Monthly Archives: April 2020

Dan Dhanoa COVID19 survivor writes

Guest Column: Reflections of a Covid-19 survivor

The disease normally will not kill if you are proactive when you feel unwell by starting to monitor the symptoms. Keep a check on some health parameters and take timely treatment

Dan Dhanoa

As someone who has suffered from and survived Covid-19 and after reading up extensively on it, I think there is no need to panic. Consider these thoughts of a layman, who is not a doctor, scientist, economist or an expert in financial matters.

This disease is not the monster it’s made out to be and is a lot like any other virus, but only with a very aggressive spreading rate (highly contagious); and in some cases, the potentially deadly Covid pneumonia.

Everyone will get this disease. It normally will not kill if you are proactive when you feel unwell by starting to monitor the symptoms, keep a check on some health parameters and take timely treatment. The two most important checks to be done are for fever and oxygenation (oxygen saturation in the lungs) using a thermometer and pulse oximeter. Both give immediate readouts. Fever means you are fighting some infection in your body and fall in oxygen saturation percentage indicates there is infection in the lungs preventing them from functioning normally. Oxygen saturation of a normal person is between 94% and 100% (smokers, people with asthma or damaged lungs or any other ailment are likely to have a lower oxygen saturation level).


The killer (or the ‘silent killer’) in this disease is Covid pneumonia, which is different from regular pneumonia with chest discomfort and breathing problems.

Covid pneumonia starts silently and the person feels no chest/respiratory discomfort, pain or shortness of breath. There are absolutely no signs or sensation of breathing problems, but it can initially cause a form of oxygen deprivation – a ‘silent hypoxia,’ which is hard to detect.

Respiratory discomfort is felt when the oxygen levels become alarmingly low and moderate to severe pneumonia sets in (50% oxygen saturation). This is a critical condition and develops into ‘acute hypoxia,’ for which the person has to be put on a respirator/ventilator. At this stage, chances of respiratory failure and multiple organ failure are high due to lack of oxygen causing death. This Covid pneumonia takes about two weeks to develop and reach a dangerous stage. Initial start might be slow, but later progression into acute hypoxia stage is fast.

Only about 35% of the people who get Covid-19 get the Covid pneumonia, of which about 25% cases, like I have, recover as the pneumonia is detected at an early stage. About 8% to 10% go on to the ventilator of which about 3% die.


SPREAD: Covid-19 is very aggressive and spreads quickly. Everyone’s likely to get it unless we get a vaccine (which is not going to happen soon, the earliest being a year). Lockdown, isolation, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other preventive measures are only going to buy time for our countries/states to be better prepared to fight the pandemic and to some extent reduce stress on our hospitals and medical care systems.

SYMPTOMS: From none to varied, with cough, cold, headache, bodyache, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, loss of taste and smell, diarrhoea, stiffness or stretched feeling around your chest and back. Some don’t feel unwell at all (and develop antibodies). Duration varies too with one feeling feverish for half a day and recovering and another for three to four days and yet another for two to five weeks. Some, unfortunately, do not survive.

TESTING: The most common swab test is useless for the following reasons:

1) It’s not in real time and you get the results after three to four days, which could mean the difference between life and death if silent hypoxia or Covid pneumonia has set in

2) Results are 70% accurate.

3) Acute shortage of test kits.

4) Lack of information on testing centres, both in India and abroad for people who suspect they have got Covid.

5) Testing expensive for the poor.

I feel using a thermometer and pulse oximeter could be a better indicator as both give immediate readouts. A CT Scan or an X-Ray of the chest will further determine infection in the lungs or Covid pneumonia.

TREATMENT: Viral infections have no treatment, only therapy (therapeutic treatment). Paracetamol is administered for fever and aches, antibiotics for any infection (pneumonia) and any other medication which would help, that the doctor advises. In my case I was given hydrochloroquine whereas a friend of mine being treated in The Hague was given codeine, an opiate used to treat pain, coughing, and diarrhoea.

