Monthly Archives: April 2014


XIX Revd. Dr. Slater English Debates 2014


Bishop Cotton School wins XIX Revd. Slater English debates 2014 

Participating Teams:

  1. La Martiniere Girls,   Lucknow
  2. La Martiniere Boys College, Lucknow
  3. Mayo College, Ajmer
  4. MayoCollege for Girls’
  5. The Doon School, Dehradun
  6. St.JamesSchool, Kolkata
  7. Auckland House School, Shimla
  8. The SriRamSchool, Gurgaon
  9. Vasant Valley School, New Delhi
  10. The Aitchison College, Lahore
  11. Bishop Cotton, Shimla-Cambridge
  12. Sherwood School, Nanital
  13. Loreto School, Kolkata
  14. The Assam Valley School, Assam
  15. The LawrenceSchool, Sanawar.
  16. Bishop Cotton School, Shimla – Oxford

On 26th April Saturday , Bishop Cotton School won Slater Debates 2014, Yashvardhan Singh of Bishop Cotton School was adjudged the best speaker of Slater Debates-2014. Ved Mehta, of St. James’ was awarded the Best Speaker in the first semi-final as St. James’ School, Kolkata managed to defeat Loreto House Kolkata with the topic reading “It is time to end caste-based reservations in India in order to bring about social equality”. The second semi-final featured hosts Bishop Cotton squaring off with international participants Aitchison College, Lahore. . The topic for the debate was “Corruption Is the Price We Pay for Progress”. The fourth speakers of the teams were called upon as the debate was adjudged as a tie. Bishop Cotton ultimately emerged victorious after a keenly contested tie-breaker with Yashvardhan Singh of Bishop Cotton being adjudged the Best Speaker.

In the evening, the much anticipated final debate was held between the hosts Bishop Cotton and St. James’ Kolkata with the topic being “During elections, image building makes a mockery of Indian democracy”. The Chief Guest for the evening was Mr. Deepak Sanan, a very senior bureaucrat presently working as additional chief secretary in the Government of Himachal Pradesh. He is an eminent personality, a writer, and writes for various column and almost all newspaper.

The opposition side Bishop Cotton managed to get the title under their belt as Yashvardhan Singh and Ankit Gongal of Bishop Cotton bagged the Best Speaker award while Ved Mehta of St. James’ managed the 3rd position.

The individual prizes were as follows:

  • Courage in the face of Adversity: Syed Rafay Hassan (Aitchison College, Lahore)
  • The Most Promising Speaker: Ved Mehta (St. James’ School, Calcutta)
  • The Best Speaker of Slater Debates: Yashvardhan Singh (Bishop Cotton School, Shimla)

The 19th edition of the famous Revd. Dr. Samuel Slater Memorial Invitational Inter-School English Debates was won by the hosts Bishop Cotton School, Shimla for the second consecutive year. The debating event which lasted for a period of five days was successful in strengthening bonds between elite schools from across the country as well as maintaining the highest standards of total education.

The whole program was conceptualised and planned by the Master Incharge debates Mrs Sushma Kaul under the dynamic leadership of The Headmaster Mr. R. C. Robinson.





A Cottonian who saw it all.

( A poetic lecture on the realities of life)

..and down the road you see him….

Amidst the destruction that happened all week long…bands of wasted souls wanting to find, search, seek and destroy the fine tuning of Mother Earth..some even searching for love amidst the madness, some searching for other’s souls amidst the rotten greed …

..suddenly today melted away to the  past and yesterday’s happenings were a distant memory in the gutter of past dreams…

His trench coat wrapped around him, he’d seen violent scenes from the Bronx to San Jose, from Dakar to Abidjan and would  see tomorrow’s new more aggressive cities burn and smelt with the rage of inbuilt dirty ambitions…

In his own inner circle which meant nothing to others, he knows the gravity and weight of being there.. part of the wastelands. Away from the inner destruction and hell’s hole that beckons the weak hearted.

He stands at the corner in his week old growth as his life flashes by and explodes into smithereens…

..people pay the price for actions not forgiven, stuck to the memory of laughter, false joy  and happiness. And then pain and horror.

He sees it all . He saw it all. Crystal clear.

Reminiscing about the bandit and that crazy gitana, both wandering through the wilds, through hills and valleys with zebras in tow. In pure love immune to rusty jeeps strewn across the badlands. The rush for life now abandoned by the desperate, the weak and the foolish who claw and crawl, now camping out in the oasis of hope, waiting for a milagro, a miracle.

He remains at where it all started and realises time is nigh. The hour of dawn, amanaser will be  when the peace arrives. If they smoke the pippa de paz, the peace pipe that is, as  he stares into the never ending alley of hope and despair. With his Warrior Soul.

