Tag Archives: Vijay Khurana


Came across this poem…. Thought I’d share it..

The heartthrob of the school,

is a man grim and sombre.

That lanky little girl,

is now a weightlifter.

The topper of the class,

is a happy homemaker.

Back bencher of the lot,

is an entrepreneur.

The flamboyant fashionista,

became a dreaded lawyer.

Oft ignored average Joe,

turned a well-known writer.

The one who failed math paper,

is a fashion designer,

And one who often got to stand outside the class, is a respected army officer.

The reunion taught me how,

people came with many layers,

and tell me why should we never,

judge a book by its cover.

Comment: We have seen our fair share of such situations.

Bittu Sahgal become an authority on animal conservation, especially the tiger, though he first started by selling Milton buckets and then entered the printing business!

R S Sodhi became a judge after he could no longer fly planes for the IAF !!

Brandy Gill a corporate honcho who brought Gillette to India (an interesting story there). Tennis, his BCS back ground and his qualifications as a chartered accountant got him there with the aid of a few good women!!

B M Singh, Chairman of the Central Board of Taxes, and his ability to handle people and situations – brilliantly !!

Rajive Sawhney, an ace lawyer he was determined to be. He wanted nothing else and he tore his heart out debating whenever he could. It began early.

CM Kohli, a real estate magnate and smoked every one else out of business !

SM Singh, a brilliant entrepreneur who otherwise was the quietest guy around

N K Akers, a hospitality expert and that affable temperament that fit perfectly. He resides in Cairo and has been there for over 30 years now.

Vinod Pawa, a university professor. Actually that capability would have fit anywhere and done exceptionally well.

Param Inder Singh, vastly successful inventor and entrepreneur in the field medical devices business while he first set out to become an aeronautical engineer

Guljit Kochhar, an expert in the plastic moulding business expanded into plastic products. He currently employs 700 people !! He got into the game only because a programme coordinator suggest he take a trip to see some other parts of the US during a college break !!

Mohit Goyal, became an IT entrepreneur when he flipped a job advertisement page that his father sent him and was attracted to what IBM had to offer on the other side of the sheet !!

Also remember those with warmth and feeling who never really entered life or reached their full potential. Shiv Raj Singh, who died of an anaphylactic shock from an injection straight after school or Ashok Dina Nath in a tragic road accident. May they rest in peace. In a lot of other cases Fate just did not carry them to the destiny that may have awaited them !!

There are so many more. The names listed above are suggestive based on a spontaneous listing and certainly not exhaustive.

Vijay [Khurana], BCS class of 1962.

Letter to, and reply from Mr. Goss

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.

Very affectionately

The Old Cottonians & Vijay

From: Ronald Goss
Sent: 08 May 2019 23:37
To: Vijay Khurana
Subject: Thank You.

Dear Vijay:

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”.

Ron Goss

BCS 1956-64

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Dr. Mathew Zachariah – some updates

Dear All,
Dr Mathew Zachariah passed away a little over a year ago as a result of kidney failure. He left BCS at the end of 1959.

He was a courageous man to write his biography and like all lives this account is an interesting one. I am taking the liberty of forwarding a few pages extracted from the book that would make relevant – and interesting – reading.

Dr Zachariah after leaving BCS, built a successful career in the academic world. The calibre and worth of some of these teachers was huge and we were fortunate to be taught by intelligent minds whose age difference seemed so much more than it really was.

Dr Zachariah had commissioned the translation of this biography into Malayalam, his mother tongue. Pictures of him with some of us at BCS accompany this mail for your information. The one from 1957 with some of us from the Remove Dormitory features some fine specimens.


[click for larger view]

Vijay Khurana

Photos from Saturday March 19th 2016 / Bittu Sahgal and OCs

The dinner on March 19, 2016 which was hosted by Royina Grewal and her daughters, friends of Bittu Sahgal. Royina has a fabulously large place and it was warm and cozy. The Grewals and the Sahgal families are close and have been for over 40 years. Royina was gracious and generous to host the evening. It was simply fabulous. The accompanying pictures, and I have many more, tell the story.
– Vijay Khurana

Lopa & Greesh Ghai

From Vijay Khurana :

Dear All,

About two weeks ago, while on a visit to Bombay, I chanced to meet Lopa Ghai at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

Lopa Ghai is the wife of our dear friend Greesh Ghai who passed away in August 1988 of a heart attack. He was 42.  He was, perhaps, the first one to go from our class of 1963.