Being healthy and having good immunity is important to fight the disease. Older people and others with medical ailments have to be more careful. To win you need to detect Covid pneumonia and nip it in the bud quickly.

Educating the public about the disease is vital. They have to be made to understand the disease and its novel characteristics which differ from other viral infections. Everyone should know that sooner or later they will get it. They have to be told not to take it casually but know that it will normally not kill if they monitor the symptoms, keep a check on health parameters and take timely treatment.

I recommend that people also buy a pulse oximeter and log in readings taken twice a day in a spreadsheet to detect any drop in their oxygen saturation levels.

The government should also set up small camps, booths in as many localities as possible for these checks and send suspected cases for treatment.

A lockdown is only good for buying time… once the government has control over the situation, it should be lifted and business should be allowed to run as usual to prevent an economic crisis.

(The writer is an actor and a captain in the merchant navy. Views expressed are personal. Any recommendations made in this article should be first checked with a doctor)

Fresh dates for the OC Week 2020

Dear Old Cottonians:
Trust you and your family are doing well during this very trying time on account of the Covid 19 virus.
I’am taking this opportunity to inform you that the school and OCA-India were finding it difficult to conduct the OC Week 2020 this year due to the challenges created by the Covid19 virus. This as a background, the school has now very graciously offered us with a fresh set of dates for this years OC Week. The dates are 9th till 11th October, both days inclusive. Whilst the dates have been finalised, the programme for the OC Week would follow soon.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
Ajay Thiara

Some random thoughts – Indi Khanna

On the cusp of adding another year in my life I find myself, uncharacteristically, sitting idle at my clean-as-a-whistle office table.  With little else to do, one’s mind does tend to wander.  So today I very consciously gave it a free rein, allowing it to meander along down my 67 years, picking up little bits and pieces at random, piecing them together into a mirror for me to peer into.

The reflection I see has left me thoroughly confused, wondering whether it was my education which was flawed, or am I stuck in time while our nation has moved on?

Becoming a boarder at a tender age of 5, through my eleven years in Bishop Cotton, our universally relevant school motto, Overcome Evil With Good, was practically etched in my mind, becoming almost my middle name.  Oh yes, I’d have happily gone through life, dispensing with the “Singh” and instead being called Gurrinder Overcome Evil With Good Khanna.

The confusion now, when I am almost 67 years old, stems from me trying to once again define, identify and separate the ‘Good‘ from the ‘Evil‘.

During my formative years and all the way through to quite recently, those two characteristics were stark and easily identifiable.  Most unfortunately, not so any longer.  Our “democracy” today has brought us to the now when, I for one, am left groping in the dark, trying to understand what happened and actually questioning my own upbringing.  Am I now going to have to re-educate myself into believing that I am different to ‘them’?  Am I?  Different – how?

We need to pause.  We need to rewind and go back to thinking with our own minds.  Not with the minds of others who would try and overturn years of education and rational thought. Maybe we now need the second coming of one who was the unborn nation’s lodestar and guided the founding fathers with words which today have much more relevance then at that time when he, in Gitanjali, penned them down more than a century ago:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Is anyone listening?

(Gurrinder [Indi] Khanna)
Rivaz 1959-69

Remembering – by Vivek Bhasin

R E M E M B E R…
the day I clambered on the Kalka Mail aged five.

Mr Das Gupta was the Calcutta party escort..

..the train chugged in to Kalka and it was bitter cold the 1st of March 59 years ago..

We changed to the hill train and chug-chugged up through 103 tunnels..

The Bus was waiting at Simla Railway Station to take us to BCS…

.. I drifted up to Linlithgow..

Grew up day by day and year by year and seasons through reasons and grime and grind and tears and pain and laughter and screams through blinding rain …

…then like yesterday as it all started I was gone away into a far away world ..

Now as I remember.. do you remember?

Our pocket money days,
the walk to Chipu’s..
Inspection as we showed our nails and polished shoes that hid my holes in steel grey stockings ..

It was cold in the dorms..
the roofs were drummed by hail on metal sheets as we hunkered down
for sunrise..

