main temples in Bangkok also with picture of our PM and the Privy Council. Also I send pictures of family at Toto’s wedding too which was held in December 2006. We looked terribly with make up on which normally we don’t use them, haha. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much pictures of him lately.
Thanks for being such supporting friends.