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Sad demise of Anil Patel, Head Boy 1966-67

May 24th, 2011 | By | Category: News & Announcements, Obituaries

With great sadness we inform that ANIL PATEL our head boy from 1966-67 passed away early in the morning on May 18, 2011 in Canada.

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  1. It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you that ANIL PATEL our headboy from 1966-67 passed away early this morning in Canada.

    May god rest his soul in eternal peace. Jai Shri Krishna.

    Vijay Kotecha.
    RKC 1967.

  2. I am indeed shocked and extremely saddened to learn about the sad demise of Anil. A few months ago we met Anil and his lovely wife at Himanshu’s place. I was meeting him after 1967. He was bubbly, exuberant and exuded his grit tt he was able to fight his illness. We talked for long. Later I learnt it was not really so. And now this sad news.

    Anil was a true RKCian imbibing the virtues of a true friend. May God give peace to the family.

    Vivek Seth

  3. What a loss! What a young loss! I mourn and mourn Anil Patel’s credentials while he was in RkC. Very many reminisces vision to see and see again and again. May his soul soar higher and higher to reach the highest for eternal peace.

    Mahipatsinhji Jadeja,
    1948 to 1957

  4. My condolences to his family and loved ones in this time of grief. As for the rest of us RKC Old Boys, please join me in celebrating a man with an infectious smile, a hearty laugh, a “can do” attitude, an uncanny ability to be a “hell-raiser” when it felt good, and overall just one wonderful human being.

    I shall miss Anil. And you know, I have this feeling that, at its passing, the soul that occupied Anil’s body, attained “moksha”.

    Vijay Yajnik
    1959 to 1966

  5. I was sad & grieved to learn of the very sad and sudden demise of RKC Student and Head boy of our school (1966-1967) late Shri Anil Patel. Though I never met him I feel really sad, he left us at a very young age. I pray to God to give strength to his family to bear this irreparable loss and eternal peace
    to the departed soul

    Ghanshyamsinh Jadeja
    1950 to1960

  6. I am shocked to learn of the sad ,sudden and untimely passing away of Anil Patel. My sincere condolences at this most unfortunate death to Anil Patel’s family, Kumar’s family and the larger family of Anil. I join all in solemn Prayers for the noble soul to rest in peace.

    Jaidevsinhji Jadeja
    1954 to 1964

  7. My heart felt heavy at this sad news of Anil Patel passing away. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family. May his great soul rest in heavenly peace. Aamen.

    I can still see his smiling face after he won the 100 yards dash at the RKC sports day and this picture of him breasting the ribbon at the finishing line is still etched in my memory as the photograph appeared in the endeavour magazine.

    Woh ek zindadil insaan tha jo bahot zaldi is duniya se chala gaya.

    Avesh Salat
    1961 to 1970

  8. Dear friends, who join me in silence, at this moment of sadness, please indulge me as I share a few aspects of this remarkable human being who, while he was alive – in his humility – would have been embarrassed to have read this in print.

    I was Anil’s contemporary in school, his Asst.Head Boy in 66-67, and a life long friend. In school, he personified an indomitable spirit – were it at doing the most daring gymnastics exercises which Bharat Singh Saab would challenge us to do; or furiously pushing himself to excel in any game which he played. The most memorable was his 100mtrs dash in 67. ( I don’t have the records, but I am sure his sprint that day must surely be the school record). It was truly an Usain Bolt run – as though he was miraculously just flying past all other competitors. I was in Mayne House and Brighuraj was our champion. We had actually challenged Anil that he would never be able to beat Brighu at 100 mtrs. And lo & behold, I saw the rush of blood in his face, a kind of frenzied energy packed at the starting block, and released in one incredible moment of sheer speed. Brighu was left desperately trying to catch up, and though Anil was a Macnaughton boy, we just couldn’t help being astounded and then salutary at this memorable event.

    Speaking of daring dos – its best illustrated in our last year’s meeting in February 2010 at Beyt Dwarka at Lavkumar Saab’s camp and 81st birthday time. We had all sailed off for the day in the Beyt Dwarka sea, and were near a coral island which surfaced only at certain times. To reach the island,we had to transfer to a smaller boat. But not for our man, he decided it was a perfect opportunity and challenge for a swim! With out listening to the restraining voices of the local boatmen who knew the currents, Anil plunged into the waters and swam very very deliberately to the island. No body else from our group did! I just marvelled at this guy. He had come to India from Canada after having undergone multiple & extremely high dosages of chemo-therapy, hadn’t recuperated from the colon cancer which had infested his system a year ago, and there he was swimming like a dolphin.

