Monday, July 25, 2016

Adieu RP Katyal!

Commander Ravinder Pal Katyal, all of 60 yrs, had complained of breathlessness and was rushed to the Kailash Hospital at NOIDA, New Delhi. He didn't exhibit his vintage stamina and passed into the mist of time early morning today.

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I'd seen him first during the spring term '74 when he joined the Hunter Squadron as an eager first termer(I was a third termer, then). He was from Sainik School, Kunjpura. A few stories come readily to my mind about his initial days:-

   - He hailed from Samargopalpur which he used to pronounce as 'Summergopalpur' prompting
      the guys that he'd nowhere to go during winters and hence he was invited as a guest to everyone's
      house, irrespective of term and seniority.

   - He'd endeared himself to all of us with his simplicity and the usual pronunciations that the
     people from his neck-of-the-woods were trolled in the Academy for viz. 'Goat it or note'(Got it or
     not)', Pope Music'(Pop music).

   - Our drill instructor, a Gorkhali, Gurung saab used to call him 'Katel' and we used to say that he
      was a Patel from Karnal!

   - He was good at outdoors despite him being a chain smoker! His stick work on the hockey fields
     was a treat to watch.

   - Academics was his Waterloo and he lost a term because of his poor performance.

He got married to Alka in '83, a lovely, caring person and they sired two children - a boy and a girl. He lost Alka to cancer ten years ago and as a single parent, took on the task of seeing his children settle down in their lives! The young man, Akshit is flying Dorniers for the Coast Guard while the young lady, Divya is currently awaiting an appointment.

I'd seen him on and off while in the Indian Navy and he used to make it a point to spend time with me for 'old times' sake'......... A wonderful person, a fantastic human being and a great friend!

RIP, Ravinder Pal Katyal. My salute, tears and prayers! Here's wishing that your children have the strength to pass through these stressful times.


How can I forget those wonderful times that I've spent with you, Katyal?


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