We strolled along the corridors
stopping at the Box Room to get our weekly change,
Lefroy I was..
The worn out bottoms of my trousers were criss crossed by Choru…
never once believed did he
that man walked on the moon…

..the benches well placed to look down on to the second flat.
The War Memorial that chimes on the hour..
Mr Chaprasi walking to the bell and striking it fast and hard
though Chapel was a slow deliberate gong pushing you in to pray..
Mr Bugler shooting his notes across to Tara Devi as the School Flag was lowered..
..the sun had set and a shiver of cold as darkness descended…
at least those days we were far away..
away from the madding crowd; they say not today.

The stadium was symmetrical, as the opening batsmen descended ..
..our hearts in our mouth.

If you and I were the wind that could seep through the cracks of window panes and key holes we would enter our sacred school… you could go past Bursar’s house to the left past the chestnut tree on the right…

Would you sneak up to the Linlithgow dorms where Mrs Goss was the Maitron.. Wishing her Good Morning would you bound down the stone steps and leap up to the Irwin Hall doors taking the left and I right…?

We would enter and see those beautiful chairs with brass plaques of those Cottonians now past and gone.. the stage with dark blue heavy velvet drapes as you look around and see oils of past Masters we see in awe..

Below dinner is prepared in the kitchen under Bull Dog’s supervision, he was sluggishly determinedly sad and hence his name …and the Dining Hall in great regality, the last Cricket XI is painted on the boards ..the High Table at lunch had Von Goldstein Esq; in attendance never absent; his suits from Saville Row was he impeccably immaculate… and that handsome; living a singled out life to serve…he surely missed a woman his lady ..

The dorms were for us lads as you and I creep up.. the bogs to the left as I head for Curzon Lefroy and The Andersen; you have the bogs to the right as you head for ibbetson and Rivaz whose windows overlook the combined Basket Ball and Tennis Courts…below lies the Hos-p where I lay with chicken pox and a fractured foot .. and Sister Seager where Doc Butcher Mukund Lal arrived and cracked your hand with a quick snap best not to complain to that sadistic subtle shaitaan or was he a Samaritan in Wolf’s clothing just to make us wet our pants?

Our class rooms were simple with blackboards and chalk and the fountain out of bounds ; privileged for the Sixth Formers..

Head Master’s Lodge beyond England’s scope no not even Eaton nor Harrow nor Marlborough… what with beautiful garden as he walked his Cocker Spaniel peering below the Swimming Pool and the weeping willow. While across were the Chem and Biology Labs with a complete skeleton and snakes in vinegar…

Amongst the Champion Heavy Weights of the world, the Boxing Season was both harsh brutal but mind and soul forming… My Butterfly weight I won floating and dancing around the ring..
But for those days the Gym was “ Very In”..

Past the slope of Jackal’s Paradise we see the Third and the roof tops of Remove..

There even was the Fourth Flat and then beyond green fields and nothingness… just peace and quiet and not a soul except shepherds and local belles cutting grass..
we flew paper planes ..
If only then the pillars had seen a vision and purchased outright down to the Valley and across to Tara Devi gap…if only.

Let’s get back as the winds of time and leave that wonderful space sublime…

… today we stare out of windows as the entire world stands quietly still…

It’s 🐣 Easter… today is Sunday .. Easter Sunday…
R E S U R R E C T I O N …

The call to pray…
Our Chapel
Quiet. Firm. There.
Always There.

I think of you, of all of us…

A part of my heart
will always beat for you ..

Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970

The outdoors, Solitude: Pictures from Äcksjön Sweden by Vivek Bhasin

Äcksjön Sweden

Walked 12 km (so far 150 km since I got back on 20/3) through deep forests past frozen lakes and narrow meandering paths … incredible but slow … close to 5 hrs so it was tough but exhilarating..

The Wrong Doers – by Vivek Bhasin

What did I do wrong…
did I break bounds and wreck the fence
and let the lambs out?
So hungry wolves might ..encircling pounce?

