Monthly Archives: August 2013

Back from the Mists of time: YOGA COUNTRY? Is it? / by Vivek Bhasin

Back from the Mists of time:

…yes many moons have passed since my words adorned the sacred walls of the OCA website. Stark winters, killer summers, gushing monsoons( at least this year) followed by rivers of sweat and perspiration , body odour from men that would kill a skunk in a stinking sewer …the weather in Hindoo Land especially the Big Capital is bloody awful to put it mildly. Along with seas of humanity, rusty and broken fences, craters not pot holes, uncouth characters, Himalayas of garbage, cows amongst limousines, goats amongst sleek Jaguars, a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow being driven by a God Father’s driver who looks like a Band Master of the Big Baraat Band at yesterday’s shaadi in Pat-par gunj, who doesn’t understand and gives a rat’s ass to what he is it a bullock cart in his gaau, a three wheeler hustling young foreign travellers, a tempo, tractor or the King of Cars….sweating like a pig, his pals slewed across the plush leather seats their dirty socks raising a stink to high heaven, feet sticking out of the window..yes for them it’s their janata express heading toward Patna and beyond….smoking the last end of His Master’s Benson & Hedges cig-stub and then carefully squashing it on the leather making a ugly black hole…Sab chalta hain saalay. Giving way, or being road friendly never happened here.

And die hards playing Golf at high noon hoping the temperature will drop to a cool 40 C when the sun sets. The latest Callaway Clubs, Nike golf shoes and A La Carte menus served right there in the burning cauldron. Imagining they are at the old course at St. Andrews. where was I? Somewhere along the line looking pale and wishy washy you presume na? In the August edition of GQ India some johnnies in a bout of sarcasm personified by the gift of the gab and today’s twang are trying to get a 100 marks for admonishing a particular embassy. Yes on treating us like 2nd Class citizens even in our own country as we stand in line applying for a phoren visa, trying to imitate the diving, spring break and the Grand Prix at Daytona. This ain’t going to work Shri- Sir, cause you may have the G.O.T.G and project this ‘know it all attitude’ you too were trained to never give way, open doors but beat the others to get the best seat, so don’t expect ‘Mr Desi’ Consulate employee to ask you soft soul breaking questions with the air-con humming as he sits and feels like another heavy handed politician. He will heap volcanic lava over your head. So here is a Dream…Eighty Five Pure Fresh water lakes and you can choose which one you prefer. Sleep over it.

As a mature Mayoite told a seasoned Old Cottonian, me it was..” it’s us against the entire establishment Sir. Our soft Public School upbringing leads us not unto temptation but rushes forward to open doors and say yes, we agree to every fool hardy notional inkling that what the other chap says is Gospel truth., and we oblige’. He understood that our upbringing matched , that we were two soldiers against the world, on our knees we were but fighting for a cause, a just cause, because we were tutored to do things well, diligently, honestly , differently with respect and with class. Ambassadors of BCS, Ambassadors of Mayo College.

Its Bollywood with all the artificiality that is messing up this country. Our bench mark is Bollywood!! A country with 1.3 billion souls(fools, goofs call us what we like) wakes up to read and identify with Bollywood where these jokers continue to fool both young and super mature audiences, raking in trillions corrupting every soul in this country and those suckers in others as well. Keep it up! Cause no one is going anywhere. Hats Off to some who struggle to make it in this world, but not the daughters and sons of the Bollywood syndicate who get it on some magic plate brainwashing us masses, us sea of this young Sonam Girl, she becomes a fashion icon overnight, her words are pearls of wisdom, she acts!, she is on ever cover from here to Kanya Kumari and raking it in. Great Stuff. Wonderful audiences who listen to garbage, and who cares.

Well I am not a miracle maker nor a preacher from the converted. But I do know I have my feet on terra firma. I have seen the world, 85 countries and still counting. The walk through Vina del Mar, Iguassu Falls, sunset off Bali, the Florida keys, Convent garden, Silvermere Golf Club, watching Elks at 0100 in Sweden, Rock Concerts at Madison Square Garden, driving along the Portuguese coast, dining in Tuscany, writing poetry in Versailles…evolving slowly, understanding, imbibing, educating , remembering passionately as I pen away, on board a bulk carrier that was built in China, owned by Norwegians, flies the Marshall Islands Flag, Ukrainian Crew ( great guys) on board, discharging a load of soya bean in bulk from San Lorenzo Argentina here in Hai Phong Vietnam, with ship management in Monaco, purchasing in Cyprus, her next loading is sand in bulk for Singapore, a marine safety consultant from China and yours truly from India and Sweden. Now that is what makes the clock tick-tock. We are all Gentle Persons.

That is what Bishop Cotton School taught me. This is what Mayo College taught him.
My parents taught me. His parents taught him
My family taught me. His family taught him

Not some Raj, Lalu, Malu from nowhere who suddenly crapped a million rupees and ‘don’t know how’ it happened. Full of arrogance , stale breath and yes ..Body Odour.

Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970

Dedicated to the Young Cottonians of Bishop Cotton School who I lectured on 5th Aug 2013: Go out into the World Young Men and pick up the BEST..leave all the rest behind.
It ain’t worth it.

29 Aug 2013

Anil Sikand [Curzon 1947-57], passed-on

Dear Fellow Cottonians

We are saddened to know that ANIL SIKAND passed-on at New Delhi India today 27th  [correction] 26th August 2013 in the evening. Anil had been unwell and in hospital after he had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage; we hear that he had been released from hospital today but collapsed soon after.

ANIL SIKAND (Curzon 1947 – 1957)

Anil Sikand S/O Late Shri H. D. Sikand was the eldest of three Sikand brothers who studied in Bishop Cotton School. His early education was at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. He was School Captain, member of Spartan Club, Full School Awardee, Marathon winner and won Irwin Divinity prize in 1957. In 1956 he was the House Captain of Curzon House, won Victor ludorium (Swimming). He was also member of cricket and soccer school teams. After passing out from Bishop Cotton School, Anil Sikand completed his graduation from Delhi University and later did Automobile Engineering from England. He took part in many car rallies. He was a successful businessman.  He had houses in New Delhi and Solan, and always enjoyed talking to his family and his friends about his time in BCS.

Anil Sikand passed away on August 26, 2013, and he is deeply missed by OC’s, his wife Geeta, son Vikram and daughter  Indira. He will be remembered with sincere gratitude by all the Old Cottonians.

Col R. Dewan / Secretary OCA India

UPDATE for 28th AUGUST 2013 –
The Prayer Meet for Anil Sikand will take place 5-6 PM on Tuesday 3rd September 2013, at:
1st Floor, 
89 Lodhi Road,
New Delhi 11003 India

Capt. Sandeep Mansukhani climbs STOK KANGRI 6153 mtrs peak

Old Cottonian Sandeep Mansukhani of Rivaz; summited Stok Kangri – a 6153 mtrs peak, in the Ladakh region. It was a 5 days expedition, starting from Stok village, they reached base camp in two days. On the day of the ascent [20th August 2013], Sandeep started climbing for the summit attempt at 0030 hrs at night and reached the summit at 0700 hrs. Freezing temperatures and a lot of snow was encountered during the climb. On reaching the summit, Sandeep stayed there for half an hour and then moved down to base camp. He says it was a “Great experience, and challenging due to bad weather conditions.”  Sandeep is planning for his next expedition to climb KUN which is a 7077 mtrs peak in Jammu & Kashmir. He leaves for Srinagar on 5th Sept 2013. Sandeep says “This is a very technical peak with lots of uncertainties. It is a 25 day expedition

Congratulations! And all the best for your next expedition!

Phenomenal escape from a doomed SU-30

This message was seen on a FB Group posted by former BCS HM Mr. Kabir Mustafi:

Himachal fighter pilot gets Vayu Sena medal.
By: Baldev S Chauhan August 15, 2013 15:26

Baldev Tiger Chauhan is an OC but also long time journalist. Balbir, Baldev’s elder brother retired as one of the top IAS officers in Himachal. Poonam Chauhan was one of our most admired colleagues at Bishop Cotton. Gaurav & younger brother & scamp Saurav [both Rivaz; 95 & 98 respectively – I think] were wickedly affectionate students of mine. Both were selected for the NDA and IAF but Saurav preferred to go in for a degree in law. Impossible to say how proud I am. And not a little unsurprised. Extraordinary clarity and strength always visible. Only find it difficult to believe he is already a Wing Commander. Next I’ll hear MD’s a Colonel. Like Nigel Barretto and Rohit Mandotra and Col Amitpal Singh among more and more, including Kunal Verma who was part of the British Army! God’s blessings and our deep and abiding affection.
K & KM

herewith a pretty graphic account –

Wing Commander Gaurav Bikram Singh Chauhan of Shimla , Himachal Pradesh has been awarded the prestigious Vayu Sena gallantry medal this Independence Day today.

In a citation signed by Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne the award comes “In recognition of the courage and extreme professionalism in handling a grave aircraft emergency on 19 Feb 2013.”

Wing Commander Chauhan was involved in a major Indian air force exercise when the incident took place near Jodhpur Rajasthan earlier this year.

He is currently posted in Defence Services staff college , Wellington, Tamil Nadu . Wing Commander Chauhan is the son of B.S.Chauhan a retired IAS officer .

Only six air force officers have been given the Vayu Sena Medal this year by the president of India .

Below is a link to Wing Co Chauhan’s detailed award citation released by the Air Force. Makes for compelling reading.

On Feb 19 this year, an Indian Air Force Su-30 crashed in the deserts of Western India ahead of the ‘Iron Fist’ war game. Both pilots punched out safely, and the weapon systems operator in the rear cockpit has now been recommended for gallantry decoration. We now have the details of why. This detailed description of what happened has been released for the first time by the IAF. Amazing stuff: