A Very Biased Christmas Letter from a Cottonian to the family of Cottonians

A Very Biased Christmas Letter from a Cottonian to the family of Cottonians

                                                ‘In transition… with a package*’

..Good Day ye family of Cottonians, new, old and those who are yearning and may be privileged to become…

Through raging storms whilst crossing the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, working  his way from the Ivory Coast to Walvis Bay Namibia, shooting past Singapore, rolling hard in the South China sea on ships from various lands, this Cottonian started compiling his thoughts and realised with absolute no compulsion, with no external influences, no pressure, no artificiality, no pain killers, no hypnotic trance that  Cottonians are Numero Uno! Yes we singly, individually and collectively are simply the BEST and that is what we offer India and the whole world.  We just are!

It is time to sing from the Roof Tops of the dorms, from the Ridge, from the spires of Christ Church and Jakoo temple, ‘Yes we are the Best’….be it in discipline, in etiquette, in soft skills, in knowledge, in the way we walk, talk, dress and  RESPECT…. A Cottonian stands apart from the rest and this has been established by this Cottonian who soon hits a score  times three.  There is a way of proving the same ( but that is for another time…)

It did not start in the Chem or the Bio lab but in a far distant land called Argentina where on his search for the perfect vineyard he hit upon a wonderful group of tourists**. They hailed from Canada, the United States, England, Australia, New Zealand , Brazil and the Windward Islands.

The Canadian couple worked with Bombardier, the aircraft company that specialises in Lear Jets whizzing billionaires from New York to Patagonia.

The Americans were related to the Rockefellers-old money, old wisdom and very profound. They not only owned the Chase Bank but also a huge fleet of container ships trading between China and Europe.

The English Lady and Gentlemen owned fifty six percent of  Burberry Clothing and spent the summer on their private yacht with Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson; well the need to locate wines to complement the food whilst docked at San Tropez.

The Australian pair lived on a sheep ranch outside Sydney and were part of Broken Hill, a mining consortium, wishing to compare their own Cabernet and Syrah against the Mendozan Malbec. Sharp distinct noses that preached more than the just the Gospel, but the Gospel of Wine.

The New Zealanders were rich bankers too, having financed the movies ‘Lord of the Rings’ comparing their New World with the New World of Mendoza.

The Windward Islanders were real estate developers and had built the home of Sir Richard Branson, Sir Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen.

…and then there was he, the Cottonian, without huge sums of money nor fame nor fortune of these souls, just part of the entourage. Oh, he forgot to mention the Brazilian, the owner of an iron ore mine  near Sepitiba having a ranch the size of Portugal.

The wine tour lasted 90 minutes followed by vine tasting; there was a certain way to sit, a certain way to conduct and a certain body language…this was a walk in the park for this Cottonian because this comes naturally to one who has spent his founding years at the Great School.  Whether he discussed the stock market, the changing economies of the world or a rock concert at Madison square garden he did it with style and flair, experienced knowledge ; the basics he learned at Bishop Cotton School and the rest he picked up along the way. On the Big Ships, when on shore leave, when walking down Pall Mall, when understanding the customs of the local Red Indians at ChiChi Castenago, when at Chatham House and with his peers. He developed fast and absorbed the best customs, the confidence and ability to sit within a motley crew, laugh his hat off and then give them a serious discourse on searching for the Belt of Orion and the Great Bear in the Sky. He could sit in an orphanage with complete humility and play with suffering children and then later discuss the changing face of India or the origins of Alfred Nobel, walk past miners on the sands of Antofagasta; he developed the tact to barter with local head hunters off the Isla de Eden when anchored at the Straits of Magellan,  as his crew lowered coffee and sugar and heaved up the Big Centolla-the King Crabs in fair exchange ( yes avoiding them taking his scalp as a memento). A lesson from 106 countries and still counting.

At this time of Christmas our Beautiful Bishop Cotton School having gone past its 155th year history, this humble Cottonian wants to expend some energy towards his brethren, his family of Cottonians and urge them to stay tall, stay united , help each other and remain proud of their heritage. A Cottonian needs no badge on his chest, nor a swagger, nor the need to boast…His presence would be enough for others to acknowledge, that this wise gentleman hails from the Best. An institution up in the hills of Simla: Bishop Cotton School.

….As another year rolled by and the world grasps with some horrible events that unfolded and some that made the world cheer, this Cottonian Wishes Ye all…a Merry Christmas and a Fabulous New Year.

So with the Christmas Cake laced with Jameson Whisky, almonds and cherries Light up that flame…!

Vivek Bhasin-Old Cottonian, Class of 1970

* The package…was an oil painting of wild rushes and flowers this Cottonian picked up -now hanging on his wall at Garden Estate. Gurgaon.

**The group he met at the wine tour  had studied the subject and knew the history behind Robert Parker’s wine advocate rating system, the points he gives for example 96-100:
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume. However, there can never be any substitute for your own palate nor any better education than tasting the wine yourself.  Just as a Cottonian needs to taste life on his own terms.

The Private Wine Estate of Vina San Esteban

in the pure of the purest Los Andes Valley, Chile

LOS LATINOS

LOS LATINOS…………………….
Wandering through the streets and cobblestone passages of Mendoza
The cordillera de Los Andes in smiling ice
Prim green strokes of belasco vineyard on painted canvas
Two gauchos moving across las Pampas
With a couple entwined in tangocito
Perfumed pasta with truffle oil at
Maria Antonieta
and the crying wind that yearns for Cerrati- our Gustavo Cerrati
Now gone beyond the waves and ripples of his rocked-out soul
..what more can a Cottonian do
But reminisce about nights in White Satin
….and his brother  who lives in the peaceful sanctuary of Los Andes and Vina del Mar…
Rushing through with yamaha speed
and raising his glass of Casa del Bosque..
Past wildest roses blushing red
.. A pact for life
With Juan-Manuel Fajardo…
An amazing Carvacho..
‘it’s been too long hermano..
Just too too long’
Soon comes the simmering viento
***************************************
on a journey into the past in el mes de Noviembre 2014

Best Wishes,
Capt Vivek (Bonnie)Bhasin

OCA (India) Northern Chapter – Annual Meet & Membership Drive

Dear OCs,
First and foremost we congratulate our Chapter President S. Sukhinder Singh for being elected to the post of Vice President of OCA India. He shall now take over as the next President of OCA India. This indeed is an honor for all members of the OCA(India)Northern Chapter.
I on behalf of the Northern Chapter would also like to extend our congratulations to Mr. Roy Christopher Robinson, the Head Master of Bishop Cotton School for the commendable effort which he and his team have put in towards BCS being awarded the Best Boys Boarding School in India by Education World. The Head Master has very graciously accepted the invitation of the Northern Chapter to attend the annual meet.
It is time again for our annual get-together and I am sure all of you are anxiously looking forward to renewing old contacts and remembering your wonderful days spent at BCS. This year’s meet is being held over lunch on Sunday, 7th  December, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. onwards at The Taj Hotel, Block No. 9, Sector 17-A, Chandigarh, 160017. Please refer to the attachment for details.  
I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that the amended MOA of OCA(India) is now in play. According to the MOA, it has now to be clearly defined as to which chapter an OC/member belongs to should he wish to be a part of the process to bring a new team in place. Therefore towards complying with this amendment, in addition to meeting and catching up with old friends, the annual get together would also serve the purpose for conducting a membership drive.
In order to help facilitate your becoming a member, please find enclosed as an attachment a registration form. May I request you to kindly fill the form, clip your passport size photograph to the form and send the same accompanied with a Demand Draft/Cheque at Par of Rs,500/-(Five hundred only)in favor of OCA(India)Northern Chapter payable at Chandigarh .Should you have already registered, then kindly forward your photograph with the form duly filled. You are requested to send your documents to the following address.
Davinder  S. Jaaj
C/O Davinder S Jaaj & Co.
Chartered Accountants
SCO 18, IInd Floor, Sector-17-E
Chandigarh-160017
Looking forward to seeing you on the 7th.
Warm Regards,
Ajay Thiara
Secretary