What did you do wrong…
did you jump the light on amber
turning red
wishing to get home
to tuck your child to bed?

What did they do wrong…
with a terrible rusty steel prong
rape the land and kill the soil
so only they would split the spoils ?

What did we do wrong…
did we run amuck and kill every sun rise
to thick brown black and heavy skies
nor bother with rain nor wind nor snow
so parched the land
as the basil bush dies ?

every step I take in the dark forests, chasing green moss and fallen pines, I tread carefully amongst the bramble and fallen logs negotiate bends and hoops and ups and downs. The wind whistles through the trees and I look up to the heavens and see the tree tops swaying to Bob Marley…they merge-diverge and blue flashes and white clouds go sailing by..
But I need to look down soon again before a swollen root trips me and I will fall with all my weight on my face to feel and smell the cold moss…yet again.

I will struggle to lift my weight as my knees badly bruised weep and bleed. I know I have to reach the end if not the green will turn black and I might fall asleep again… who knows when will I awake again…on a full moon and a field of stars.

In today’s congregation we sing from every window and try to get the rhythm afloat to blend ..the philharmonic orchestra players now sit apart, Zubin Mehta too many miles away; the opera singer in Verona lives alone and his music all forlorn drifts from Zanzibar..

.. the world is solitary now
what solace can we find
behind close curtains
except the birds song
sings free…

Yet there are others who gasp and gasp..
Yet the air turns pure and free
no smoke stacks belch..
no steam a hiss nor burnt tyres kick up storms of dust
to enter your lungs
as you are home
behind those closed curtains
and the teak lined steel door.

Perhaps the smog filled pollution was better ?
the fire crackers lit by ignorants
who in any case gave a rat’s arse for the world..
If they lived in Manila and did not listen.. they would not be preached in soft sermon tones
to please please do not…
Nor would they be scolded to write five thousand times I will never-ever five thousand times..
No no… politely only politely will the henchmen arrive
politely escorting those ignorants to yonder paddy fields
and politely but gently ..
“Blow their f-ing brains away..”

.. that goes too with those who smash beer bottles and absolut on sweet streets shards of shiny shit sharp glass; add to those delinquent so called rebels without a cause graffiti-goons who spray toxic colours to uglify every space; creeping under cover of darkness and dodging cameras perform cliff hanging feats to do their pathetic paint work to get some kudos by the nut-clown gangs.. the henchmen too will politely mix them in their own paint well done….

You and I and they and them need to take a slow panting less walk from Green Garages up the hill and arrive First Bridge. Then a sharp right we trundle on towards boundary stone ; a second gate to guard the fort you will see. On a polite note and the green light from HQ the warrior will open these and let us in… our hearts are beating as we prepare … we reach the point where the concrete bench embedded into the hillside on the left … it is hear your may on a cold crisp but chemical night feel the wind rush as a horse bolts with Pierce’s Lefroy Ghost. On a perfect spring day it was here where Mrs Advani showed me my first fern on the Nature Study Walk – I was in Class Transition but she always made it sweet simple translation…

.. we now look down towards the School Main Gate…

It was 59 years ago when we first entered …March 01st 1961…

At least for us Cottonians.. we have a place which we can call HOME…
May All Our Sins be forgiven

Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970

Think of Happy Days

Never before has a pandemic thrust the world into such a frenzy.    Nations, acutely consider the loss of life just as important as livelihoods and causing desperate economic measures for the future.
It is just my feeling this may bring about surrender away from war & hate to global peace.      Behind all this my old school motto – OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD begins to support my thinking
The madness has taken over the Great British public attitude of greedy shoppers does suddenly magnify the dire situation !!
Human behavior will hopefully someday change and become more civic-minded.  Supermarket shelves emptied of every-day foodstuff and crazy about loo rolls too
Hard to understand this mentality when there isn’t a shortage.     As a friend writes ….”About time every dwelling in the land got a bidet or a bottom wash facility installed.  Ecologically sound, hygienic and saves trees!”

