Our dear friend and mentor, H.K. “Kavi” Singh passed away on 22 February, 2016, after a brief illness. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Mussoorie Writers Mountain Festival and attended every one of these events, as an active participant.
Kavi was a loyal member of Woodstock School’s class of 1947. He and Devika were Woodstock parents and their children, Simran and Harbir also graduated from the school. As a young man, straight out of St. Stephen’s College, Kavi took a course in mountaineering at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling and boasted that his instructors were Tenzing Norgay and Nawang Gombu, “the first man to climb Everest and the first man to climb it twice.” An advertising executive, golfer, photographer and connoisseur of good scotch, Kavi loved music, art and books. After retirement, he took up teaching at the Mirambika School in Delhi, where he was affectionately known by his students as “Kavi Bhaiya.”
He taught literature and writing with passion and sensitivity, encouraging students to appreciate the English language and its legacy in India. Equally committed to the study of Urdu and Sanskrit, Kavi believed in a pluralistic world of liberal, secular values and global citizenship.
Mussoorie is a place that Kavi loved and we will miss his presence on the hillside, remembering the wonderful pictures he took of these mountains and the many stories he told from a full, compassionate and varied life.