59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More news about the Bangalore tragedy

I do not want to put the graphic details of this gruesome event on the blog so I give a link to the newspaper article on line

News -- Bangalore: Two Brutally Murdered in Broad Daylight - One of Mangalore Origin, Daijiworld News Network - Bangalore (GA), Bangalore, May 17 2005

I am still in a state of shock to think that just a few minutes before he was to leave to reach our home in Finland, this horrific event could have taken place.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tragic news

Late this evening, just around 11 pm, I was expecting a guest from Bangalore, India. "Tiny" S. Mazumdar, formerly of Hindustan Lever, a friend of Ashok Kunte, who is a IIT classmate of Cathedralite 59er Elijah Elias (Ooky), my long-standing family friend from my Bombay days.

Tiny must have been just planning to leave his Bangalore office en route to the airport to fly in to Helsinki. He would then have proceeded to the Helsinki Railway Station to enjoy the train trip to Oulu.

His visit to Finland was to see for himself conditions here as his son has been admitted to Kuopio University in Eastern Finland to do a course in biotechnology.

Tiny's stopover in Oulu was to meet me and see what my opinion was about his son's stay in Finland, and to possibly help Tiny get a leverage into the Gherkin market as he is a large exporter to Russia. I had organised lunch at a friend's restaurant along with other friends of mine in his line of business.

This morning, just as I visited my email site, there was a message from Ashok Kunte in Thane telling me that Tiny had been murdered in his office yesterday afternoon.

I had just had an email yesterday from Tiny that he had managed to get me some home-made Kerala papadams.

Over the last few weeks we had become quite close friends as we had spoken on many issues for many hours using Skype Voice Over Internet. He had become an avid reader of all my blogs.

I will miss a good friend I made in the recent weeks and it will take some time for me to recover from this shock. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Tribute to a wonderful teacher

In Indian custom one must show respect for our Gurus.

There is one guru who has shown respect to every student that has crossed his path.

Pushpa & Willie Shiri

Pushpa & Willie Shiri

He taught at our beloved Cathedral School. He was an active member of the school in many ways, besides being the Wilson House Staff Head, he was always active as a leading cast member of our school operas, and he sang with a strong tenor voice in the St. Thomas Cathedral Church choir, where he satisfactorily drownwed out all my musical off-keys as I sang as a soprano in the pew in front of him!!

Today, I would like to publicly honour him on his 80th birthday on behalf of all those whom he educated, not only in his subject, Physics, but about life itself. I always remember him standing in front of the class with his unique bow tie as he unfolded the mystery of science to me and my fellow clasmates, and as he walked around the laboratory helping us to do our practical work. I still remember the very first experiment he assigned us - understanding what was "specific gravity".

To him, I owe my career as a Polymer Technologist. The very foundation of Physics that he laid firmly in one corner of my brain was the basis for my successful life, as Polymer Physics became child's play for me.

William Shiri taught Physics in Cathedral School through the 60's till 1962 when he migrated to England. Wife Pushpa was a Class 2 teacher in our Junior School between 1955-62.

Willie was in England about the time I was studying in London but, sadly, I did not meet up with him there. I was surprised to learn later that he did keep track of me through common friends. Pushpa and Willie, with their two daughters, Nina and Kiron, were in Hertford (Herts) between 62 and 68. Pushpa became a peripatetic music teacher in England, visiting three different schools.

They moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 68 where both Pushpa and Willie continued their teaching careers, Willie his usual Physics and Pushpa as music teacher. Pushpa continued her a peripatetic music teacher in Montreal for a few years, then switched to class-room teaching.

They moved to Brampton, a suburb of Toronto in 90 after both of them retired. Their daughters finished their studies in the UK, (Kiron went back from Canada to Sussex to do a degree there).

In June 2000 they moved to a condo apartment in Mississauga, Ontario.

Willie has been a wonderful correspondent ever since we discovered each other in 2000. Not only does he keep me abreast of all the Cathedralites that cross his path, staff and students, but he sends me many interesting, amusing and morally uplifting emails about the beauty and sanctity of life.

I could go and on about this wonderful man, but I guess I should save some data for his 85th and then his 90th bithdays.

Happy birthday, dear dear friend and master. Thank you for being where you were and where you are now.