Government advice reinforced by our son Peter & daughter Marnie for Maggie & me to stay home and enjoy the confines of our garden.     Leaves time for thought & olden memories …………

            I once was confined to school hospital when taken ill with Mumps, this put the school into quarantine precisely just before the start of 10 days holiday for end of second term.     Oh boy did I have to suffer indignation, abuse with threats for canceled all town leave.     The Sanatorium was in the care of Sister Maclean, a well accomplished, competent elderly Scottish matron.     She was quite deaf and wore an early primitive hearing aid that carried the receiver on the breast of her uniform.    She was very thorough in nursing the sick.    Whatever the ailment – the blue bottle appeared & you were forced to swallow a large spoon of Castrol in her presence.    Some of the patients spitefully would take delight in her hard of hearing – face up to her mimicking only lip-service, as the dear Sister would adjust the receiver – they would come closer and bellow in a loud voice.     A memory circles back to me of Prep School, when every fortnight we were by houses paraded up to our tiny sanatorium to be given, the purgative, Senna pod liquid to swallow and immediately say ‘Thank you’ before we were allowed to leave, just to ensure full intake!

               For us boys, far more important and meaningful to us young hungry souls was the December House–treats or as we called them ‘JHUG-DAY CHEWS’ held in our dormitories.    All festooned with hand art and decorations to accentuate end of year & home for winter holidays.       Specially prepared food  catered and brought in from Simla – delicious Indian curries, rices, chapattis and assortment of sweet fare we gorged and demolished.     I recall remembering for the very first time in my youth to suffer indigestion – so chronic it lasted for a couple of days and leaving me with a stinking disgusting breath.     The lower Boggs – then latrines, below the side of the First Flat became unworthy of shame almost forcing one to light up and smoke a cigarette.

            Finally, in December approaching year ending, next followed in the evening, senior boys would stage their own theatre productions, in the Irwin Hall.    Poetry, music, songs, plays and short sketches, sometimes ridiculous observations of School life and masters’ eccentric behaviour for us the riotous audience so wholeheartedly enjoyed & applauded.

            Primarily the School conducted its function for education & sport.     The main purpose to develop well rounded young men ready for their future.      We were nurtured in deportment strict discipline, physical exercise following rules of clean living in hygiene, good manners & respect for all religions and fellow beings.   Bullying was stamped out immediately.    One only had to tell of a bully and a simple procedure followed.    The bully was put in the boxing ring with an opponent, champion of his fighting weight who dealt out with gloves punching a very sound message while others watched on.    My keen observations have found a host of Old Cottonians became leaders in the many facets of worldly undertaking.

Count our blessing and with confidence believe PATINA will deliver GOOD!

Yours fraternally
Peter Stringer Lefroy 1943-47

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining – by Nalin Sood

Hello friends. Hope you and your families are safe and you are taking good care of yourself .While we wait for this pandemic to come to an end, I just felt like sharing this personal experience with you all. Hope you will find some time to read this and reflect.

The night before the Janta curfew, we met with a massive accident, about 100 kms ahead of Shimla. This happened at night, while negotiating a sharp bend on a narrow road, with one side dug up and the other falling away into a ravine.

Due to heavy rains, the road was muddy and slippery and made steering difficult. Whilst navigating the bend, a puddle and a large ditch on either side of the road, suddenly came into view of our headlights. I swerved left and right, to avoid both, but with the steering wheel slipping on the muddy road, I ended up crashing into a large solitary boulder on the edge of the road. Had the boulder not been there, that should have been it for me, my wife and my young daughter. We wouldn’t have survived the fall, and even if we had, at that time, no one would have come to our aid. Yet, miraculously, the car smashed into that solitary boulder and stopped and to cushion us further, the air bags opened absorbing the impact. Though the car was in bad shape, none of us were injured and instead of us, it was the boulder that had collapsed over the edge. Within minutes, another miracle took place. Three cars showed up, likely the last on that stretch for the night. It had begun to rain, and we were wet and cold so they came just in time. The guys were also in a hurry to get home prior to the curfew, but ended up delaying themselves and helped us to a nearby place we owned, an old orchard that my father had bought when I was very young,

It’s a very basic accommodation, with just a few essentials, but we thanked ourselves for having a roof over our heads that day. I still shudder to think how bad things could have been. What if the boulder wasn’t there, what if we had fatal injuries and what if those cars hadn’t turned up? With my wife and daughter by my side, stranded in the middle of nowhere on a rainy night, it would have been a nightmare beyond imagination. It can happen to anyone. Night driving is surely out for us . While we had been taught our lessons rather harshly we had been spared the worst by some divine interventions.