Greesh and his younger brother, Rajiv, were pulled out of BCS at the end of 1962 because their parents were not enthused by the grades that these boys obtained in school. They moved to Cathedral in Bombay and eventually finished their schooling from that institution.

Rakesh Chopra and I saw a lot of Greesh during our winter breaks between 1958 and until I left Bombay in 1985.

Greesh’s father was in the timber business and they had saw mills in Yamuna Nagar and in Darukhana near the docks in Mumbai. Changing business patterns saw them see the timber business dwindle and then fade away. They then moved to a rental income stream by leasing out the large property that they owned near the docks where demand was constant with attractive rates still being available. It was no where near the margins that the timber business gave them but they were content with this alternative where the risks were lower and business enterprise was not at a premium.

Greesh was a generous and warm hearted person. He was a good friend. It is a testimony to his sterling qualities that all his close friends stood by and helped Lopa after his passing away. He had earned their loyalty. Greesh was easy going but committed to any effort when he put is mind to something. While at BCS he excelled at painting and on the games field he was a good short distant runner but his best events were the shot put and the discuss throw. He showed aptitude as a soccer defender and a decent cricket player. Sports was an activity he loved most to the detriment of his studies though he was no laggard. His marks were decent but the parents expected a scholar and that he was not !!

After Greesh’s departure, Lopa brought up their boys, Monty (named after Monty of Rivaz house and whom Greesh greatly admired) and Sanjay. Both boys went to Cathedral and then to the US for their college education. They bear a striking resemblance to Greesh. Monty is currently with BBC Worldwide based in Singapore. He is married to the niece of former film star, Vinod Khanna. Sanjay the younger boy stays with Lopa and is an importer of food products. His wife is well known in the dog grooming business.

Rajiv, the younger brother of Greesh became the victim of drug and alcohol abuse fairly early in life. It took a toll on his personality and his health. He lives in a rented apartment not far from Anand Vihar, Warden Road, the family home. He sustained an injury that has impaired his ability to walk. Lopa has provided him with full time servant help and she supervises his care on a daily basis.

Lopa looks almost exactly when I first met her in 1969. She has not changed much since the time of their marriage in 1970. Life just moved on but she brought stability to the lives of her sons. She is justifiably proud of them.

For some of you to be able to recall Greesh Ghai, I send as attachments to this mail, Rivaz house photographs for the years 1961 & 1962. In the picture for 1961, Greesh is standing in the third row, 5th from the left. He is in between Jimmy Gideon and J L Joshi. In the Rivaz House 1962 photograph he is seated 4th from the right in between Harpreet Grewal and CM Kohli, his dear friend and smoking buddy. RLV Nath was the other smoking companion and therefore a good friend.

I recall some lovely and memorable outings with Greesh during our winter holidays in Bombay. The meals at his home were always superb and his mother (she fell to cancer) made so much of an effort to make sure we were fed well. Her cooking was outstanding. (I loved the raita and the gobi she made!!) His father was a mild manner man and short of stature. He often gave in to the demands these boys made of him all the time. He loved them dearly and his was never the firm hand.

Greesh was an emotional man. He was a warm and caring friend. Despite his size and considerable physical strength he was incapable of hurting anyone. He was averse to a physical fight and therefore served as an excellent prop when you wanted to threaten anyone on the road!! One of those guys who knew he had strength but was always wary to even measure its force, let alone employ it!! A timid giant ? Not really but just a pacifist who was afraid to hurt anyone because at the back of his mind he probably knew that the damage he could inflict would be considerable if not severe!! He was just not the street fighter and that he could never be given his character and gentle temperament.

I miss him.

My kind regards and good wishes, again, for the Coming Year