Wg Cdr Vasant S Samsi – RIP Dear Friend



Sam passed away last evening, 14 Feb 16. He had been been having problems for the last few weeks and was at home with his family when he moved on in his sleep.

What does one say about one’s oldest friend, a squadron and course mate, at a time like this? It’s difficult to find words through the sorrow. A simple person, family man and a friend to all. In fact my yard stick to judge another was his relationship with Sam. If a guy had problems with Sam, he was not worth knowing.

Our Sam was a cool cat. So cool that often he made you pull your hair out. Then when you were at your wits end, that smile would melt you. An avid sportsman, we played together from our cadet days and then with each other in squadron teams and sometimes against each other when we were in sister squadrons. Never giving away an inch, yet knowing that he was the truest sportsman you could meet. One of our last meetings was when he came visiting us in Pune and we played golf together.

Weeks before the war broke out in ’71, Sam did what I think was the bravest act of his career. He stood up like a man to the flight commander, a man who was ruining the squadron. Sam had the guts to talk it over with the Boss. Though he later said, for a moment he thought the Boss was about to blast him, he heard him out. The flight commander was sent packing and the squadron became a close knit unit again and performed its task most creditably. It needed that one man to stand up – Sam was that man!

To Sheila, Rahul, Chaitali and Guru, our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences.

Rest in peace Sam, your work in this world is done, and you did a very good job of it. We are the richer for having known you.


20 Responses to Wg Cdr Vasant S Samsi – RIP Dear Friend

  1. Anil Chaudhari says:

    Came to know today about passing away of Sam sir, he was a good man a wonderful senior and a family person. May Creator of All That Is give him a good life ahead. To his family I would like to say that he misses you as much as you do and remembers everything in fifth plane of existence this being the third. May Creator of All That Is give you great strength to bear this loss

  2. Suhasini says:

    Dear Sam,
    How could you leave us without informing us?
    It’s not fair sam. I am coming to India on Jan 26th 2017.. I am planning to meet you after 12 years. Since I don’t have your latest mobile number I started googling by your name. Then what happened. I found you there but how.
    I saw a RIP word . Just imagine. How big shocking news it is to me. I have a pLan to meet you and you left far away.
    Not fair Sam. I came to know this after one year. I did not expect this from you.How could you do this man?
    I am sorry. I donno. I have no words to say except a lot of pain in my heart.
    Though I just worked for 2 years under you we maintained a very good friendship for more than 10 years. I never seen a boss like you, a human like you, a friend like you so far in my life. Since I moved to abroad we lost touch.
    We could not meet in my last two visits. This time I am very serious to meet you.
    But finally what did you do Sam. RIP news?
    I don’t say that I MISS YOU. You and your cute SMILE are still there for me.
    C U Friend.

    • Dara says:

      I feel every word you write. I am sending this to his wife, who was with us in Pune last week. I am sure it will mean a lot to her.


      • Suhasini says:

        Thanks a lot Dara jee. May I know where his family is living and if possible Sheela’s phone number? I will be thankful to you forever for at least to know this news thru this website.

  3. batrasc says:

    Will miss ever smiling Samsi. Rest in Peace.. Pray Sheila and family have strength to fill the void created by his departure.

  4. Dara says:

    Received on email from Capt JP Singh:

    Dear Dara Sir
    My only regret remains I was unable to meet Sam sir ! One of the noble souls that tread this earth and flew its skies ✈️ RIP Sam sir and God give Sheela the strength to bear the loss .


  5. Ravi Burli says:

    Shocking news! More because between 1979, when we first came to know Sam in 10 Sqn and just a while ago in 2014, when I hung up uniform at AFA Hyderabad, there was so little change in him that it could easily be lost in the fog of perception. The same build, same demeanor, same sashaying walk, same couple of top buttons of his shirt undone and above all the same ebullient friendliness that was one of the several keys to our assimilation as rank rookies into the sqn family.

    With his uncanny ability to live a separate, an almost matrix-esque life, within the professional domain and outside of it, for us he was a senior to really look up to. The one inside was characterized by a cool and nurturing level headedness and an uncompromising perspective for man, machine and mission. The one outside, by an almost childlike passion for togetherness, sports and fun.