Himachal lockdown was enforced the next day. Still recovering from the shock and transport suspended, we couldn’t move from this place. As luck would have it, national lockdown happened soon after. So here we are stuck in this place, with no conveyance, a very basic accommodation and only bare essentials. The gas cylinder was empty but fortunately there was an electric heater which we have been using for all cooking. With frequent power failures during rains, no backups and long gaps before major faults are rectified; we were running the risk of having no cooked food. We finally got a gas cylinder replenishment on the 8th day and it was a joy beyond words.

It’s been ten days now .We are cooking, doing the dishes, washing clothes by hand, cleaning the place etc. We fetch basic groceries from a tiny shop which is a 2 km round trip on foot. A slightly larger hamlet is a 4 km round trip. We are fetching clean drinking water from a natural source nearby as the govt. connection is not yet functional and rain water collected in tanks is not fit for drinking. There is no tv, no fridge, no wi-fi, no doctor on call. When there is no power we are engulfed by pitch darkness, mitigated slightly by a candle and run the risk of having drained phone batteries.

I have experienced this life before, which helps, but it’s never been without help, preparation and never for so long. After ten days, are we tired, frustrated, miserable, bored, feeling pained? Absolutely not. We can get ourselves evacuated to Shimla but have decided against it till the lockdown is over. It may be a situation forced on us but it’s a divine opportunity given to us and we don’t want to waste it. No four walls to be confined to, no RWA directives or restrictions, freedom to step out into nature and time to reflect on the ecological imbalance created mostly by people like us and how nature finds it ways to restore it. We are “far from the madding crowd” but connected to the world more than ever. Yes, I would have loved to be part of the front line, like many who are running the show for us, but this is the next best option. We are still managing from here and doing our bit in whichever way we can, thanks to the mobile internet.

It’s a different world here and I feel blessed to experience this unlike many in the urban world, despite the lack of comfort gadgets. People have more hardships here but they are lot more content. They may not live the life we do, but they are connected to the world in a way that we do not understand. It’s important that we count our blessings, wherever we are, and whatever the situation. This accident has only made this experience of ours more profound. It’s the “silver lining” that every cloud has. They say everything happens for a reason. It’s a divine coincidence that today is Ashtami and also my birthday. Having survived miraculously, I am celebrating both occasions with the locals here, something I would have never imagined or planned.


The “ STICK IN “

Location: School Dining Hall

Time: Sunday immediately after Breakfast.

Action: Master on Duty asked to leave.

Action: Close all Doors

Instruction: “All Stand “..As silent ghosts

Duration: Three Hours.

Reason: Behaving like miscreants against the Sanawarians during the First XI Soccer Match ( we won 10-1), and staring with lustful eyes at the chicks from Auckies at the School Fete..

As I too lumbered up my scrawled frame and stood up at the Lefroy House table I knew this one was for real. Serious shit chaps. The prefects seemed to have ganged up against the entire school and were hell bent on breaking us… at least that is what they thought. Three hours of Silence; no, not Silent Night, Holy Night but three hours of frozen statuesque attitude and not a frikin word…

Now sitting here in Karlstad Sweden, I seem to reflect on that sort of punishment or on some adage preached by one of the not so dumb  Prefects….to achieve perfection, you need to become strong through motionless silence*

You know us Cottonians! We can stand endlessly at the kitchen entrance waiting for the cook to let loose some boiled potatoes, plead at the bakery ( near the shooting range) for a loaf of hot bread that we would lavish with dirty raw sugar and hog it down before the flying squirrels leaped across the deodars….  We were seasoned rascals in the rain and for us no gain without pain!

