Early last evening I took a call from Arthur Jones (L 43-48) who lives in Cambridge to say watch BBC2 at 8 pm & follow Michael Portillo – Indian Railways journey – Amritsar to Shimla.
Very nostalgic as both Arthur & I used to make the journey from Lahore (now Pakistan) along the same route.
Rehearsing through the programme starting at the Golden Temple at once brings to mind, on a visit to Indiaaah, how kindly obliging OC Santosh Singh in Amritsar arranged for Napinder Singh (C 43-50) & I to visit the beautiful Temple & later to watch the Tamasha at the Border Gates at Wahga Wahga.
Then a day or so later to be joined with Nappy’s late wife Parvesh spending the afternoon & lunch with Sukinder Singh’s Sister in Amritsar – onto Ludianah stopping to have lunch at a well known Dubba (restaurant).
That Railway line from Kalka to Simla rests in each BCS schoolboy’s memory forever – through Barog tunnel and for me the Ghurka band playing when the Sesquicentennial Special pulled in and stopped for a puri-tac lunch & on to Simla.
Finally, Portillo talking with OC Rajah Bashin who’s legendary knowledge of the town’s history filled me with proud pleasure. Reminded me once again of Old Cottonian hospitality when Rajah invited Maggie & me to a late reception for the wedding of his niece in the basement banqueting hall of the famous Gaiety Theatre.
Memories – memories how can any Ole boy forget?
Peter Stringer (Lefroy 43-47)
(click for larger view)
Dear Friends and Fellow Cottonians !….Greetings of a great Year ahead ..!!
It is worthwhile to mention hereby that Bishop Cotton School has been producing meritorious students par excellence in almost every field particularly our Armed Services. Highly decorated War Officers namely : Air Chief Marshal P.C.Lal – PadmaVibhushan, DFCCAS, Lt. Gen. Dewan Prem Chand – PVSM , Lt. Gen. N.C.Rawlley – PVSM, AVSM, MC, VCOAS, Lt. Gen. R.N.Batra – PVSM, OBE, Lt. Gen. I.S.Gill – PVSM, AVSM, GOC in C, Lt. Gen. M.S.Batra – PVSM, Lt. Gen. K.S.Randhawa – PVSM, AVSM, Lt. Gen. Baljit Singh – AVSM, VSM, Lt. Gen, H.R.S. Kalkat – PVSM, AVSM GOC in C, Vice Adm. R.N.Batra – PVSM, Vice Adm. Harinder Singh – PVSM, AVSM, FOC in C, AVM H.P.S.Sidhu, Maj. Gen. P.C.Gupta – MC, Maj. Gen. K.C.Khanna, Maj. Gen. J. Mayadas – VSM, Maj. Gen. S.Varma – VSM, Mention in Dispatch, Maj. Gen. Lalji D.Singh, Maj. Lalit Malhotra, Maj. Gen. S.K.Batra, Maj. S.P.Bhatia – VSM, Maj. Gen. C.S.Panag – YSM, VSM, Maj. Gen. R.Pandit – AVSM, SM, Maj. Gen. H.M.Singh, Rear Adm. R.Chopra – VSM, Mention in Dispatch, Brig. P.O.Myers –MC, BAR, Brig. Nadirshaw – VRC, Brig. H.Chukerbuti – 5 Blues in IMA, Brig. R.S.S.Kohli, Brig. P.K.H.Chand, Brig. H.K.Dhawan, Brig. J.N.Rudra, Brig. J.S.Bhullar, Brig. S.Dutt – VSM, Brig. Madhusudan, Brig. Arun Kochar, Brig. R.S.Brar, Adm. Bahl, Brig. H.S.Nagra, Brig. G.S.Padda, Brig. M.M.Badshah and many others have served our country with great valour.
Its been my longstanding wish to honour those gallant Officers Posthumously, who have lost their lives in line of their duty though a meagre effort, by putting up a Memorial Plaque of their name/s on a Wall of the War Memorial at BCS, Shimla. Since we do have a herculean task of finding out the names of such brave Officers, therefore, it is my humble appeal and request to all Old Cottonians worldwide that if they have any information regarding any of their batch-mates, whether Juniors or Seniors in School, who went on to join Army and sacrificed their lives in any Indo/China/Pak wars, please send information to the Webmaster/ firstname.lastname@example.org or to the OCA India Secretary – email@example.com
Forwarded on behalf of Hony. President Justice R.S. Sodhi
Ashwani Singh Virk – 9810194724
(Secretary OCA INDIA)
Good Evening to you.
