Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Engagement Congratulations for Jas and Devani

Engagement Congratulations for

Jas and Devani

Engagement Congratulations for Jas and Devani

Congratulations!!!  This is wonderful news.  You must be ecstatic, one wedding this year and one next year.  It's a day we all look forward to as parents.  You must be so proud of your children.  You and Pa ji have done a wonderful job on raising them.  Devani sounds like a very intelligent and smart young lady.  We couldn't be happier for Jas.  We hope we can attend the wedding next year.  I am sure you are busy with wedding preparations for Natasha.  Just think by next year you will be a pro at planning weddings :)  Please give my regards to Pa ji. love, Cousin Navi from Phoenix Arizona

And congratulations to you and Mr. Tejendersingh. Regards to ALL FAMILIES MEMBERS.MUKESH & PARUL
Hi Vatsala, 

Many many congratulations to both of you. Devi from Dubai with lots of love

Congratulations to them both! A lovely couple, please give them our love. We are so looking forward to Natisha's wedding, I am sure it will be beautiful!
Much love to you all,
Laurie from Dublin

From Pam Kaur in USA, Hallo Vatsala I m so happy about jas &dewani  congratulations  u going to SAS now congratulations

Good News passed it on to the kids. Hope preps are on track Regards Lakh V

Dear Vatsala, How very happy you must be at this wonderful news.  Please give our ‘Congratulations’ to both Jas and Devani..  Tell Jas I love the location where he proposed. How very exciting all this must be for you and all the family. Very Best Wishes and Love  Sonita, and Family  x

Dear Jas and Devani, Wishing you a fantastic time during your engagement to wedding.
God bless, love Inge.

Dear Jas and Devani,
We are thrilled to hear that you are engaged to be married. This is awesome news. My family and I extend our congratulations and best wishes to both of you for a life full of love and happiness your loving future together.
From: Leroy III, Peggy, and Leroy IV

Daer Devani and Jas,
Many congratulations to you both with love and hugs, love Madeleine

 Hi Vatsala Foi, 
Wow, such fantastic news! Please pass on our congratulation to the both of them. 
We're looking forward to seeing you all in August for Natisha's big day-Milli is really excited! 
Lots of love and best wishes,
Nisha & Peter xx

Dear Vatsala,
Thank you Vatsala, My congratulations to Jas and Devani.  I am very happy for all of you.
All the best for the lovely couple. I wish them happiness and lots of love.
You are a Lucky mother and mother in law!
I bet next years to come will be very active you. Hugs. Sylviane

Your son Jas is getting engaged, allow me then to send our warmest congratulations and best wishes for a bright future.  Love Karla

Congrats to Jas and Devani.
Such wonderful news.
Hope all is well and looking forward to seeing you all soon.
Best wishes.
Punam and family  x

What wonderful news!
Dear Vatsala, Really happy to hear about Jas and Devani! Congratulations to you all and please pass on our best regards to them. Looking forward to catching up in August!  Best wishes, Ami & Anoop.

Dear Vatsalaben and Family,
"Congratulation" to Jas and all of you. We are very delighted to hear this good news. 
We believe you must be busy preparing for Natisha's wedding. If there is any help you need please let us know. 
Best wishes and Love
Sharmishtha bhabhi and Arunbhai. xxx

Dear Vatsala and Jas and family. 
That's fantastic news.... Many congratulations! Devani  is a lovely  girl and they make a great couple. We look forward  to their celebrations too.  Love Vandana  xxx

Hi Vatsala
Thank you for the update, hope you are all keeping well!
Congratulations to Jas and Devani and to you proud parents of the happy couple! It is always good to hear such excellent news. We wish them all the best....always!
Lots of love Pappi, Kuku and Chachiji, xxx

Hi Vatsala,   .
Thank you for letting us know the great news – it all sounds wonderful! Congratulations to you, Jinder and the family– please pass these onto Jas and Devani too!  Best wishes  Iqubal, Sheila and Nathan. from Birmingham

My dearest Vatsala - how wonderful is that! Jas and Devani form such a wonderful perfect couple and we are so happy for you all - this is the best news. Happiness - lots of love from Anna from Geneva

