Kids on Sunil Uncle

 Sunil Uncle, the nicest person.
The only person who plays board games.
The games he plays is snakes and ladders,
The only game I love.
Sunil Uncle, the best person
In the world.

- Ragya Kaul (9 years)





 Sunil Uncle he was

The best person he

Played the funniest games

Like snakes and ladders

The games I loved

Oh Sunil Uncle I

Love you.

He did the best card tricks and

Could make pennys

Disappear under napkins.

He sang the best songs to me all the


Sunil Uncle I

You so so much

 - Arzu Mannan (8 years) 


Sunil uncle was so good with kids. He would go out of his way in our parties and get togethers to spend time with the kids. Showing some card tricks and magic, he would entertain all kids, young and old. He encouraged me to play bridge and even taught me some special points that have helped my game. We will miss him.

- Arjun Dhir (12 years)


It was amazing that Sunil uncle could go through so many hardships and still have the will to live. Despite all of the health problems that he faced, he never backed down and kept living when the doctors had given up. I remember meeting him some time ago when he had surgery and they removed his voice box. They had a hole made in his neck, and because of this he could no longer talk. When you lose something you’ve been able to do your whole life, something you have always taken for granted, the sudden loss of it can bring about an immense feeling of hopelessness. Yet, I never saw any of this hopelessness in Sunil uncle. When I visited him, he was smiling and playing cards as if nothing had happened. He taught me magic tricks that day without speaking and very soon we were both putting up a show for everyone else who walked in.

Perhaps something even more amazing is the way Rita auntie and the whole Kapahi family managed throughout Sunil uncle’s health issues. It takes nothing short of a miracle to find someone like Rita auntie; working and taking care of her husband, house, and children at the same time. Very few people would show that much devotion to someone else, and so it is truly a miracle when we find someone with that kind of compassion and resolve.

I’d like to offer my deepest condolences to the Kapahi family. But I’d also like to point out that Sunil uncle should be remembered as a man brave enough and determined enough to live on in the face of supposedly impossible situations. He should be remembered as a kind and caring man who wasn’t afraid to prove the doctors or anyone else wrong. 

- Gautam Narula (14 years)


Earlier this month, I was devastated to find out about the loss of our friend, Sunil Uncle. Although losing him was a terrible thing and I will never be able to laugh with my Sunil Uncle again, I find myself smiling and laughing out when I remember all of the wonderful times we had together. I have known Sunil Uncle for a long time. I fondly remember all of us getting together and listening to his jokes and learning wonderful card games and magic tricks. In the beginning, he was just a friend of my parents, and it was not until later that he became one of my dearest friends.

A few years ago, Sunil Uncle came to our house to tell us that he had been diagnosed with throat cancer and that he was losing his voice. At the time, I could not fathom what it would be like not to hear Sunil Uncle’s voice again, telling us all crazy jokes. Ironically, we had some of our best conversations after his operation. It was then I truly understood Sunil Uncle. I found that he was an optimistic, fun-loving person who made everyone forget his or her own problems, although he was obviously going through a lot of his own.

This week has been hard for many of us, especially those that were close to him. Nevertheless, I want all of us to remember that Sunil Uncle was the best friend a person could have and we should celebrate the fact that we were able to spend so much time with him. It is the wonderful memories of the times we had and the knowledge that he is in a better place that console me. I will never ever forget Sunil Uncle. May God bless his soul.

- Nupur Gupta (15 years)


The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think, say, or do. It will make or break a company, a church, a home... I am more convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you - we are in charge of our attitudes.
- Charles Swindoll

Strength. When you think about it, what comes to mind? Is it the heavyweight boxing champion who can crush another man with his bare hands? Is it the body-conscious college students who spend hours in the gym, whose main goals are adding another weight to the bench press bar? Is it the movers who can effortlessly toss your mahogany bed stand into the truck without breaking a sweat? Or is it an inner essence that cannot be seen, yet contains a tangible quality that is equally, if not more, empowering than the brawn described above?


To me, the true value of strength is defined from power within which shapes our emotional strength and attitudes, and it is a quality that Sunil uncle, as well as the entire Kapahi family, exhibited timelessly. I have known the family since I was very young, and even as uncle’s physical strength deteriorated, I rarely saw it reflected in his personality or attitude. Furthermore, I saw and appreciated the true value of courage within the entire family through Rita aunty, Vineeta, and Sunita’s support.


Sunil uncle should not be remembered as a man who lost a battle, but instead as someone who conquered the self-actualizing concept of strength. His story shows how little the physical realm of substance matters. As a man who, directly after surgery, was teaching my siblings magic tricks without the ability to even speak, Sunil uncle only exemplifies the words of Charles Swindoll: we are in charge of our attitudes, and it makes all the difference.


- Nishita Narula


Continue reading page 3 of this month’s Up Close and Personal
featuring more tributes to Sunil Kapahi -->

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