Further to the details of the visit to Mrs deMellow, here is a letter from Mr. I.L. Bhatia that is of importance. We apologize for the misspelling of the names and will be correcting this error now.
OCA Web Team
I thought I must tell you about a couple of changes which you ought to make in the write-up based on factual position. These are broadly as under:
Melville Frederick Oswald deMellow. Born on 28.04.1913. However, he used to write Melville deMellow which he used to pronounce also as “The News Read by Melville deMellow”. deMellow is one word with d small.
Mrs. Coralie Emma deMellow (also known as Jane).
(I have purposely given the correct spellings as both of them were very sensitive persons, more so in the matter of their names. Editor: Our apologies. Corrections being effected!)
Mrs. deMellow’s elder sister lives in Bangalore along with her son is not able to come to Delhi, since he looks after his mother.
Her brother – Dr. Stephens (A Medical Doctor) who is 100-years old lives in New Zealand.
All three have 90% hearing impairment. I am somehow in touch with both of them through mails or at times I connect these persons on my mobile so that Mrs. deMellow can speak to them on special occasions like Birthdays, WAs etc.
Assignment with Radio:
Mr. deMellow was a regular employee of AIR on a 58-year contract. All the performing artists in AIR (there was no Doordarshan then), were termed as Staff`Artists and initially were given a five year contract. Later, it was decided to give them a contract till 58 years of age – to be at par with the Govt. employees. Although Mr. deMellow’s contract up to the age of 58 years expired in 1972, he continued to get extension of two year contract till 1978. He retired in the scale of a Joint Secretary. The only difference between Staff Artists vis-à-vis Govt. employees was that while the former were not entitled to Govt. Pension, the latter were entitled. This distinction was also done away with in 1982 when all the Staff Artists were declared Govt. servants. However, by that time, Mr. deMellow had retired and therefore all SAs who were in position prior to 1982 were not entitled to pension. Mr. Jasdev Singh who was trained by Mr. deMellow is getting a fat pension as he retired after 1982. In short, he was not paid on assignment basis but was getting regular salary every month. The ex-gratis payment of Rs. 1500/- was sanctioned by AIR in 2009 when she had corresponded with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi as advised by me. But it was suddenly stopped as the Prasar Bharti Board had stopped all such payments. The DGs of AIR whom I knew personally (Ms. Noreen Naqvi and presently Mr. Liladhar Mandloi) could not get it restored as it was a Board’s decision. The article in the newspaper was a subtle message for AIR in their ignoring the widow of a Padma Shri broadcasting icon!
I worked with Mr. deMellow exactly for ten years from 19.08.66 to 18.08.76 when I moved out after qualifying the UPSC examination. Even after I got shifted to administrative line, I was in touch with deMellows and was considered a family member. After the untimely death of her husband, Mrs. deMellow did not want to live in Kalkaji and wanted to be shifted to Saket so that she can be some where near to my residence.
After working in several Departments and Ministries of the Govt. of India, I superannuated in April 2004 after working for more than six years as Chief Vigilance Officer in the Ministry of Water Resources. Immediately thereafter I joined as Adviser in AAI where I worked till February, 2012 All these years, I have tried to help and assist her in every possible manner which she gratefully acknowledges as well. I do it out of compassion rather than any compulsion. Practically all workers and residents know me who go to her house immediately in case of a problem and also immediately inform me when she has a problem.
While I have not been introduced to Mr. Vijay Khurana formally, nor in a detailed manner to Mr. Neel Mehra and Mr. B.M. Singh, I thought of giving you my background and therefore this detailed mail. Breda Dayal came in to picture 4-5 years back only and I had no idea as to who she was, till I was introduced to her about 3 years back. Mrs. Dayal is an Irish lady who genuinely helps her whenever she can.