Minutes of Meeting / OCA India AGM 2014

Minutes of Meeting AGM of OCA (INDIA) held on 29th September, 2014

Venue : Maple Room, India Habitat Centre

  1. The President welcomed all the members present and apprised them of various developments and works being undertaken by the OCA and its members to improve the infrastructure at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, such as total refurbishing of the Staff Room at School, provision of a quality Filtration Plant for the Swimming Pool and installation of Solar water Heating Plant for the main school.
  2. The minutes of the Last AGM were duly approved and adopted.
  3. The balance sheet and final accounts of 2013-14 were approved.
  4. Secretary’s Report was put up by the Jt. Secretary and discussed with members.
    Various issues were addressed to all the members, such as –
    – A notice from the Registrar of Societies relating to the amended MOA was received by the society and is to be acted upon.
    – Income assessment proceedings are being finalised and information furnished.
    – Funds of the OCA (INDIA) to be utilized for the needy members.
    – A low cost but effective Mobile application for fast & easy interaction between the OCs nationwide is to be initiated soon to establish a greater cause for mutual co-operation and betterment of Old student fraternity. A reputed IT firm ‘Campus Mall Pvt. Ltd.’  has agreed to develop the same for OCA(INDIA) which would be duly considered. They have also agreed to provide classy sportswear/memoriblia through e-commerce to members of OCA(INDIA).
    – The traditional Annual Lunch of OCA(INDIA) held in February every year in Delhi has become synonymous with its identity and more popular amongst the OC fraternity and therefore shall continue to be hosted in Delhi at all times to come.
  5. An advice of a Company Secretary was sought to determine the implementation of Amended MOA according to whom the amended MOA would be in force from the day it was submitted with amendments in the Registrar’s office and it was duly accepted by the house.
  6. For selection of Post of Vice-President only two applications were received – that of Mr. Sukhinder Singh and Mr. Vivek Bhasin. The house moved a motion that only application of Mr. Sukhinder Singh should be considered since the second application of Mr. Vivek Bhasin was received only a day before the AGM and he himself was not present for the AGM. Mr. Sukhinder Singh accordingly was selected as the Vice-President and would function as the President from 01/04/2015.
  7. Two members were also elected to the executive committee members of OCA(INDIA) namely Mr. Vijay Khurana & Justice (retd) R.S.Sodhi.The present executive committee members would cease to be members from 01/04/2015. and the newly elected members along with the two to be chosen by the President and those nominated by the Chapters would form the Executive committee as per the MOA. It would therefore be in order for all the Chapters to conduct their elections according to the MOA (if not already done) and inform the OCA regarding these.

 

Celebration: 17th October 2014 at BCS

This was received via a text message today. It is suggested that you contact KJS Sidhu for details and confirmation, also do inform the HM of BCS if you plan to visit the school :

We OC’s have planned a musical evening at school on the 17th Oct 5:30 PM onward to celebrate BCS becoming India’s no. 1 Boys Boarding School; Vikram Chauhan’s great achievement;  and of course OC’s Buwal & Dr Deepinder won the Raid De Himalaya! We have arranged for Rodriques (a famous band of Chandigarh) to play for us that evening. The HM has extended an invitation to all for dinner that evening. Would like for as many OCs to attend! Looking forward to seeing  everyone at BCS on the 17th!

Regards KJS Sidhu / 09814073289

Gaurav Bikram Singh Chauhan conferred a Shaurya Chakra

It is a matter of great pride for all OCs that Wing Commander Vikram Gaurav Bikram Singh Chauhan, a fellow OC, has been conferred a Shaurya Chakra by the Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha for his exceptional courage and presence of mind in an exercise in the Pokhran range. We all congratulate him and wish him every success.

B.M. Singh
President / OCA INDIA