    He talked to me about his cancer and his response the first time the doctors mentioned it to him. This is how he related it to me:

    He said, “You know Himanshu, the first time the doctor told me about the severity and stage of the cancer, he told me “You have only X# of days yo live. That’s how serious it is!” And I told him you can’t tell me that. You are not God. Only God knows how long I will live, not you. You do your job and tell me how you will help me live not how soon I will die.”

    Anil had lost 35lbs in 3months or so, and he pushed himself to undergo the extremities of the max dosage of chemo-therapy for almost a year. He recuperated enough, regained his weight, his strength to come to India in Jan-March 2010, and swim against the current at Beyt Dwarka. God bless him!

    All through school, Anil personified a clear set of values – what was right was right, and wrong was wrong. There were no grey areas in his dictionary. This may have led to some leadership challenges but he stood by his ideals, with out compromise. Tough, steadfast, and courageous against any odds.

    Not one who was scholastically inclined in his school years, he surprised many of us that he went on to study engineering, and ultimately run a robotics based production line as the production chief of his Ford Motor company plant in Canada, which he served till he retired.

    In his local community in Canada, he was the mover and shaker for sports – football, cricket, celebrating festivals with gusto and Sunday Bar-be-cues. His house an open serai for folks to drop in unannounced from India. In his early days, after his immigration to Canada, he played cricket for his state, and possibly would have played for Canada if there had been a national team then. (Our friend Vijay Kotecha would know more specific details on this one.)

    When we were together again in Delhi, later in March 2010, I discovered that he had become a devout follower of Pramukh Swami, He shared with me some spiritual connection stories which were surreal and wonderful for him and how this faith had held him optimistically through his struggle with cancer.

    All through his life’s journey his wife Nita has been his sheet-anchor. And, besides his buddies for whom he would do any thing, his two daughters have been his fountains of joy.

    I shall miss him greatly and the world is less for the absence of this indomitable spirit.

    Nita, my fondest hugs to Rushina, Ekta and you. We’ll treasure and celebrate Anil’s life and victories, always. And remember when you visit India that you all have a home in Delhi too.

    With warm thoughts & prayers for a peaceful passage of his soul.

    Himanshu Jani

  9. Thursday, 19th May, 2011.

    Dear RKCians,

    It is my painful duty to inform you, that Anil Patel, Head Boy Prep School, Head Boy Junior Wing and Head Boy of the School passed away yesterday in Canada. For me this is a very personal loss at a time when I myself am under medical att ention having had to be evacuated from the Himalaya to Gujarat.

    While I was aware of the fact that he had been suffering from cancer of the lower digestive tract and had in fact spoken to him on several occasions, I have still to come to terms with the loss. On the last occasion he had been in India, he and his cousin (brother) Ushakant had come and spent over a fortnight in November with me at my place in Vashishta. The memories of that visit are still fresh in my mind. The cousins were mulling with the idea of motoring across the high passes into Ladakh to Leh from where they would fly back to Delhi and Gujarat. The passes had been officially closed and no taxi was prepared to go to Leh since there would be no passengers back and should the first winter snow close the passes the vehicle would be stranded for the winter. So, we settled for a visit to Baralacha Pass and back. A nil insisted I join them on the venture though I was hesitant since I was finding it difficult to squat and go round bushes or rocks for essentials, but objections were overruled; a portable commode seat was acquired and a centrally heated car rented along with a open pick up to carry tents and kitchen paraphernalia along with my man Tikkam Ram to cook for us. “You took us, now it is our turn to take you” was Anil’s final say and so we set off rather early in the cold autumn morning to cross the Rohtang Pass.