When I met both the above gentlemen the other day, I had emphasized that the best thing would be to depute someone to try get her a fixed monthly amount with which she can live a decent life. Perhaps, you can concentrate on that and in the meantime, as was requested during our inter-action with them, to arrange for a lady assistance from 8 am to 8 pm. Since I am also now +68, I do not have much energy left to run around. Still I do help her and regularly see her to meet her medical and grocery needs, payment of all bills etc. despite the fact that it has genuinely impacted my life in a way! My only interest is that she should pass the remaining years of her life as she would like to do and therefore despite telling her about the old age homes, never compelled her to shift there as she is comfortable staying in her home.
For any other information, you can contact me whenever you feel like doing it.
With best wishes,
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 !!
BM Singh, President OCA (India) and his wife Ravi Singh hosted a dinner for the batch of 1961 who will go up to Simla to celebrate their 50 years of leaving School this week. The dinner was hosted at the Deck Suite at the India Habitat Centre
The numbers for this batch have dwindled rapidly but their gusto and enthusiasm remains undiminished. In typical OC style,
Sukhinder Singh, Billy Gill, Adarshpal Singh, accompanied by Ajay Thiara drove in yesterday [17th Sept] morning from Chandigarh for this dinner. The dinner which began early at 7.30 pm concluded almost near the mid-night and these gentlemen then drove right back last night. They were sleeping when Ashok Mulchandani rang to seek some assistance and advice!! What do you expect ? !!
The following other guys from the 1961 batch were present:
Veenu & Jaiwant Gill
Nano & Ricky Sawhney
Anita & Sudhir Khanna
The others present were:
Jyoti & R S Sodhi
Ritu & Neel Mehra
Vatsala & Vijay Khurana
The pictures that Sudhir Khanna took, and sent as a separate mail with a Picassa link, simply indicate what a lovely evening it was. What I am doing is sending some of these pictures with the names of the persons labelled (left to right pattern) so that you can identify the persons in the respective pictures. Unfortunately, the quality of my attachments is not outstanding but Sudhir’s mail will give you a much better idea. Go full screen and a slide show to get the complete effect of what a group with an average of 60 can do and enjoy an evening!
We take this opportunity to wish the 1961 batch a happy and lovely reunion.
[Hover your mouse-pointer on a pic to see the title, click a picture for a larger view]
Bon appétit – OCA Dinner.
September 18, 2011
Five months ago, I was surprised to receive an email from Sukhinder Singh and Vijay Khurana to attend the 50th class reunion. I apologize for taking so long to reply. Firstly, I was in the process of moving. Secondly, since I could not attend, I did not feel I could contribute anything.
Upper II Class Photograph:
I have included the 1956 Upper II photograph originally sent by Brandy Gill. If my memory is correct, the person in the second row behind the 7th person from the left in the front row (the person with eye glasses) is Bentick ( I don’t know if I am spelling the name correctly; I don’t know if that is his first or last name). Minor correction to Sukhinder Singh’s message “we were together in the III form” It should read Upper II and not III Form. I left after completing Upper II, the year this photograph was taken. I joined BCS in 1952 when I was 8 years old and I was expelled from BCS in 1956 when I was 12 years old.
[EDITOR: This is the listing we had earlier from Vijay Khurana when this picture was circulated in April 2011] –
Vijay said: “I can recognise the following :
Sitting first row: (left to right) Gurdial Singh, Brandy Gill, KS Dugal, Sabharwal (Rivaz, left to join Doon), RLV Nath (second from right same row). . . but none of the others .
Standing second row( left to right) Rupinder Singh, Rakesh Sawhney, unknown and Ramesh Suthoo.
Standing third row (left to right) unknown, unknown, Ashok Anand, Ashok Mulchandani, unknown, SM Nanda, Himmat Singh, AK Stokes, unknown, Inderjit Singh (Badal).
Standing last row(left to right): Preharan Singh, JS Rarewala, Hundal, GS Anand, unknown, unknown, A Motwane].”