Dear vatsalaben you have nice basket of happiness and sharing with us. If you people are in india i do come and wish you all. But anyways my feelings ever remains and from hrt i wish tear never be in you people eye and smile never be go from lips. I wish in near future will meet one day. My son verdant now in tenth as it is state board and exam would be over in next march. Afterward probably plan to visit Singapore and bangkok and thailand. May be in next year then if all things remains in favour will visit Geneva meet you if luck favours Shailesh Mehta, Baroda, India Alison from Edinburgh

Oh how wonderful!! Many many congratulations to you all on this wonderful news!! We are all extremely excited to meet Devani soon and obviously be part of the celebrations..
Keep us posted!! Hugs xxx Kiran 

Dear Vatsalaben 
Congratulation's for such a wonderful news, We all r very happy about Jas and Devani. I just came back from my business trip to Germany. Kosha is in School I am sure she will be very happy too. 
Regards Nilesh from Nivasha, Kenya

Dear Vatsala
Thank you for sharing this wonderful news. Please extend our warmest wishes to both of them.  I think if I understand it correctly that there is going to be a special wedding this summer already, is that right?  I hope we can soon put together our brains and come up with a time to celebrate together all of the wonderful things that have come your and Jim's way, all the hard work and efforts that have paid off.  Maybe we will have a real summer this year and you can come out on our boat. 
Thanks again for sharing the special news.
Love, Fay from Geneva

Hello Vatsala!
Wonderful news!  Warmest wishes and felicitations to Jas and Devani!   And to have them with you in Geneva!   You must be thrilled :-)  love, Lynne and Bob from Thoiry in France

Congratulations to Jas, Devani and proud parents. Exciting times for the family.
On our side, I would like to share similar news. After a couple of years of courtship, Chris proposed to Shreya and they are engaged. Wedding is expected in 2016 and will share the info as /when decided.  Chris (Christopher) is a lawyer working for Securities and Exchange Commission-USA. Minal had the opportunity several times to meet with Chris and blessed/approved both. Best regards, Hersh from Philly in USA

Fantastic news Vatsala - we're really pleased for you and them.
Big cyber hugs, Brian from Geneva

Hi Vatsala,
What wonderful news! I'm not too surprised after getting the chance to spend time with Jas last November.  I'm really pleased too that Devani has already got a job lined up in Geneva. Sending you all a huge hug of congratulations!
Susan from Durham, South Carolina

Congratulations to the happy couple and also to the proud parents of such a lovely and talented couple. 
Looking forward to seeing you all very soon
With love Clare and Andrew, Geneva

Dear VatsalaBen,
Congratulations to Jas & Devani,
Their Engagement is wonderful news!
Wishing them both an eternity of love and happiness together. Deepa Vyas from Baroda

Ah that is brilliant news! Another wedding, you will be super busy for the next 24 months!
Both such intelligent people, I am sure they make an amazing couple. You must be so proud!
Do let us know when you have the plans in place. Anoop and Colin from USA Texas

Hello Vatsala Aunty,
I also echo Gargi's and Dad's sentiments. Please give my congratulations to Jas and Devani. We are also excited to share news with you about my engagement. Chris was very good at keeping a secret from me. Only Gargi and Dad knew about his plans. We flew to Myanmar and Philippines for vacation and on our second to last day on the remote Palawan islands in Philippines, he proposed on the beach. It was very surreal and it took me so long to process it all. I am not sure if Dad has given you a background but I met Chris three years ago in Washington DC. He is a lawyer and works for the United States Security Exchange Commission. We plan on staying on the East Coast for some time and will see where life takes us. We hope to have more wedding details for you as well in the coming months.
Best wishes,

How delightful, Vatsala!  Fantastic news……Linda Jones Imperial

 Dearest Vatsala & Tejinder, What a lovely news..... You must all be very excited.... Hearty congratulations to the whole family. 
Warm Regards
Rana Sahni from London
Toral came to Spain now and she will return on 22 of this month.
Devani is very lucky girl.
God bless her and Jas.
Madhu Mehta from India

Hello Vatsala,
So happy for you all, congratulations to Jas and Devani.
I am sure you thrilled to have Jas back home. J
Love Maya Rakhal, Malhar from Zurich

My dearest Vatsala - how wonderful is that! Jas and Devani form such a wonderful perfect couple and we are so happy for you all - this is the best news and the next best news is that I am back home and after x-rays today the surgeon told me that everything is fine. I have to go slowly the next couple of months but all is fine! Happiness - lots of love from Anna and Brian

Dear Vatsalaben,

It's really overwhelming joy to know two wonderful relationships in the same year!!!! Congrates Jas and Devani on behalf of us!!! This is really wonderful news!!! And what a lovely love story of Jas and Devani !!!!!

Hearty congratulation to both proud parents and warm hug to newly engaged couple love Toral. Baroda

Dearest Vatsala Aunty,
I wanted to extend a warm congratulations on behalf our family to you on the announcement of Jas's engagement to Devani. I am sure the house is filled with excitement and planning for upcoming festivities has already started. Lots of love and well wishes, Hersh, Gargi and hreya (and Mom) from USA

Heartiest Congratulations dear Vatsala and Tejinder.  You must be soooooo happy............may God bless Jas and Devani with a successful and wonderful future..........Jas has made you both proud and I am very happy for you all.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful news with us. Please convey our blessings to Jas and Devani.
Warm loving regards,
Jagjyot and Ujal.
Dear Vatsala,This is wonderful and I am so happy for you. Congratulations to the Jas and Devani for their engagement.You have now Jas and Devani in Geneva which is great.  Keep well, Stella from UNHCR Geneva

Wow. Great news!! All the best to them and of course to the proud parents!

Congratulations Vatsala for them and wonderful news for you.
All settled with jobs too, what else could you ask for? Our Best wishes and good luck, Piera from London 
Dear Vatsalaben, Many congratulations to Jas, And all of you, Regards, Sureshbhai

Hi Vatsalaben / Jasmeer, My dad told me the great news yesterday, that's wonderful, congratulations Jasmeer!!  Looking forward to another wedding!!  Looks like we are on a roll now! All the best Preyesh.

Dear Vatsalaben and uncle Tejinder , Congratulations on the engagement of Devani and Jasmeer.  Best wishes from Yogeeta, Sandeep and Avantika xxx 
Congratulations Jasmeer! All the best wishes from all of us.  Sunita xxxx

 Congratulations from Bharat, Rashmi, Tejus and Neehil.  Fanstastic news, we are so delighted and happy for them.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Jiva Hill Resort 9-10 May 2015 Top Of The Air

Dear Virgina and Ian,

Top of the Air,
We arrived at Jiva Hill early afternoon deciding to rest up after our exhausting journey from Genthod to Jiva Hill that took us all of less than 20 minutes!  It was a beautiful warm and sunny May day.  It was also just a few days before our 32nd Wedding Anniversary. Anyway, as usual, we couldn't decide where to park so we messed around trying several spots before deciding to go to the one beyond the restaurant to the wonderful Reception Halls where you had your 21st birthday party just a few tiny years ago!  

We inspected our room, kettle, coffee maker, welcome cakes and fabulous bathroom with a view, great, I thought, its perfect, time for tea and cakes and time to unpack my one party dress for that - what did it say in the voucher - gastronomic 6 course tasting dinner for two. And then me, being me, jumped straight into bed to test it for a longer rerun later that night.  Tejinder unpacked too - his laptop, and terribly important looking papers bundled into batches, which quite frankly he glanced at for about 10 minutes or so, and then, just like me - he nodded off.

Luckily he had set the alarm and we sprang out of bed at 4pm.  We dashed down to the Wellness center Sangoma Spa just in time for our rendezvous!  We were having such a good time together that I really felt quite concerned when we got separated but I figured, hey, it was just for an hour or so and we'd meet up soon enough.  After the treatment, which was fabulous, we rested on the sundeck where we were served hot, refreshing mint tea a la go go in a a la chinoise teapot, overlooking the emerald green meadows of the foothills of the Jura and the radiant blue skies up, up and beyond.  Discussing later how the treatment went, we both started with one black soap gommage followed by another Argan Oil massage – we both agreed it was relaxing and enjoyable, perfect for a weekend retreat!  Then Tejinder headed straight to the hamman and sauna and I to the heated interior pool to get my laps in, meeting up, a while later, at the Jacuzzi.  