    The weather was fine, and experience told me that it would remain so for a few more days. That evening we camped on the banks of the Chandra just across the Pass in Lahoul and close to a place we had camped on the very first occasion I had taken a small group of RKC boys with me. Ushakant had then been the youngest of the group. On that occasion there was no motor able road beyond Manali and we had to cross the snow clad Rohtang on foot, the boys carrying their personal kit. Memories were relived. The next day we continued further into Lahoul and beyond the capital Keylong up to the last settlement of Darcha on the Bhaga on the banks of which we pitched camp close to water and what seemed the place where the first morning sun would strike through a gap in the mountain wall across the valley. The night was extremely cold and everything had frozen outside; to our chagrin, the sun did not light our part of the valley floor because it rose just behind a peak that cast its shadow over us. Anyway, we finally got going in the heated car for the Baralacha Pass. Tikkam Ram was to stay behind and prepare for our arrival in the evening. The car was warm inside, the sun shone bright outside and so we set forth on what in hindsight was the stupidest venture of my life, but of that later.

    The weather was brilliant and as we proceeded further up the now totally uninhabited valley, the road surface deteriorated till we were moving across loose scree. I had come down this valley in the late August of 1979 after a survey of Blacknecked Crane nesting locations on the Ladakh plateau. I had a train of mules and a former Ladakhi guide who had been a porter on my first crossing of the Rohtang Pass. The mountain slopes, though bare then as now, had considerable green of grass and high mountain vegetation, were all red and orange with patches of last winter’s snow and fresh formed ice in shaded hollows and icicles draping the water falls higher up the slopes. In our heated car, we delighted in every turn admiring the great scenery till by late morning, we finally made it to the Baralacha Pass identified by a prominent sign on the side of the road, before us stretched a wide open valley which has three entrances to it , one to the valley we had come up along the Bhaga, the other to the east leading into the Chandra valley and to our left towards Ladakh into the Tsarap Chu valley. It was a wonderful view and we got out to bask in the sun and have the picnic lunch we had brought with us. Unlike on the Rohtang, there was no wind and it was marvelous to have made it despite all the contrary advice. But, just as we opened up the packed food a sudden gale hit us and blew everything up the road! Hastily we gathered whatever food we could and got back into the car. Just then a jeep taxi came up loaded with travelers to Ladakh. Apart waving to us, they did not stop, the driver shouting to say that they were in a hurry to get across the pass and down the other side as soon as possible. It was then that I realized it was time to start the return journey.

    Very soon, the winter sun began to cast long shad ows down the valley and I felt the urgency to be back among habitation before sunset. It suddenly dawned on me that we were in a very dangerous situation should the car develop a mechanical failure; just then another loaded jeep came up, the driver stopping just long enough to inquire about the earlier one. I kept the urgency of the situation to myself silently praying nothing would happen. Further down we met a small herd of yak with two sturdy herders. They were going up and informed us that they intended to camp just below the pass and cross over very early in the morning. One of the yaks was loaded with firewood from lower down the valley. I could not but envy them their self sufficiency; with each passing moment, each turn down a swish back we entered deeper shadows and I realized the danger of being held benighted……in my younger days, I would have started walking down but this would not have been possible while spending the night in the car would have been impossible considering we all were inadequately clothed. I kept the thoughts to myself and left our fate to God. Ushakant, Anil and the driver were all happily talking away while I was wondering when we would come to the stunted vegetation zone. It was still early afternoon, but the valley was in shadow. The first few habitations we passed were locked, the inhabitants having departed to their winter homes further down the valley, but if nothing else there was fuel stacked………. . My relief can be imagined when the car made a final curve and before us spread the upper Bhaga Valley and the settlement of Darcha, the sun was still shining up the Bhaga. The road surface improved and soon we were back in camp in time for tea just as the sun set behind the distant mountains to the south.

    Next morning I had decided to leave as early as possible to get across the Rohtang by lunch time. It was another fine day, but the night had been extremely cold as proved by the shallow river stretches frozen over and icicles several feet long handing from over hangs on the roadside. Unhappily as we entered Keylong, there was a police check post where we were stopped. The driver did not have his papers and this forced a couple of hours of anxious wait at the local police station. Finally, we were allowed to proceed and topped the Rohtang just as the sun was setting behind the 19600’ Hanuman Tibba. When we finally got to Marhi with its refreshment stalls, the last of the tourists were departing. While sipping hot coffee, Anil spoke up…….. ”However did we ever do all this on foot carrying our luggage!” adding, “What tremendous responsibility you took to make us men!” and he reached out to touch my hand as he saw tears in my eyes. “You all had been wonderful boys and I had confidence in your capabilities” I responded. “No Sir! We did all what we did because you had faith in us”. That and the great goodness of God to have protected us and I told them about the very dangerous situation we had been in the afternoon before.