Judgement Day..The frikin judge must have barely skimmed the post of Commander on the tip of his toes and decided such heavy responsibilities were for strong minded men, no not him. He would rather come tumbling down the gangway and land on his head  ashore, to become a land lubber of the weakest sect from his high end ghetto,  assisting large multinationals get rid of claims from their employees even if they had given their lives to the company. Fattening his own purse with bullion even if he died like a mule whipped to sorry strife on shattered knees. This complete mierda, this dung of the lowest order. He pities the poor mule if the mule was real, that poor beast of burden, NOT this spineless  cowardly  guttersnipe who says he reports to Her Royal Majesty. Utter-utter crap. Pure Horse manure. What a bunch of sorry shits, losers, wasters and bile. The best words described would be ‘failures deep in the gutter of never ending scum, sum scum’.

No, never could he associate with vermin scum like this as what they really want is a free loading passage to everywhere.

From stale foul smells, to bad breath and cheap ideals these sad persons were supposed to live within each other’s selfish means and not get better, not one bit.

He knows what his path is. His path is sure and straight like a burning arrow finding its mark.

He respects those who understand logic, reason, compassion and humility. He loathes those who know nothing, learnt nothing and remain selfish arrogant  fools and suckers through their journey. He prefers to loathe them from a distance and knows soon enough they will reap their own rewards in the kingdom of purgatory. They came from rotten backgrounds and as time passes become even bigger rotten scoundrels and charlatans. They are the dreaded disease.

How could he even dream of being a part of them?! His dream weaver worked with beautiful wondrous stories of great passion for life, great passionate love and great passion-humane.

For he is a warrior and a do-good doer and his trail of fire will be remembered for all the good things he did. With his Warrior Soul.

Not will an iota of goodness be remembered from those weak who hide behind their concubines petticoats and ‘hope’ all the sorry mess created by their own incompetence, impotence and fear of responsibility will miraculously disappear and they will continue to have so called job security. These greedy and heartless fools who thrive on seeing others unhappy only think about how much they have stashed away in their mattresses so when they die like maggots, their material wealth will be buried with them in the catacombs of hell divine.

But the warrior knows his inner strengths. His talent, his background and his ability  stay intact in spite of making momentary contact with this breed of maggots. He was educated with the ideals and passion of Bishop Cotton School at Bishop Cotton School. Yes he the warrior cherishes and loves his own and they him, for now, for yesterday, for tomorrow. Forever.. From the morning mists to the deepening sun over the hills of Guachepelin. Finally atardeser, dusk over the horizon, to the west at Punta Arenas with rayos de esperanza de oro, rays of golden hope.

Just as the mermaids swim home to their lovers at night.


 ……………Excerpts taken from the mind, the soul of El Ziginare, El Capitano, El Amante, The Nomad, The Wanderer, The Captain, The Lover who still sits and waits at the water’s edge with the Albatross. Off Tierra del Fuego…… knowing,

His time will come.

Their time will come.

Just waiting, with the zillion keys on the river bed of the Seine…


With his Warrior Soul.

(Durante el verano del ano  2012 / Around the Summer of Year 2012)

Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970
True Cottonian.



Sad to announce passing away of Mrs Bhumitra

Dear All,
Sad to learn of the demise of Mrs Bhumitra mother of Vijay Khurana and his three OC brothers. Cremation tomorrow at 11am at the Lodhi Crematorium. Our prayers are with the family and would like to convey our heartfelt condolences. Prayer meeting at on 23rd at 120, Jorbagh.
BM Singh

OCA [UK] Spring Newsletter 2014

OCA UK NEWSLETTERAnother year and the silent roll call goes out to all our members and guests – come and share the afternoon Reunion luncheon at our favourite venue The Bombay Brasserie on SATURDAY 28th June.

May I now take the opportunity to thank you for your Christmas cards and good wishes, and all your letters and correspondence keeping me in touch?

The southern Britain and especially the coastline has taken some punishment from the fierce Atlantic weather blowing in with much flooding and disruptive high winds.  In Surrey many areas are still under flood warnings.  Whyteleafe lays in the Caterham Valley where streams join the River Bourne and one such runs through a culvert that gurgles away under the perimeter fringe of our bungalow lounge.  Before reaching us it flooded the gardens and seeped into homes that lie on the left hand side, three times water washed over into our first lawn.

The third, Valentine’s Day was the worst – rapidly rising up over our patio, hastily I opened the rear and front garage doors, flooding our front garden and allowing it out into the main road.  The A22 the main route that is our Godstone Road, into Purley and Croydon has been closed completely for some time.  I did read somewhere this is the Chinese year of the Horse and they predict a drought!!

