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The Boy from Kalimpong-bookcover

By: Christopher K. Ahoy

The Boy from Kalimpong

Pages: 335 Ratings: 5.0
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This story is about a boy who grew up in Kalimpong at an approximate distance on a straight line as the crow flies 100 miles (162 kms) towards southeast of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, amongst the Rong folks, Lepchas the autochthones, ‘Ronkup’, ‘Ronkum’, or ‘Rong’ people. Lepcha people designated as UN ancient tribe, native to the region; and their land ‘Mayel-Lyang’ once bordered further into Tibet, eastern Nepal, western Bhutan and as far south as Siliguri and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and some parts of Duars than it does today.

Kalimpong part of Lepcha culture was the ridge where Mary and Nigel played happily with unabated joy until his sister, Mary Maung Taung Lai’s early, untimely death and Nigel Kenchinz Lai’s journey to America because of the impact of the 1960 Sino-Indian border war. Many Chinese Indians were stranded, declared stateless, homeless and their inability to get jobs in India caused them to move abroad. Nigel was fortunate to receive four scholarships, four from American universities and one from Canada.

Some parts of the story are true and some portions of this book have been developed that closely parallel the real events experienced by the author. The author and his sister were fascinated with the dragon ‘Thunder and Lightning’, where clouds burst into flashing lightning followed by a big thunder storm every monsoon season. Mr. Karamkurung was their common thread for connection.

Chris Ahoy was born in Kalimpong in 1939. He started at St. Joseph Convent, Kalimpong all girls’ school, co-educational school at Dr. Graham’s Homes, Victoria Boys’ School, Kurseong, St. Xavier’s College Calcutta (Kolkata), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur and University of California, Berkeley, California (UCB), where he received the coveted Regent’s Fellowship Award to complete his masters’ degree in nine months. Chris is a US citizen, served as Assistant Director and Campus Architect at UCB, Statewide Director for Systemwide of Higher Education in Alaska, Assistant Vice President Business and Finance and Director of Facilities Planning and Management at University of Nebraska central offices and finally Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning and Management at Iowa State University. Before retiring in 2010, his organization received the coveted State of Iowa, Iowa Recognition Performance Excellence (IRPE) 2009 Gold Award (State Baldrige Award). After retirement he continues to mentor and provide consulting in ‘Creating World-Class Organization’.

Christopher K. Ahoy, Emeritus APPA President 2006, retired 2010 as the Emeritus Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management at Iowa State University. An internationally recognized expert on quality initiative and has presented creating a world-class organization in South Africa, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and US. He was responsible for having his organization become five times recipient of the state of Iowa’s annual Recognition for Performance Excellence Award, and the final Gold Achievement Award in 2009.

The Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence (IRPE) is an assessment process based on the Baldrige National Quality Program. The prestigious Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence Awards were established to recognize those businesses and organizations in the state that have completed a strenuous review and evaluation of their leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis, knowledge management, work force engagement, process management, and business results. The process is aligned with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and the Criteria for Performance Excellence are used for the assessment. There is no monetary award, but those who complete the process say it helps them identify strengths and opportunities for improvement within their companies, provides training for continuous improvement and leadership development, and assures customer focus and efficiency within their operations. This process is a proven method for organizations to achieve their highest potential and become more competitive in the world marketplace. For this reason, the process is used by more than 40 states to support their economic development efforts.

He has a passion for ‘Creating World-class Organizations’. He is a mentor, an author, a coach, and a presenter. He has given keynote speeches, seminars, and lectures, locally, nationally, and internationally (Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, and England). Author of three books: Selection for Design Consultant (CFM 1980), Leadership in Educational Facilities Administration (APPA 2007), and Customer-Driven Operations Management: Aligning Business Processes and Quality Tools to Create Operation Effectiveness in Your Company (McGraw Hill 2009). Also, a new book Administraciones de Operationces con enfoque en el Cliente (McGraw Hill 2010 Spanish translation) is his first semi-fictional book.

He is a Six Sigma Black Belt (2004), Judge (2003–2004), Chief Judge, American Council of Engineering Companies (2005–2006), State of Iowa Malcolm Baldrige Program, IRPE Senior Examiner program (1999–2008), National Examiner, Baldrige Performance Excellence (2006, 2007, and 2011), Certified trainer in Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and Management in 2003, Iowa Manufacturing and Evaluation Program (IMEP), and a senior ASQ member since 2008.