    It was a great relief to be home in Vashishta in time for dinner. Anil promised he would come and spend more time with me in the years ahead, but it was not be. I have lost an inspiration which in my formative years as a Master at the RKC had helped in defining my attitudes. Shortly after I received news of his passing, I had another phone call from Vashishta telling me that another group of youngsters had reached over 13000’ despite deep soft snow up the Bhrigu mountain and that they were all back safely in camp with a massive late evening storm building up. The tradition was still alive!

    Despite the torpor induced by heavy medication I just had to compel myself to write these last memories of a fiercely loyal boy who loved his School and those of us who were privileged to be his mentors. In my understanding of things, his Atman has merged with the cosmic flow and so we do not have to pray for his peace, but contemplate what he had been in life. A part of my life has been blown out and the loss is great. Let all those who knew him send in memories of him so that we all can celebrate reliving a life well lived.

    Lavkumar Khachar.

  10. Himanshu, A heartfelt and touching brief of how large he and some of you close to him lived those days of growing up in Rajkot and elsewhere. By sharing your fondest memories you have included us in Anil’s “Open Sarai” as you described below. I can only wish that I had a chance to meet this man. We, RKC Alumni, join you and others in sharing the grief with Nitaben at this difficult time.

    His goodwill and heart of gold is a treasure. I know that will give you (Nitaben) and kids strength to cherish his memories. We share your loss and are saddened to hear the news.

    Haresh Kaneriya

  11. My heartfelt condolences on sudden and untimely demise of Anil Patel who was Headboy in 1966-67, in my time. I still remember his leadership and guidance to us all at that time.

    Pray to Lord Almighty that his soul may rest in Peace and give strength to his family members to bear the loss.

    Nalin Makecha
    1958 to 1967

  12. Quite unreal – for we were together with Ushakant, Himanshu and Nita just last year at my place. Anil was in his element brimming with confidence and talking about his future plans of spending more time in India – at the house they had acquired near Baroda.

    At RKC, I remember him as a bundle of energy darting around all over the playing fields – be it in football, hockey, cricket, swimming, gymnastics, athletics, PT, NCC – you name it and he was there – single-handedly carrying Macnaughten House to dominance and glory in the 60’s.

    He was fortunate to have been ‘adopted’ by Mr.Lavkumar which rounded of the rough edges and helped him in maturing into a fine human being and leader – culminating in his becoming the first ‘Patel’ Headboy at RKC. With effortless ease he was able to surpass the high standards set by his illustrious brothers – Kumar and Ushakant.

    Isn’t it a shame and a warped sense of divine justice that he has been snatched away from us so early in life?

    A final salute to this great fighter from me – and a warm hug particularly to dear Nita, Kumar and Ushakant and heartfelt condolences to the larger family.

    Vijay Kaul
    1954 to 1964

  13. Extremely grieved to learn of the sad passing away of Anil Patel, Head Boy, 1966-67, on 18 May 2011. I was fortunate to be able to meet him and Nita, his wife, a year and a half ago in December 2009 at Vidyanagar when Himanshu Jani and I had gone to see him. We spent a very enjoyable evening together and though ill Anil was in good spirits. I had hoped to meet him again in December 2010 but he did not come I believe.

    All deaths leave empty spaces in the lives of the near and the dear ones. Anil’s demise too will affect his family, his friends and all those who knew him similarly. He was an outstanding sportsman and a good soul. May God rest his soul in peace and give his family strength and fortitude to bear the loss. We your 1967 batch classmates will miss you Anil.

    Farook Salat

  14. I was not lucky to be around such talented bunch of RKCian’s in the 1960 as I was born in
    1961. Though I have heard many stories from Vijay Kaul, Himanshu and others about how daring
    and a bundle of talent Anil Patel was in RKC. I had the honour of meeting this great man at
    Himanshu’s place.

    May god rest his soul in peace and give the Family courage to bear these difficult times.