The sky that evening was gentle and easy on the senses.  Wind surfers were parachuting down into the field beyond and we watched the golfers strike their pose and then scramble around looking for their golf balls rolling trolleys.   Actually, I thought, maybe I should take up golf.  We felt so privileged sitting there on our balcony like Kings and Queens watching the world go by - and then we realised it was time for one of the most important moments of any holiday, Gin and Tonics apero!

At great speed, I slipped on my nude very high heels and threw on my party dress, the one I wore for the knighthood party, it has blue and purple Hawaiian flowers on it - and left the room. We walked quickly onto the veranda of the restaurant to catch the sun setting and the distant views of the snow-capped Alps encompassing the great lady of Europe, the Mt. Blanc.  The panorama was perfect that night.  We sipped our drinks and tasted a tasting plate of fois gras all of it sitting out on the terrace of the Shamwari Restaurant.  This was followed by an incredible dinner of 6 courses, but I counted at least 8 courses inside the Shamwari.  Tejinder and I took photos of each carefully designed dish, which was presented, to us like it was a work of art from the Grand Masters of Paris.  The food was delicious and so much fun as presentation is always key to any great dinner.  Jiva Hill, unique in the world, this was indeed a great way to spend our 32nd Wedding Anniversary. 

The next day we enjoyed breakfast out on the Shamwari terrace overlooking the Eurolac watching the water skiers enjoy and then we decided to walk around the Jiva Hill property along the helipad.  There was this incredible feeling of tranquility that day, of calm silence, as if we were sitting on top of the air.  As we looked down into the city of Geneva, knowing it is so close we really felt that this was a retreat away from the reality of daily life, somewhere you can just get lost without ever being found!

With love and thanks for a beautiful weekend


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Engagement of Jas to Devani in Florence 17 April 2015

We are extremely delighted that our son Jas proposed to Devani in Florence.  We do not have details for the wedding yet but I expect next year would be suitable for them as Devani is still studying at Cambridge and will compete her PhD thesis in History and Medieval English literature towards the end of this year.

They both met at Oxford while Jas was doing his PhD in Physics and Devani was starting her Masters degree
After Oxford University she moved to Cambridge University to pursue her Phd.  Both degrees on a Bill Gates scholarship.

Jas is currently working for  the United Nations International Trade in Geneva so is currently back here in Geneva.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

32 Years Wedding Anniversary

Dearest darling husband Tejinder,

As we grow old together and enjoy the success of our children
Our love will grow too
As we see them flourish and move on
We can sit back and relax and enjoy
The greatest times of our lives
As this is when we can really say
that this is a job well done.

Happy Wedding Anniversary

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Remembering Rita 1945 - 2015

Remembering Rita 1945 - 2015

Rita disliked fuss.   She was pretty straightforward about most things. She would fidget when things got overly complicated for no reason. In fact, this was a delightful quality she had.  She would often say to me, ‘Why make something so complicated when it’s not complicated at all!

Rita started work for UNHCR in 1973.  I met her in 1992 when she joined the computer section. She came to the section when desktop computers were becoming available to all staff for the very first time and laptops were becoming popular in the mobile workplace.  At that time, I was responsible for the purchasing, installation and shipment of all computer related equipment to the field by truck, ship or plane and Rita was responsible for managing the international loan pool for laptops operating out of Headquarters.  So we both worked very closely together discussing daily the new emergencies we had to handle and how best to deal with each situation which was always vastly different from the previous one. 

She was one of the first staff members in the computer section in the early 90’s to have made a successful career managing the hugely popular loan pool for laptops for more than 1000 staff members at Headquarters. Laptops used to be just too heavy, had a short battery life and often broke down, but this did not deter her in the least.  She would be at her desk during many lunch breaks fiddling about with her laptops until she got them going.  Rita was responsible for emergency preparedness – that is staff that would go to the field to take care of refugee situations at short notice.  She also had an extensive online computer system making absolutely sure that no-one would even dream of running off with her precious equipment!

Her contribution to UNHCR’s humanitarian effort was something that Rita took very seriously. She stood her ground for what she believed in and her idea of a lifestyle was to be true to that. Her strong work ethics played an important role in her life.  Rita was reliable, always available, never took sick leave, and never quit until she had solved every technical problem she faced and this meant she was full of surprises.  She was also an expert on the UN Staff Rules, Staff Rights, the complicated UN Pension fund, and knew all about how to manage your money in retirement!  I learnt a lot from her. So when she retired at the end of 2003, after 30 years of dedicated service to UNHCR, many colleagues, including myself, missed her.

We celebrated many events together in particular the annual Christmas lunch, which started in 1984.  Rita enjoyed this enormously.  She always looked forward to these warm get-togethers and over the years our dear colleagues became our dear friends.  It was at these special occasions she would tell us her quirky interesting stories about her life in New York in the 60’s with her sister Gwen. A true fan of the rock group - Queen - she was very much a babe of the 60’s and 70's – really into their music. 

However, Rita’s primary focus was always her loving son Christopher.  Coffee mornings at the office were always about Christopher - he achieving his maturity - and growing up into a handsome young man with such great promise.  How very proud she was of him.  I remember the time when he worked in a bank.  Disillusioned by the world of banking, he decided to leave to become a primary school teacher.  Rita took delight in his choices and successes and then the most exciting moment came when her son married Nadine becoming her loving daughter-in-law. 

During these last most difficult weeks Rita and I talked about the future, her fears, her concerns, her past and her present.  You see Rita was a lady who had truly enjoyed her life and was grateful for the good times.  In particular, she told me she would miss her dear sisters Gwen and Pat who she leaves behind.

I met Pat some years ago when she requested a visit to CMS at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which Rita asked me to organise.  Last week, Pat came back to Geneva to spend quality time with Rita just a few days before she passed away.  I know how precious and important Pat’s love and support meant. 

Rita’s sister Gwen, who Rita also cherished and loved, was with Rita during her last 6 days.  Gwen, who had tragically lost her own young son 20 years ago to the sea, consoled Rita in her last hours.   Realising that her time was limited, Rita remained philosophical, brave and resilient to the end.  Her last wishes to me were that it was important to her that she was able to spend some time with the people she loved.  She knew she had to leave us and she accepted that.  She said that her family should stay strong, they should stay united and that they must do their best without her – the best they know how in her memory.

And finally, I would like to mention Rita’s best friend, Liz Tayfun who Rita met her first week in UNHCR in 1973 in the English typing pool.  It was there they discussed how they could find better jobs and thereon remained good friends for 40 years helping each other through the drama of life and Liz remained true to friendship soothing her to the end.

I’m trying not to cry for Rita.  But however hard I try to fight back the tears, I can only cry, and, as every tear trickles from my heart like dew on a morning meadow, I know she would be fidgeting in her seat and telling me ‘don’t make the situation more complicated then it actually is and don’t make such a fuss, all on account of me!’

Her family was everything
Her faith paramount
Her son and his wife her legacy
God Bless Rita
May she rest in peace

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announces with profound regret the death of

Ms. Rita Kitto Burki
Former Staff Member

on 17 April 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ms Rita Kitto Burki joined UNHCR in July 1973 as a Shorthand Typist at Headquarters in Geneva. In 1975, she was assigned as Secretary in the PPR Unit and subsequently as Secretary in the Public Information Section. In 1992, Rita joined the IT & Telecom Service (ITSS) as Senior EDP Clerk. In 1998 she was appointed in ITTS as EDP Assistant, a position held until her separation from the organization at the end of 2003.

She leaves behind her son Christopher.

The funeral ceremony will take place on Thursday, 30 April 2015 at 10 a.m. in the Sainte-Croix Church in Carouge, Switzerland.

Colleagues wishing to express condolences may do so by addressing them to the staff council ( ) who will transmit them to the family.

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