He uses Situation Analysis tools and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) seven categories of management system for building self-equity and organizational equity, Balanced Scorecard Plus for metrics, Lean and Six Sigma principles, and methodologies for continuous quality process improvements.

Customer Reviews
5 reviews
5 reviews
  • Breena E. Coates, Ph.D.

    This is a great book for people of all ages and all disciplinary ...

    This book weaves the inspirational, poignant, and touching journey of a young boy, Christopher Keen Ahoy, who grew up in Kalimpong, India—a region set in the foothills of the Himalayas near Mount Everest. Told with rich historical detail, the narrative is based on the true story of Chris whose remarkable journey teaches us that challenges of all kinds can be overcome by intelligence, and listening to the wisdom of nature. Chris grows up, goes on to study architecture at UC Berkeley, and then moves on to a successful career as an architect, and acclaimed university executive in the United States. The soulful quest for meaning and deep reflection on the psyche gives the book a profound spiritual quality. The beauty of the mountain landscapes shaped the eternal thinking of Chris Ahoy, to see the splendor in human existence, which in the end makes this book inspirational. This is a great book for people of all ages and all disciplinary persuasions, who will relate to the multi-layered bricolage that makes up human existence.

    Breena E. Coates, Ph.D.
    Professor of Corporate Strategy
    California State University, San Bernardino

  • Chiahou Zhang

    Great semi-autobiography from a little known part of the world: foothills of the Himalayas!

    This semi-autobiography contains mostly real happenings from someone who moved from India to the US and made a great success of himself

    It makes interesting reading. Highly recommended.

  • SCD


    This book tells the story of a remarkable childhood, intertwined with a history and description of an Indian subculture that I had no idea existed. Not only was Ahoy a Chinese Indian, but a Chinese Indian boy educated, at least initially, by Christian nuns in an all girls' school! Parts of this story read like a novel, and the entire tale is fascinating and a joy to spend time with. One really comes away with a sense of what life was like for this growing child and his family, and for their community as it evolved over generations. Highly recommended.

  • The Boy From Kalimpong is an interesting and informative book written by Christopher K. Ahoy, a remarkable author. The book is a pseudo-fiction novel, which parallels his experiences in life. Born in India in 1939 of Chinese descent, his journey begins in a small Himalayan town in the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga in India. Kalimpong (“Land of Thunder Clouds”) is ethnically diverse and had, at the time, fifteen major schools with many Scottish teachers. It lies in the shadow of the Silk Roads of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and India.

    His family, like other Chinese Indians, were deeply affected by the Sino-Indian border war in 1960 and were stranded, declared stateless and homeless. Some of his family members were incarcerated. And so the main character in Chris’ book was forced to go abroad. He came to the United States where he had four scholarship offers. He chose to attend UC Berkeley where he was awarded the Regent’s Fellowship with a full tuition free education.

    In the book there is much history of China, India, and local cultures including the Lepchas of Kalimpong, a UN designated ancient tribe. From this beginning Chris became a highly respected executive and author of three non-fiction books on university leadership and management. Chris Ahoy is the most impressive person that I have ever known, who is able to excel at such diverse activities as teaching physics, dancing, and becoming an expert in leadership development, strategic planning, efficient management and organization analysis of large institutions.
    I am fortunate to have hired Chris Ahoy in 1980 to plan, develop, manage and direct capital programs, design, construct and build education facilities for three universities, eleven community colleges and 22 extension centers throughout Alaska. Chris has had a remarkable life as he traveled from Kalimpong to the United States where he has become an honored and recognized author, and expert in leadership, management, and mentoring.

  • David H. Malcolm

    I found myself engrossed in "The Boy From Kalimpong" as it carried me away into a remote and exotic world of which I am not familiar and which has so much interesting history. A tremendous amount of research has clearly gone into the making of this book and Chris Ahoy's personal story is brilliantly woven into the fictional fabric that is sometimes difficult to differentiate. He was obviously the beneficiary of much love as a child, well supported in his endeavours but increasingly challenged by the political and social turmoil that progressively developed as a result of the Indo-Chinese conflict.

    As a result of his high early scholastic achievement, perseverance and good fortune, he was able to migrate to this country and subsequently earn many professional qualifications along with academic and scholastic honours.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book with my only criticism being that I believe that better proofreading is needed.

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