Monthly Archives: November 2008

Of Simla, Delhi, Calcutta, Bishop Cotton School, Indian Railways, Game Reserves……

An interesting article on the internet.

The Price family section contains personal accounts of different aspects of life of the British in India from the early 1920’s to partition in 1947 during the British Raj. It includes memories of Simla, Delhi, Calcutta, Bishop Cotton School, Indian Railways, Game Reserves, Wartime experiences in Borneo, Labuan and Rangoon.
The history of the Heysham family starts with the earliest records in 1226. It includes the text from a fascinating book about John Heysham MD who was very largely responsible for the first acturial tables and was also an eminent naturalist, and life in the 1700’s.
Further is an account of the death of my Uncle, Harry Stone of the Devonshire Regiment, in the 1st Battle of the Somme in 1916……

Read it here

The DODA Chronicles – part II

Chronicles of Doda!
( Translated from the original Hindi by the author)

Ibbetson House
23rd March 1961

My dear Mummy,
I have finally arrived in my new school! The train journey was very nice specially the Puris we ate at Barog and the tunnels on the way. I have to live with about fifty other boys in a long dormitory. I have been allotted one iron spring bed and one wooden locker. It was so cold in the night that I had to rub my feet for such a long time to keep warm. Since Naresh is a senior he sleeps with senior boys in a cubicle. Before going to sleep he told me I will have to get up at five and do P.T. and then he will tell me everything. All around me as usual there were gangs of boys sitting on beds talking very excitedly in git-bit English. I was feeling very lonely. Soon one very tall and dark Sikh boy came and said, all right, lights out, no more gassing. Every one go to sleep. I was wondering what is gassing? Will they be lighting gas lamps or what? But soon I was snoring.

Early in the morning there was a big rush and I heard a bugle blowing. Every one started running around. Naresh suddenly came and gave me some soft white paper and told me to go to the toilet. He said that I have to use it in place of water. I looked around me and saw that every one was charging to the bogs. Bogs here means the toilet. Mummy, this is the first toilet I have seen where there is no water. I was feeling very sleepy and tired. Naresh said, hurry up, brush your teeth and get ready. I cannot talk to any one here but for Naresh. Because he is the only boy here who knows Punjabi. I am really very surprised why no one here talks in Hindi or Punjabi! So I looked around and did what the other boys were doing and copied them. This is the first time I have used paper. I asked Naresh why they use this toilet paper here instead of water. He said, we are a English Public School and only lingoes use water. I asked him, where is your smart friend Vijay Khurana. He said, he is in Lefroy house, meaning the long dormitory next to ours and I will see him in the break. So I got dressed in white shorts and dark blue jersey and we went below to the dining room. It appears that I am the only new boy in this house. This inland letter form is coming to an end. Oh! Yes, let me tell you one more funny thing which happened on the first day. Early in the morning Mukesh who is in the lower house came running up the hill and shouted under our dorm: Naresh, can you please give me some toothpaste! Every one was so shocked and they all smiled and said, Oh, he is Sethi’s bra! I am feeling completely lost here.

How are Kukoo and Pappi? Don’t forget to keep on buying my Chandamama every month
Your loving and obedient son


An invitation to OCs of the 1960s. Read on..

And, do I have the time to read all this, when all I do is read the headlines in the papers! And that too, if they have a picture attached to it!
No pictures here today, Pal !


[Webmaster’s note – We got one! The man himself. From friends in high places]:


Let me first get one fact out of the way; I hardly ever remember the school; I don’t really dwell on those years, and neither do I have nostalgia haunting me on the days and time in Simla. In short, I have moved on; as opposed to some others who are still faithful to their pre-college years – and remain planted in the 60’s. (It is surprising, for example, people don’t form a club or network with their college or university folks, or donate to that institution).

