OCA UK – Winter 2010 newsletter

Old Cottonians Association (United Kingdom)
Bishop Cotton School
Simla, India

Winter Newsletter 2010 (from  Sweden: Temperature -24C!)

Capt. Vivek C.Bhasin (Chairman OCA United Kingdom)

The First Real Englishman that I encountered was Reverend Dustan when I arrived at BCS on a snow filled day in early March 1961…….weeping like hell, homesick to the bone and frozen to my socks. I was Five Years old and felt I had reached the end of the world. ..Roll Call prior lights out in the evening revealed that young Vivek Bhasin was absconding/missing/lost.   Missus Goss went ballistic and shot out the bearer ‘kanhayiyalal’ from Linlithgow to look for me…..

At the age of Five and Three foot tall, School looked vast; the first flat covered with Siberian snow and I did not have a clue where the dorms were.   Mummy had told me ‘son if you ever get lost, politely ask a passer-by…that’s what I did ‘ excuse me Sir, can you help me please, I am lost’…The Sixth former towered over and looked down on me; an even colder shiver ran down my little spine. Hells-Bells. I was lifted up and then sat down in a snow pit…. slowly but surely they covered me up to my neck in snow…just as the Bearer having found me shouted and scooped me up, running towards the dorms…  The First Real Englishman was having soup in the Lodge. (That Sixth former who wanted to covert me in to a snow man did not have the guts to jump from the three feet diving board and gain one point for Lefroy…I did!)… From there onwards everything went uphill……most importantly how to tie a Windsor knot( Samosa knot) or a single knot and making sure you had some boff to stick in to the tweed coat pocket…..the Housemaster never found the difference….coz handkerchiefs were whacked during chapel as the guy behind you stretched forward to nick the same. Unless you had a safety pin stuck inside.  

The Second Real Englishman, perfection personified was R.K.von Goldstein, my Headmaster. His stance, his demeanour and the rest of all those adjectives was immaculate……..I never ever saw him in an open shirt; always a tie, starched collars, waistcoat, coat, dark pleated trousers …..so when he stood at his precise vantage point on the first flat, the clock on the war memorial reflected 1300 hrs off his mirror shine brogue shoes. 

The world has come a long way since Goldie……

England and the UK continue to evolve…in the true and right direction…..

Traditions, culture, history……India, our India is shooting ahead ( what though does worry me is Malaria, Dengue and some other dish called Chikan Tikka Masala, where your joints all swell up, excruciatingly painful; I am told some African Seamen jumped ship off The Gateway of India and smuggled this strain of mosquito in their ruck sacks…. I grit my teeth in anger..)…Regardless we came Second in the Commonwealth Games, Na?   

Greetings Cottonians..(rather late in my script, but Greetings nonetheless)..Sorry I went off into another tangent but the Good News First….. Prince William will wed his Queen Catherine (Kate) in the spring of 2011!!!    Good news for Bishop Cotton School no doubt…… Questions: What? Why? When? How?   Quiz time folks…figure it out for your selves.

Life President Allan Gay Niblett lives in Mallorca…..Why?
Peter Stringer Sahib lives in Whytleleafe….Why?
Kuljinder lives in Linford Christie;s house…Why?
Puneet lives in his Bank and Ealing…Why?
Gursant..in Ilford..Why?
Lumboo Evans in Amsterdam..Why?
Raul Godara lives on a stage in New York…why?
Krit lives on the US-Mexico (pronounced Meh-hee-ko) border…Why?
Rajeev Pandit lives in Chicago and as he writes papers on the brain (dead Cottonian..?!!) still plays his harmonica in the Windy City. Why?
Marshall lives in the Black Forest..Why?
Col Hardy lives in the PM’s Residence..Why?
Sharat lives on the DLF Golf Course ( and understands the difference between the New – Old World Wines distinctly; in my eyes he is a Master Sommelier) Why?
KC taking the Cottonians across the Border for goodwill games..Why? 

Inspite of having travelled to Delhi, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Sweden, Norway and Finland, Germany, France, Belgium , Holland, Ecuador…survived bandits on the border crossing between Guatemala and El Salvador and drug runners between Santa Marta and Cartagena,  I live in Bishop Cotton School…Why?

And Yes, Katherine Middleton hails from Marlborough College, where our Great Founder was Master!!   We all are cordially invited for the Wedding of the Confirmed Future King and Queen of England.

….for we Cottonians are all travellers…..global wanderers…..everywhere….

We never had to scream or shout to get attention; to get noticed. A mere whisper amongst ourselves was enough for the world to strain its ears……Old Cottonians!

The Old Boys Club.

…some say the younger generation never has the time…..its probably true to some extent but not true for most. The younger generation is what will drive our Association forward. OUR SCHOOL FORWARD. They think fast and strike like lightning……2011 is a water shed year…….On behalf of ALL of us here in the UK , I send you  Good Wishes, Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy  for Christmas and The New Year. May the Star of BCS forever shine and guide us all along the proper path…..For Cottonians, life is a Continuous Marathon…..Keep running Mate…there is no qualifying time.

Live Life Well.



El Capitano
Vivek Bhasin (Lefroy 1961-1970)
Chairman, OCA (United Kingdom)


6 thoughts on “OCA UK – Winter 2010 newsletter

  1. K.S.Dhanoa

    Dear Vivek,Great reading enjoyed it.My children always tease me about BCS as we taught just about everything.Anyway BCS is great & will go on being the grestest school ever.GOOD LUCK & BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR . MILO K. DHANOA LEFROY 1950-59

  2. ajay

    Great message, Vivek

    I wish you and yours the very best.

    Your challenge is to figure out who I am.

    Merry Christmas.

    1. Vivek Bhasin

      Hi Ajay
      Thats easy…
      A J’s hailed from Lefroy, Rivaz , Curzon and Ibbetson; be it Sawhney, Bhumitra, Khurana, Goyal, Goel, Thiara!!
      Ajays are Cottonians.

  3. Gurpratap Singh Sahi

    Congratulations Vivek on being elected Chairman of OCA (UK).My best wishes for a sparkling innings.And,all good wishes for the upcoming year.


  4. Dr. Santokh Singh (L-1950-57)

    Great reading, Vivek!
    Discovered who lives where !! Wish it was written earlier. Would have contacted some of them in Switzerland & Scandinavian countries.
    Did contact Mr. E.A Cuzen (Cuzie) & his son Neil (born in BCS, in the 1950s). Mr. Cuzen is in his 90s & is being looked after by his daughter, Gllenda (also born in BCS), who lives near his house in South Hampton. Mrs. Cuzen passed away last year. God rest her soul in peace (she was called “Peace”).
    All the best.

  5. RAdm R Chopra

    Well written Vivek. Small correction- Dusty was a Canadian & not an Englishman.
    Happy holidays & Happy New Year

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