The ocean white horses have blown high 40-foot waves along Devon and Cornwall as we watched on TV, sad for poor souls in the Somerset levels.  The deep snow covering North America has caused loss of life and hardship.  California is suffering drought weather and the record hot temperatures Downunder – does it not tell us global weather pattern has altered by carbon emission causing climate warming.  Universal drastic measures immediately should be enforced or we shall all call for Noah and his Ark!!

Before I move on there are some dates of some interest for your diary…

Saturday 3rd May OC’s are invited to late Bobby Reed (R 41-47) wife Sheila’s “Day @ Home” – Watchbury Cottage, Barford, Warwickshire

Wednesday 28th May The Himalayan Hill Schools Reunion at the Clay Oven. ALPERTON.

Wednesday 25th June Maggie & I will host our final “khana on the lawn”.  Just to remind you – if you can make it, or not been before – you will not be disappointed.  Please let me know?

Recently I was talking with Secretary Gursant Sandhu who informs me that new BCS school leavers to the UK is drying up.  This is direct Government stricter visa sanction to colleges and university and increased enrolment fees.  Will this see the demise of OCA UK chapter that begun in 1928?  My ears herald the words an elderly OC years gone by disclosed ‘Old Cottonians do not die, they just fade away’.  Or as Lumboo Evans used to say – “we must carry on dancing!”  So I am looking forward to seeing many of you in June. Napinder Singh Chahal rang me on Christmas Day to tell me of a celebration party for his grandson (17 years) who had conquered Everest earlier last year.  This appeals to my youthful conscious years at Patina.  Always marvelled at seniors trekking down the khud and up to the summit of Taradevi and back in time for Sunday Evening Chapel.  I did not mature to a senior leaving at 14 end of 1947.  Astonished at the young generation who are groomed and encouraged by their schools to embrace such undertakings.  My head and heart begin to rejoice whenever memories come flooding back from Simzy.  Those lovely nature walks down through pine-woodlands.  I am reminded listening to birds chirping in our garden, an endless source of re-countable memories; count myself lucky my parents, choosing to send me to BCS.  It was not only the classroom education but also the all-round instruction of discipline, good manners and behaviour, honesty and courage with other development for our future.  Taught by dedicated masters who were remarkable individuals and I pray BCS still abide by the age-old traditions.

With these endearing thoughts I shall begin the countdown to JUNE when we shall all meet again and exchange our news, share and evoke old memories.  Wishing you all a cheerful happy good 2014 Barra Salaams!

Yours fraternally,
Peter Stringer (Lefroy 1943-47)

Dear Old Cottonians

I have continued my efforts with the Pupil Exchange Programme between BCS and Marlborough College. Two Marlburions Douglas Seaton and James McPherson, spent a month in BCS – having quite an adventure getting there, as the road to Shimla was blocked by snow and they had to spend a night at a hotel. Sadly, the two BCS boys – the School Captain and House Captain – both Rivazites – keen to perform to their House Motto ‘Sirvamus’ were unable to make Marlborough. It was decided by Marlborough, with BCS agreeing, that last year pupils, would be unable to let boys back at school have the information and experience related to them, as they left school without returning for another year. It was thought it better if 1st year VIth Formers went, starting maybe next year. Meanwhile, the BCS Headmaster would spend some time at Marlborough and would then be able to plan future trips.

Meanwhile, we hope Mr Robinson will be able to take up the invitations, issued by our Chairman Kuljinder Singh Bahia to join us at our Annual Lunch.

Older OC’s are still meeting with others in smaller groups as at Mrs Sheila Reed’s house. We hope our younger leavers will find time to join us at our Annual gathering at the Bombay Brasserie.

With best wishes to all OC’s around the world.

Best regards.

Yours sincerely
Hon. Life President

Dear Old Cottonians

I am sure that all OC’s are looking forward to our June 2014 reunion. I was fortunate to meet Mr Niblett twice during his recent visit in March to London, and Mr Stringer kindly invited me to his home in Whytleafe for an afternoon of “gup-shup” and tea – also in March. The initial meeting with Mr Niblett was also attended by our chairman, Mr Bahia. Several issues were discussed in our meetings, and I have been requested to summarise the main issues, which are listed below for your information –

  1. There was a general fall in numbers for our June 2013 reunion. Like previous years our reservation at the Bombay Brasserie was for 80 people, but the turnout was a much lower figure. OCA (UK) had to dip into its savings, to pay for the extra covers which were stipulated. I would be most grateful if you could confirm whether or not you will be attending this year.  An acknowledgement slip accompanies this newsletter. However, you can also intimate your attendance or non-attendance, as the case may be, by sending an e-mail to; call 07788716525 or send a text to the same number.
  2. Bombay Brasserie will charge us £28.50 per person for food.
  3. This year we will have to purchase our own drinks from the Bar at the Bombay Brasserie. We believe this would be the most cost effective and a fair manner in which each of us in charged. The following should give you an indication of the cost of drinks, but please note that this is for indicative purposes only.
    1.      Bottle of house white / red wine – £24.20
    2.      125ml glass of house white / red wine – £6.60
    3.      Beer – £6.60
    4.      Soft drinks – £3.30

However, to kick start and warm up our reunion, Mr Niblett, our Chairman Mr Bahia, and younger OC’s will pay for 10 bottles of wine for all the OC’s to enjoy.

