The Journey of Piara Lal Qusba

On Tuesday, July10, in St. Vincent Funeral Home, in Canton, Ct. some fifty people sat listening to the religious incantations of a Hindu priest for the funeral of Piara Lal Qusba, who passed away on July7, at John Dempsey Hospital, in Farmington, Ct.

Relatives and friends were deeply saddened as Piara Lal was only 71. Before the funeral ceremonies started, his wife Asha, gave us an account of his last few hours. When the attending doctor, sensing the nearness of his end, asked him what he wanted, Piara Lal asked to see his wife Asha, son Sandeep, and his two granddaughters Aryanna and Cereese. When a little later he was again asked what else he wanted he asked for morphine.

Sandeep, Piara Lal’s only child, read a very eloquent and passionate tribute to his father. He called to attention his father’s bright mind and his high passion.  “He was the most passionate man I have ever met.” He also mentioned his father’s close ties with his family.

As the religious incantations filled the funeral hall, which most of the people present did not understand, their thoughts wafted over to Piara Lal’s life that they knew. They remembered his coming to this country around late 60’s. Then they remembered him managing KOA camps in mid-1990’s. He was the one who discovered Moodus, Ct. campsite which became the most popular 4th Of July East Coast campsite. People also remembered Piara Lal’s Sharda Foundation, set up to provide computer technology to refugee children in Jammu & Kashmir.

As the crescendo of the ceremonies climaxed, people went around the bier sprinkling flowers on his body, some touching his feet, Sandeep must have kissed his father a hundred times. The estimation of the intensity of his grief was excruciating. Asha stood close to the bier. Afterword, the bier was lifted by a dozen people and moved outside the funeral home, and after 300 yards of journey was brought to the basement level of the funeral home, where its crematory facilities are located. . All the people followed the bier. Emotions hit the peak for many people at this point. Sandeep looked very shaken and hurt. His wife Dawn tried to comfort him. Finally, Piara Lal’s body joined the eternal body of the cosmos.

Piara Lal was born on April 26, 1941 in Kashmir, India, son of the late Amar Nath and Indirawati Qasba.  He lived in Avon, Ct. prior to moving to Ellington 10 years ago. Piara was a graduate of Clausthal University of Technology in Germany, graduating with a degree in Metallurgy in 1966.  He also attended Columbia University where he received a Master’s of Science in 1971. Piara was a Senior Metallurgical Engineer at United Technologies prior to his retirement in 2001.


Maharaj Kaul

July 11, 2012



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