    Tushar Patel
    1972 to 1980

  15. Namaste,

    I was indeed shocked to hear the sad demise of Anil Patel and my heart felt condolences to his family.

    Anil as I remember him was an outstanding person and one of the best HEAD Boys we ever had.He was dedicated sincere and had passion in whatever games he played in School.

    He was a true leader and as the Captain of RKC Cricket XI which won the Hill Shield he would encourage every member of the team to give 100%.When we played the finals as I was one of the member of the team I could see he had passion and determination in his eyes that this Shield we are going to win.We finally did win.

    In the finals as I remember he would make a run where it was not there or if one run was available he made sure that we got two.To tell you the truth even the present IPL teams would have been proud to see him play.

    In Football when RKC played with Sainik School Balachadi he was at his devastating best.He would just tell outside right or outside left to centre the ball near the goal and leave the rest to him. Somehow he had the ability to be in the right spot to score a goal.

    The Patel brothers Ushakant, Kumar and Anil were all in Macnaughton and while they played Mayne House had practical no chance.I am still wondering how the brothers were in the same House as it was a practice that brothers would be in different ones.

    I salute Anil Patel who really was an idol for all the students during his time.

    I pray to God that his Soul rests in peace and give strength to his family to overcome this great loss.

    Yogesh Ashar

  16. In Memoriam: Anil Patel

    A loss in our family, of the one who accomplished a lot under your tutelage, but a life fully lived to be proud of.

    Inspiration was at the centre of it all: I saw part one of this first hand when Kumar (and Anil?) joined RKC with me in 1958. Cousin Ushakant was your target of all things tough with exercising seemingly mindlessly and of course the cold water escapades of which I used to hear about. Kumar soon followed the same inspirational model. Anil showed more than promise of leadership right there in Juniors and rest was a history. Or was it just that? Far from it; our hero, a sportsman inspired by non other than the Saheb would crosseth that inspiration in leadership to academics progressively in life commanding respect all over.

    Inspiration Runeth and Crosseth to things unrelated.

    After RKC, I met Anil at a convention of the Kadva Patel of Saurashtra in Toronto some 8-10 years ago. Apparently he was right in the main circle being friendly to the organising committee members.

    As for inspirationals: my children were inspired by Kumar a on family visit to his house in New Jersey more than decade age. After watching a game Kumar said that we should all go for walk and walk we did; he seemed like fish out of water missing exercise.

    Arvind M. Patel, MD

  17. My condolences to Anil’s family.

    Anil was gifted in sports and was consistently selected to play cricket, field hockey, football and so on and also he was the Table Tennis champion in our academic year of 1962/1963 and I was the losing finalist. This was in our Junior Wing.

    I think I would be right that Anil was an all rounder in terms of his skills in all the sports.

    He was a head boy both In the Junior Wings (1962/1963) and Senior Wing (1966/1967) and this was quite unusual. He must have evidenced strong abilities as a leader to be so appointed.

    A prayer:

    “Jai Swamnarayan

    Pramukh Swami nay charanoma pranam annay Namaskar

    Paramatma mara mitra ( = friend ) Anil Patel na Atmane Shanti Saachi Aaapjo ”

    O Universal God give my friend Anil Patel’s soul true peace.

    Mahendra Manek

  18. The sad passing away of Anil Patel has been a shock – even to those of us who were very much junior to him.

    Anil has left many indelible memories. Both Anil and elder brother Kumar were hero-worshipped by us all in the junior wing for they excelled at any sport you could care to name whether it be Cricket, Football, Hockey, Athletics or Gymnastics, or any other co-curricular activity for that matter such as the NCC, Annual Camps, Tattoo, etc. Certainly, Anil and Kumar were heroes for the Macnaughtan House for they kept the House flag flying! But no, seriously, they actually kept the RKC flag flying against all the other Schools, particularly in Cricket where we went on to win the Hill Shield Trophy.

    Anil then of course also went on to become one of our finest Head Boys.

    We will miss Anil but he leaves behind memories that will remain with us for forever. Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Patel family at this very sad time.

    We pray that the Almighty may rest the departed’s soul in eternal peace and give family members the strength to bear this very tragic loss.

    Jay Shree Krishna

    Pradeep Popat
    1964 – 1970

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