  1. Mr Robinson, the current Head Master and Mr Bhardwaj Acharya who is a Hindi teacher at BCS have been invited to attend this year’s June reunion.
  2. Mr Niblett carries on with this tremendous and great work in respect of the student exchange programme between BCS and Marlborough College. Mr Niblett has also mooted the idea that we should invite two students from BCS for the next year’s reunion, one being whosoever is the top sportsperson and the other the top academic. This would no doubt be subject to permission being granted from the Head Master, the boys’ parents and visa being granted. This was endorsed by Mr Bahia, Mr Stringer and I, as we believe that it would be motivational for Cottonians to perform well and also beneficial for the school.
  3. I would be grateful if you could check towards the end of April 2014 with other OC’s in your circle/contact as to whether or not they have received this newsletter.  If you become aware that anyone has been missed out, then please let me know.
  4. The winter reunion was attended by 20 OC’s. It was an enjoyable evening and the attendees of the 2012 and 2013 winter reunions will no doubt spread the word as to how good these were!!! Lots of food, wine and dancing!!!
  5. Our newsletter with details of the next winter reunion will be sent to you by end October 2014, and the reunion will be either on 6th or 13th December 2014. Time and venue will be confirmed in due course.

With kindest regards.

Gursant Sandhu

When I Look Back
(By Mrinal Vijay)

As I lay back now to reflect on those twelve precious years that I spent in Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, I become more conscious of how important this place or institution has become in my life. It was truly a great experience to have been able to study at a hundred and fifty four year old school.

Being part of this institution (1993-2005) was the biggest achievement that I could have earned in all my twelve years of schooling. Everyday used to be a great sense of responsibility and accountability. I learned from everything I did in my last year of schooling, from day to day, from class to class and from person to person.

The life in school is the most unforgettable parts in any individual’s life, which leaves an indelible impression on one’s life. A recollection of memories built in school is cherished forever and talking about them always tend to bring a smile on both the narrator and the listener. School days are indeed blithe days without any worry for hearth or home. There is only one work to do, and that is to study and then play, makes friends and indulges in all sorts of pranks. The exploits done during these years are a delight to recall in later life.

Discipline, punctuality, dress and decorum are the other hallmarks of school life. Though at times one has to bear the force of their ruggedness, they leave an ineradicable imprint, by making one more convivial and disciplined in life. The punishments for a group or individual misconduct or mischief are also happy experiences, which one cherishes and recounts with nostalgia in later life. That is the euphoria of the moment, that even in punishment one finds joy and amusement.

Apart from academics, there is time to cultivate the friendship, which last a lifetime. One learns to appreciate the spirit of brotherhood and teamwork, which are the essence of school life. This is amply demonstrated in the playing field. The worst of enemies turn out to be the best of friends at the end of the day. School life teaches one the importance of teamwork and inculcates a sense of loyalty and devotion to the group.

My school will always be an important place because,

The school has been a Friend…….. a Comrade,

A support that I will always have,

Through sunshine and storm, I’ve kept my calm,

A hundred and fifty four years to the rescue,

Day and night we carried on,

And in return, I was the carried one.

In the days of valette……………

Time was ticking like a countdown clock, and……

There have been twelve years of love in my every tear drop.

Hundred and fifty years on our shoulders IT rested,

Twelve years on ITS shoulders I rested.

This is why the school is not a preparation of our lives……….It is Life.

In the end, all good things must come to an end, in the hope for better things to come. And all better things must come to an end too, because the best is yet to come.

One cannot but agree with Robert Frost’s vivid expression of such sentiments when said, “The woods are dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”


Details of our 2014 annual reunion are as follows –

Date      28 June 2014 (Saturday)

Time     11.00 am onwards

Venue   Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London SW7 4QH

The closest station is Gloucester Road.


OCA India News / April 2014

It has been decided to issue Identity Cards to OCs through their respective Chapters. They may approach their Chapter Secretary who will send the requisition to the OCA (India) and the said cards will be issued with an identification no for a small fee. This would facilitate their entrance to the school premises.

We have yet to receive applications for the post of Vice President of OCA (India) along with a vision statement as per the amended procedure in the MOA. Those interested are requested to please send their applications through their chapters or directly to the office of OCA (India) by end of May 2014.


B.M. Singh
President / OCA India