We were informed by Yamonee that Gupta (formerly of Rose Hall Town) has passed away. We are still awaiting funeral arrangements.
Our sympathies to Ahilya and rest of the family on their loss. May the memories of the life he lived and those whose lives he touched bring comfort at this time of your loss and grieving.
Very early in the morning of New Year’s Day I received an email from Yamonee. She informed me that Gupta Latchman had passed away. Gupta and I started out high school in September 1966 and we were always in the same Form until the end of the fourth year. He was smart, high-spirited, and took a keen interest in world events. He was the first person from our Class to earn a Bachelor’s as well as a Master’s degree (in Computer Science). In Form 1B Gupta and I with support of Ms. Vidya Budhram, our French Mistress, formed a Class Library and everyone in 1B was required to donate at least one book. To this day I recall how diligent everyone was to discharge his / her obligation. One boy from Black Bush Polder donated a book called “Facts about Germany”. The library, with a lending stock of about 60 books, was a success while it lasted. In Second Form our English Master was Mr. Oscar Moti (the late). Mr. Moti arranged a class debate on the topic: Town life is better than country life. The debate was held in the upper Auditorium. Gupta was on the proposing team and I was opposing. One of the points argued by Gupta was that most of the time people in the country don’t have much to do except to “beat around the bush”. One of the points I made was that if country farmers didn’t grow crops Messrs. Sandbach Parker and Booker McConnell in Georgetown would have no one to buy their tractors and combine harvesters. I don’t recall who the judges were and what their decision was. I also remember Gupta being randomly chosen by our Latin Master Mr. Paris Singh to render a Latin passage into English. The passage was about Caesar’s legion being ambushed along a mountain pass in Gaul (France). Gupta started off boldly with “ and the Gauls rolled stones …” Raymon Gafur chimed in “ on top Gupta’s head.” In Form 3B America’s quest to put a man on the moon was the hot topic. We had very strict prefects so during recess a bunch of us would leave the classroom and head to the grassy knoll under the shade of the ole man beard tree near the flower garden. There we discussed world events and proposed solutions for all known problems besetting mankind. The school bell would put an end to our polemics. During the long holidays at the end of Form 4A, Gupta visited me at home. It was the first time I was seeing a classmate in long pants. He told me that he and his family were migrating shortly to the USA and that he will stay in touch with me. When he took his leave of me we both knew that it was the end of an era. We did exchange a few letters during 1968, but that was it. Form 5A was not the same without Gupta being around. The next time I saw Gupta was in 1976. I was working as an audit junior at Pannell Fitzpatrick & Co in Georgetown. One Friday morning when I arrived at work there was Gupta sitting in the lounge waiting for me. The events of that weekend are the subject of an article to be included in the JC Centenary Book which our younger grads are putting together. Gupta had finished college and was taking a short break before commencing graduate school. In 2006 I was in NYC and I visited Gupta at his home. He was happy to see me. I was one of the few persons he remembered from Corentyne High School. We talked about quantum computers and about our big reunion in Toronto which was only months away. It was the last time I will see Gupta.
Last year one of our grads started a discussion in our Facebook group “JC Memories”. She wanted folks to share their high school memories. Here is one of my contributions:
This happened when I was in Form 4A. In front of Apollo cinema there used to be two guys operating gambling boards. My best friend Gupta Lachman (from Rose Hall, not far from where JC used to live) and I used to hang out by the gambling boards on our way home from school in the afternoons. The boards were very colorful, as were the characters running the boards. These guys had flair. The way they shook the cup and rolled the dice and saying funny things. Gupta and I came up with a grand idea later that week. If we wagered a penny and won big we could feed beggars with the winnings. So the next day after school we browsed the posters in front Apollo cinema as usual and then we went closer to where the gambling was going on. After about ten minutes of observing the roll of the dice, we decided to put our penny on the board in a circle named “Raam aur Shyam”. Needless to say we lost our money. On our way home Gupta said, with the wisdom of hindsight, we should have placed our penny on “Toofan aur Bijilee”.
I don’t remember the full detail but one of our teachers accused me of something in class and Gupta came to my rescue. Because of that the boys started teasing him mercilessly. After their teasing, he wouldn’t speak to me unless absolutely necessary. Rest in peace, my Form 2B “knight in shining armour”
Vedica – Class of 1971
I want to thank you Rishi for keeping us informed on our youthful experiences and some fine folks who made them very memorable. Gupta was one of those guys. he got me hooked on jazz music. we used to exchange news on the music, because we both listened to the radio while doing homework. he was such a cheerful guy, my condolences to the family.
Lomas Sharma – Class of 1971
I am so sorry to hear about our classmate Gupta’s passing. My condolences to the family.RIP.
Patsy – Class of 1971
Although we are cousins, I barely knew them but I always remember my dad speaking glowingly and proudly of Ahilia’s achievements!
Rishi, Friendships are always to be treasured. Let the memories last as long as they may. May his soul rest in peace.
Thanks, Rishi, for the kind words about of my cousin, Gupta. In fact, it sounds almost like an epitaph of a truly wonderful person and an exceptional scholar. Yes, Gupta was everything you said about him. May his soul rest in peace.
So sad. I didn’t know him but I know his sisters, Ahilia, who was in 5A while I was in 5C, and Tara. I’ve also met his brother, Rohan…a fine family of brilliant siblings. My sincere condolences to all his family members. May he Rest In Peace.
Sad to hear of Gupta passing.
Basil – Class of 1971
May his soul rest in peace.
Ms. Iola Kyte – Class of 1971
Corentyne High School seems to have been a lively place. Rest in Peace, Gupta.
Sarah – Bishop’s High School
Rishi, what great memories you have of Gupta (my first cousin).
My sympathies to the family. RIP Gupta.
Cliff – Corentyne High School
Condolences to you and the family. May his soul R.I.P
Shabnam – United Arab Emirates
Sincere condolences to the entire family…awesome memories to cherish.
My condolences to you Rishi…Sad to loose a friend . May his soul rest in peace . RIP .
Jane – Lillestrøm, Norway
Whilst extending my condolences, I can’t help but applaud you on your whimsical memories of your classmate…very poignant and beautiful. We can all relate to those days when our class mates left during our school years…the void that’s felt and endured.
My condolences to Gupta’s family and friends.
Our condolences to Ahailia, Tara, Rohan, Indi and the rest of the family. We lived in the same street as Chandisingh, Bronco, the lemonade factory etc. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to you Rishi. We recently talked about him.
My condolences to Mr. Gupta’s loved ones. I love the way you expressed your recollections of your dear friendship. I suspect the Ramon Gafur mentioned is my uncle…
I have the honour and pleasure of teaching Gupta History and Geography in 1st and 2nd Form and History in 3rd Form. Gupta and Rishi were exceptionally “brilliant” students, so much so, that I had to re-read their exams papers to determine who was “First or Second”. Their written answers to the History & Geography questions during midterm and year end exams were almost identical, but then they were not seated next to each other.
The fact was that they absolutely mastered my lecture during class due to their excellent listening skills and their diligent efforts to excel and be effectively efficient. Gupta and Rishi usually complimented each other as to who was number one in my History and Geography class, including Deborah Ann Mallay and john Narine.
I met Gupta’s sister, Ahilya, at a recent Corentyne High School reunion at Leonards in Long Island. Idid inquire about Gupta and was told that Gupta was at home, in Jamaica, Queens, doing what he liked best. Gupta was a very mannerly, polite, respectful CHS student and was always gratefully appreciative of his classmates and his teachers with a gentle smile.
Gupta is in Heaven with his Creator. On behalf of my family and myself, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to Ahilya and her family for their great loss.
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