    We the voracious appetite walas never felt unwelcome at Sheila and Sam’s home at any time, day or night and it was a big thing for us in those days. If there was a post midnight beeline by the young brigade, between the OM Bar and Kashmiri dhaba, it would be unusual not to have him / them with us.

    An enduring image of the soccer field is that of Sam running the ball full tilt on the right flank followed by sizzlingly accurate crosses that one of us usually ended up botching at the goal mouth. Then there was squash, field hockey, cricket. He tried his hand at everything. He was everywhere. A master at snooker, the play balls close to Sam mysteriously kept changing colours! Even the entertainment program we put up for the squadron mela had some valuable tips and inputs from him. He was always around coaxing, encouraging. His repertoire for fun was enviably vast and varied.

    In later life I had the good fortune of meeting Sam on several occasions in Bombay, Jodhpur, Bangalore and Hyderabad. We played golf several times, and once even in AFA when our Veterans came over for a round, one Sunday. It was always fun with him around. One thing is for sure, wherever he is, is a brighter place than before.

    Rest in peace Dear Sam. Heartfelt condolences to Sheila, Rahul, his family and all their near and dear with prayers willing them strength to bear the immense loss of his passing on.

    In grief,
    Ravi Burli

  6. Atul Trivedi says:

    Rest in Peace Sam Sir.

  7. Great tribute by you. Amazing words : If you didn’t get along with Sam, you were no good. Well said, that about sums it up for me, one who didn’t know him.

  8. kpsusha says:

    Dear Dara, Just spoke to Sheela and am doubly sad to hear that they were here in Bangalore all this while with Rahul at Yelahanka. Sheela informed me that as per Sam’s wishes his body has been donated to Ramiah Hospital for medical research. How sad that I could not meet him. I wish I had known. Farewell to a dear friend and a wonderful human being.

  9. menonckk says:

    Sam was a thorough gentleman, always affable and most helpful, without ever being pushy. It was a privilege having served with him as a squadron mate. My condolences to Sheila and her family.

  10. Dara Sir,

    I could relate to every word you wrote. Thank you for sharing your loss and grief.

    This one hit close. I have fond memories of Samsi and Sheila, What wornderful hosts! As a bachelor, I remember once arm twisting Samsi to get Sheila to make Halwa Puri for us when we went out for the ritual range firing. It was delicious, and there was so much!

    Our life paths never meandered close after I left the Air Force, but I never imagined I wouldn’t get to meet him again,,, one day. If there is an after life, I hope our celestial trajectories cross. Kind, gentle and sporty, he was so full of life, maybe I will see him surfing a gravitational wave up there with his unforgettable broad grin.


  11. T Venkatesan says:

    Sam was a genuinely large hearted and a gregarious person and it was hard not to like him. From my first meeting whilst he was in 31 Sqn till the last meeting on 26 Jan this year, at a hospital in Bangalore, he remained the same person, true to his word. His infectious laughter still rings in my ears. Through Air Force years and beyond, he made it a point to inquire about my welfare.

    Farewell Sam Sir, Rest in Peace…..Heartfelt condolences to Shiela, Rahul and Chaitaly.

    Shiela can be contacted on her Bangalore landline number

  12. Dara says:

    On email:

    I am reminded of the 70’s in Ambala . Samsi would walk over & demand Dosas . He was always smiling , gentle & such a kind hearted soul .
    Meeting him in Bangalore for the Marut get together , refreshed all our good times of yesteryears .
    May his soul rest in peace . I pray for the family to have courage & acceptance of the inevitable .

    Mangala Ayre

  13. Dara says:

    On email from another course mate

    Yes. Another good man down. R I P

    Gp Capt Hemu Sardesai

  14. Dara says:

    On email:
    How Sad
    May his soul rest in peace

    Capt RS Shekhawat

  15. kpsusha says:

    Very sad and sorry to hear of Sam’s passing away. All so sudden. A great friend and erstwhile squadron-mate we will miss him immensely. Dara please pass on Sheela’s mobile No. to us. In grief. KPS and Susha

  16. Rai Ajai Kumar says:

    Dear Sam
    We will miss you. Every word Dara has written is true. If one could not get along with Sam, he was not worth knowing.
    God bless Sheila and family and give strength to bear the great loss.

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