Suddenly we all find ourselves in a STICK-IN! AGAIN.

This time its not three hours but three weeks, bound and shut within the four walls. This time its not just us diehard Cottonians of all ages and heights and weights but with others; family and pets.

Pray may I ask what are all you guys doing in there all holed up? For sure we never really needed BOFF now did we? Was there anything else that we lack at the moment? Yes, loads of worrisome news that keeps bombarding us like the doomsday clock; the end is nigh; this is the start of the Apocalypse and what have you. Not only are we all shut in but School has shut out all the kids except a sprinkle who couldn’t make it back to Thailand. And in isolation too is our Director Simon David Weale, his wife Rebecca and their little daughter Delila, all at BCS. Yet, he is working hard!

Three weeks is really an incredible time to reflect… really. And do amazing things at home. The biggest worry too is frustration but one needs to have the strength, fortitude and patience to come out of this for the betterment of ourselves, for each other, for them and for the world. For once this is not a terrible famine in Bangladesh, or a flood in Haiti, or a certain corner of the world that is in dire straits or should I say up shit creek. Or should I rephrase and say it was a certain corner of the world first……..but now Ladies and Gentleman the flood-gates have opened, the curtain rises and we all have taken centre stage with the shit hitting the fan.  WE ARE ALL IN ONE BIG BOAT. And we need to keep that Big Boat afloat and feel good, exude positive vibrations and all emerge winners.

…and you know what?! The Earth is curing itself! The air in Delhi is as pristine as Switzerland with blue beautiful skies. The cacophony of sounds of rusty clanks and horns hooting to Timbuktu are not there. All silenced after an Opera of Chaos. Peace is returning to the world in its true sense. The wild animals are relieved humans are not getting after their pelts and musk and ivory and aphrodisiac tiger teeth and the Oud bark for sensuality and more. Yes I know the economy is derailed, but there are the smart Cottonians out there who will put it back on the tracks…Surely will.

..out here in Sweden I practise social distancing, driving away from the town I live in and walk the deep forests; 10 km everyday after breakfast. In deep thought the walk takes me back to the path …the Camino to the Monastery at  Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Those routes too shut. I left  a part of my soul behind on that beautiful path. It waits to merge in to the other half when the Gates of Life open again and I reach out ..again. In the meantime, I walk here in the Nordics….sending my warmest wishes to every Cottonian, whereever you are . May you get stronger day by day…May the Heart of BCS send out long shards of electric salvation through its countless umbilical cords to each and every one of us, as we all know the power of our Holy Trinity Chapel, the strength of our Founder and the strength of each and every one of us.

We are survivors; BCS made us that way. We are not going to give in nor bow down but remain strong and determined….

“ Okay Guys……..Sit down…….STICK IN is over……hope you have changed for the better….!”


Vivek Bhasin

Lefroy 1961-1970

01 April 2020

*to achieve perfection, you need to become strong through emotionless silence…

(Vivek Bhasin)

Wishing all well [COVID-19 pandemic]

The Old Cottonians Association wishes everyone well and we do hope you and your families are safe.

The long silence and lack of recent newsletters from the OCA is simply because we have not had any “Cottonian-worthy” news recently.

We have reached out to a few of our regular writers, asking them to please pen a few paragraphs. We hope to bring you some new writings as soon as we can.

Do write in, we’d love to keep hearing from all OCs!

Meanwhile, a BCS student, Shivij Grover, of Class-X [wasn’t that called SHELL?] had won 2nd prize in an art competition organized by Bharat Academy of Fine Arts Ambala for his work titled ‘Covid 19’  reproduced here from the BCS Facebook page / BCS Website.

Congratulations to Shivij Grover, Class X, who has painted this emotive picture ‘Covid 19’. The painting has won second prize in a competition organised by the Bharat Academy of Fine Arts, Ambala, to highlight the challenges faced by our country.