Christmas Letter 2018
“ the meaning of nothing “
From the artic circle running through Sweden…
I sit me down and attempt to rewind the year that went by..
Just for you and him and them excitement, happiness, elation and possibly even sadness made this year….
I have been shuttling between Scandinavia and India ( and my homeland Simla, Mashobra and Bishop Cotton School!)…. and as I write my last lines of this year with the winter solstice upon us I think back on 2018 with both splendid cheer … a year and a tear older.
The Swedish winter is always cold and crispy blue and with some snow on the ground the swedes are running helter skelter to replenish their larders with Christmas fare… bountiful eating and drinking and merry making … the Christmas Ham is a speciality and the main course amongst a variety of herring, Jonsson’s Temptation ( a baked dish with shredded new potatoes, cream , cheese and anchovies ) that is accompanied by Akvavit ( in Latin the “water of life “potent shot made with fermented potatoes…
The Swedes have always performed with utmost precision having increased their forest cover by more than 60% over the last 30 years; they even control their population … ( since the last 38 years I have been residing in Sweden the population has increased from 8 million to 10 million ..and they are “worried” about over population .. taking proactive steps)….Guess Making Love not Babies … and skiing ⛷! As though nothing ever happened …
The Ministry of
NO SUCH THING
Yes…isn’t it true when someone … an outsider … a non Cottonian, an outsider asks me about BCS .. I respond “ forget it… it’s nothing” as I really don’t need to explain nor clarify nor equate nor benchmark our Alma mater with others… you and I know what our School was all about .. what it is with it’s deodars, with its weeping willows, it’s grand chestnut tree and the riot of colours in the Head Master’s garden… and our dorms, our dining hall , our Irwin Hall and our Beautiful Chapel..
..cause when we lived in that cradle on the spur of that great mountain and looked at the Tara Devi gap and saw heat and steam and dust out yonder we became part of India’s greatest institution… each brick, mortar, white wash and our heartbeat makes that amazing citadel of ours precious, sacred and lofty .. with great humility…
We may have both famous and infamous boys who walked our corridors into history; who stamped their impressions in our minds and souls but we have no need to boast nor shout … to others we express nothingness … to “each other” we simply nod and hug as brothers with green-red-dark blue and light blue blood running through our veins…we stand apart, always will.
The complicated world is where we live in…. but we are privileged to sit on the benches to look out over the second flat and beyond…. yes in our complicated world… our BCS is our shrine to return to and untangle our complicated lives for brief beautiful moments….
as Hard Rocker’s Metallica said “ nothing really matters”
Wishing all Cottonians, The Head Master and his staff of all sorts..
A Peaceful Christmas and a Blessed New Year🙏
.. having walked the Camino to Santiago de Campostela a distance of 550 Km so far…
with miles to go……
Not quite sure as to what the Camino had to do with the New Year or BCS.
A merger of thoughts and vivid memories that entwined my letter that i started writing in my mind when i walked alone on the camino wearing my BCS Cap every sundown…