So, is this email about those 60’s? It sure is!
The interesting fact is – that the best music – since we were born, was created in that era – the 60’s. In that sense, I am stuck in the 60’s groove – for the music that I heard in the 60’s and 70’s, on radio, TV and clubs in Germany – where I grew up in my later teens and twenties.
Another interesting fact is that we are currently in our early 60’s, congruent with another fact that the early 60’s were also our final years in the school!
So the Sixties, in reality Are special!
So here’s the deal:
Since Rishi and I were planning to visit India in December, I thought, maybe we could reunite with a small group one evening and “Celebrate the 60’s”! Attached [links below] is an invitation from both of us.
This invitation has taken me more hours to compile than I would like to admit. You may not think it is a serious invitation, but it is a darn serious attempt. There are 2 versions; An Invite and an InvitAshun version (A=Adult rated, but contains no bad words, not even the word ‘sex’). But, if you find those connotations offensive, or you do not want somebody in your household to read the A version, you should shun it and delete it!
Whichever version you prefer to print or read, it may also be the longest invitation you will ever receive. I have attempted to give different reasons for you to attend the evening, and persuade y’all into RSVP’ing  Vijay as soon as you can.
And, do let him know which version you read first!
Originally I thought of writing some 60 lines or things to do, or reasons for you to come for, but then I must have become obsessed (as in obsssesssed!) and now, I believe there are over a 100 lines! ALL lines and descriptors are unique and because no such words are repeated, this invitation has now emptied my brain!
Unless I get a push back from Rishi or Vijay, the date for the meet is FRI DEC 19.
I know, not all of you receive, or read these emails; and not all those who read, are free or interested – and that’s perfectly OK.
But, a handful of people just might find some interest to come …
Of course, there are Terms! Is anything free these days guys … plus, you don’t want to come to a Bharta party, do you?
To come, you must bring energy, enthusiasm and a strong thirst.
If you don’t drink, that’s fine; even I don’t drink anymore!  But then, I don’t drink any less either!! In which case, bring a healthy appetite for appetizers!
Dress sharp; a Jacket is mandatory (no zippered jackets). Plus, you may be asked to speak for a minute or so – we value your opinion in shedding light on us souls.
Tell us if you would send your kids to BCS – why or why not? Secondly, if you had one thing to improve at the school, what would that be?
Your wife (if present) must also speak and let us know:
a)    Can mothers impart their children just as fine an education by sending their kids to good day schools?
b)    Should mothers sacrifice their love by sending the children away for those precious (only) years that they would live within family? (Did they not lose out by not experiencing their children’s presence, love and youth? What is the purpose of (producing) family if you prescribe to live as non-family?).
Okaay – Enough of Terms! – Let’s get down to more serious stuff!
This is a “BYOB Party”!
If you are wondering what that means, it is:
Bring Your Own Biwi
However, if you cannot do that, you are single, or she does not want to go with you, then you are invited to a “SOB Party”. If you don’t know what that means, it would be: Bring Your “Significant Other, Brother”.
However, in my complete honest opinion (if I can also shed some light), I will admit: the more “Insignificant” the Other, the more motivated I will be to talk to her! (If the companion is not a ‘her’, Filipinos might also be a good choice)!!
Now, for the die-hards who cannot make a decision until the day others forget them, it may be appropriate to add that:
“If You don’t respond,
This offer will abscond!”
Lastly, Mr. Jaspal Sawhney gets top marks for being a ‘total gentleman’, in not only rsvp’ing
promptly, but also being extremely gracious in offering to share costs. Thank you very kindly, Mr. Sawhney, but on that day, please forget your wallet at home!
Ken Singh (or as in the 60’s: Karanjit Singh) 
For those who are wondering what RSVP means, it’s:
“Reply karo Sonyo, Varna Pashtaogey”.
If the suggested Dec date gets changed by more than + or – 2 days, then Rishi is the throat you choke.
PPPS (God, will he ever stop?)
Hey Rishi, don’t you worry about losing your breath. In my opinion, there will always be a line of people ready to give you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation!


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