It’s late at night and I shiver with excitement ( the crispness of November adds a zest of life running through my body..)sitting on my bed in the Sixth Form cubicle writing to you..
It’s surely is the last day of the year or sooner than later it is.. I stare out at the glow of the First Flat and through the Tara Devi gap I see lights twinkling…
It’s quiet in the dorms as lights out happened many hours ago; Lefroy House Master completed his rounds seeing us all tucked in. I should be in cloud cuckoo land but the radium in my watch casts a green glow under the quilt and I struggle to sit up and grab pen and paper..
Another nine months went rolling by Sir. I am now an inch taller and all my gym shoes are holed. My tie is hanging on the peg; last untied was never. The loop slips past my head and I tighten it; that’s at least 60 seconds of effort saved for 60 seconds of extra sleep..
I think back hard on the days that went; yes coming full circle from winter kit past summer kit to winter kit again. It’s time to go down to the plains and the maddening crowds; the trains and buses and lanes and by lanes. Last Saturday’s movie at Irwin Hall was aptly named “ Home from the Hills”… I must confess Sir, with exams all over, my steel trunk packed locked and sealed; loaded on the truck must be halfway to Calcutta ! …Yes Sir I must admit our gang was out about town and we saw two movies; one at Regal the Two to Five Dr Zhivago ( at interval the hall played The Stones Jumpin’ Jack Flash); we then ran back to School for Supper and caught the movie in the Irwin Hall; we panted past Sudden Death and screamed through the Mall to see the Ten to One with a new phenomenon called Rajesh Khanna in “ Aradhana”… later we crept back via Knollswood on the short cut so sure footed back to School. Three films later a bloody splitting headache I must confess to.
I must confess again for the record I was on your walnut tree; no walnuts but orange coloured hands and my knees bruised.
My Grandma returned to Delhi after bathing and adorning new clothes to the Gods at Kali Bari, Prospect Hill and Jakoo… she was my local Guardian since I was five in Linlithgow Sir; you granted me “ sleeping out” once a month so I could trundle up to see her… my Father had an account set up for me at Gainda Mull… I could buy goodies like fruit gums, fruitella and condensed milk for five rupees at every town leave and sign for the good stuff … that’s where I learnt how to sign my name with great flourish..
On other weekends my Grandma came down to see me; we we were seen picnicking at Council Rock; I was barely five. When she left in October the last four weeks were rather lonely but Jai Singh the local baker at J.B. Mangaram always met me at the school gate with a freshly baked muffin! He truly was a great saviour those last four weeks Sir..
The twinkling lights at the gap suddenly fade and are gone.. it’s School Party to Calcutta.. it’s always been the Kalka-Howrah Mail Sir..
But a certain yearning becomes an ache .. a confused ache. I strain to understand what my body is saying… on one end it’s the pull towards my parents in Calcutta … after nine months.
There is a certain steadfastness, a magnet pull beneath the steel bed, the voices of all the guys on the first flat, the Irwin Hall and in unison in the Holy Trinity Chapel of ours…
It’s the next day Sir; a new day.
It’s time to leave with my bedding roll and attaché case Sir.
I am writing to let you know, I am leaving…A final Goodbye Sir.
But I left a part of my soul, my strength ..in Bishop Cotton School.
Class of 1970
The batch of 67 is holding it’s reunion in school between September 23-25. From a total strength of 36 we have 18 on board and are trying to contact others. Any one having contact details of our batch do inbox the same. Thanks guys.
OCA Nepal is proud to announce a friendly Futsal match, the first one ever, between Old Cottonians and Old Sanawarians of Nepal. We would also like to take this opportunity to encourage participation by OCs and OSs to play and to cheer.
- Match Day: 24 June 2017, Saturday
- Time: 10:00am
- Venue: Grassroots Recreation Center, Mandikatar, Kathmandu, Nepal
For more information, contact: OCAnepal@gmail.com