Graduated Senior Cambridge in 1960:
I considered Upper II as the 7th grade and VI Form as the 12th grade. After leaving BCS, I joined Modern School, New Delhi, in the 7th grade. This did not work out and I did not cooperate. I was in the boarding school. My parents then put me in day school. I was staying with my father’s friend. They thought that perhaps I was afraid of girls as Modern School is coeducational or perhaps I did not like the Hindi medium of instruction. Little did anyone know what upset me. I was only 12 years old and kept everything to myself. What bothered me was why they put me in the 7th grade when I had already completed the 7th grade in BCS. If you remember, I use to be on the top or near the top of my class. To make a long story short, I lost one year doing nothing. In 1958, my father put me in Hyderabad Public School. I insisted that I join the 7th grade which the school accepted. Luck would have it, their grading system was different. Their highest grade was not 12th grade but 10th grade. (On the first day of my class I had my Geometry class. I started with the 49th theorem. Within a few days I started to learn Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus!) So I gained two years and lost one year. That is why I graduated one year before my classmates in BCS. This is not the end of the story. My father and my elder brother both graduated in Engineering from Benares Hindu University. The only college that I applied to was Benares Hindu University. The university was prejudiced against Senior Cambridge students as it was a foreign examination. I was told I did not qualify for admission. My elder brother told me that I was foolish in applying to one college only. Once again, luck was on my side. The son of the Vice Chancellor of Benares Hindu University was in the same predicament that I was. Finally, the university admitted Senior Cambridge students. In the first year of college I stood first in my class. From then on my mother had complete faith in me. This experience had a profound effect on me. We are taught to think within a box. This taught me to think outside the box.
Uranium Enrichment by Gaseous Centrifugation 1970-1985:
I had proposed to the Government of India for providing nuclear fuel two times in 1970 and 1985. Enclosed is a 1984 article from The Tribune, Chandigarh. Both my attempts were unsuccessful and I gave up on this good idea.
[Click this picture for a full size view, or right-click to save it]
Toastmasters International 1994-Present:
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization that teaches public speaking, communication and leadership skills. It has 270,000 members; 13,000 clubs in 116 countries. I have been a member for 17 years. We practice original speeches that last between 5 to 7 minutes.From time to time, I have given speeches on energy in general and nuclear energy in particular. The purpose is to explain in a non-technical the various facets and aspects of energy. I had stated earlier that I felt I could not contribute anything. Then, it occurred to me that this information would be educational to the students at Bishop Cotton School. I have introduced several new terms such as Nugami (portmanteau of Nu for new or Nu from Nuclear and gami from origami) and Hatt (portmanteau of H from Heat and att from Watt). My proposal was based on providing 100% Nuclear Energy. This included both generating electricity and providing hydrogen fuel for automobiles by the electrolysis of water. France has come close to providing 100% electrical energy though they have not gone as far as using hydrogen fuel. They closed the last coal mine a few years ago. So far only Iceland and a few other countries have experimented with hydrogen as a fuel. I had proposed one 1 Gigawatt Electrical / 3 Gigawatt Thermal (in my terminology 1 Gigawatt / 3 Gigahatt) Nuclear reactor for every 100,000 (one lakh) population. The title of my paper is: Energy is almost God… and God said “Numbers do not lie”. I had hoped to complete this paper by now but it has taken longer than I had estimated. Firstly, I had changed from a Microsoft PC to an Apple Mac and had minor software issues in producing the documents. Secondly, some of the documents were done on a phototypeset over 40 years ago. I want to convert these documents into digital format instead of just scanning the documents. As a sneak preview I have included a document “Nugami.pdf“. When you print this, make sure the “Page Scaling” is set to “None” so that you get a full size of the drawing. If printed correctly, the 32 x 32 grid should measure 6.375 inches by 8.25 inches (75% of 8.5 inches x 11.0 inches sheet of paper).
Hope to send the complete article as soon possible. Maybe the students at BCS will find it useful educationally.
Al (Ashok) K. Stokes
EDITOR: Here is an email from Vijay Khurana to Ashok [published online with permission from all concerned!]