Category Archives: NewsLetters

2020 Christmas Letter / Vivek Bhasin

I managed to climb on top of the highest mountain..
the last married pair of swans
one-white one-black
come swinging in from the north; just swooshing past me
I bloody well jump…
just managed
to land on the black
this graceful elegance..
in flight heading south.
I held on to my pants more than his long neck..
and..
Lo and behold I slipped away like a  well untrained skydiver knowing pretty damn well
I was going to fall
with arms flaying
clutching nothingness
my legs dangling
my eyes popping
my hair dishevelled a mess.

….myriad scenes flashed
some laughter
a few solid drives
immaculate chips
a fine line putt
longing desperation
deep blue lakes
sitting on the beach chair
under the rush of fir trees
drinking caffe
med cinnamon rolls…
yet my mind zig-zagged
never stopped..
I talking to my self
forced to anchor
engines on turning gear
this year.

In case June was the moon
yet not t’was too soon
come August this must be now
yet my bag stayed zipped
forlorn vacant with slow desire
September Simla not just yet
November cold dark yet fresh
inhale moss breath
kantarell yellow still sprout
surprise surprise yet annoying wild to the bone smug too
one slow car meanders..
slim long legged lass
on a two wheeler
following the footsteps of Cézanne
disembarked
her cloth clutch
followed her following to the
Sunday market Provence
Lavender sabon
Butter croissants..

Just leave your dreams…
Yes I just left…

…Gasping for breath
inhale exhale I find my fall
turned to glide
I soar high’n higher
settled stable
increased speed I catch
the jet stream on my tail
a smooth ride..
adjusting my arms
straightening my legs
my hair now slicked
my Sunday suit and I
and stolen polish black shoes..

..and then slow descend
graceful swan am I?

I perch at the Main Gate
The Mitre, The Crest and all else is there..
I now remember
dark nights bright lights
our month
First December…
the sun nearly set
at Tara Devi’s height
The Good Shepherd gently fades into the night.

I’ll just hunker down inside the bare opening
of that great chestnut tree
and think back
on this year that’s been.
No no .. no sarcasm..
no tantrums ..
no frustration..
but squeezed juices of patience.

Sometimes even nothing
makes sense
is relaxing for the brain until
we shall .. hence.

Christmas is confusing
family togetherness
going home
coming to you
logs and chimneys
Mulled Vino with almonds raisins
table fares are individualistic
Candles and Stars
will Santa Claus arrive
will the Three Kings divide?
Is it just this time
we will stay away
just today even tomorrow
like lambs bleating astray?

Yet I still stretch my limbs
and stand tall…
soon December’s fall
will end it all..
will we stay confused
like that lady who nearly socked me, keep distance she screams ..
nor dare otherwise
others many
like the owl wise
and deep ravines
a sudden hidden troll
the new way
under branches fall?

I will sit cuddled in that nook of the tree and kill my thoughts
speak what sits on my lips…
this year’s camera of my eyes
recording slow motion..

Let the quietude
comfort you
Let us take our time
I tell you what
I pray to end upheaval corruption cloak and dagger selfishness
greedy land grabbers..
less jumble in the brain..
and pray the deep green forest approaching the Main Gate
always remains.

A Peaceful Christmas..
strain your ears to pick up orchestral melodies of the next year.. it better be better than 2020’s propellor wash ..
🙏❤️🙏

Vivek ( Bonnie ) Bhasin
Christmas 2020
Wishing Swans
those graceful wings
and
The Wide Winged Albatross
that cast her shadow over me
as I sailed through
The Straits of Magellan;
…my canopy.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes,

Bonnie/Vivek Bhasin

Request for a contribution from OC’s to help COVID 19 Virus victims.

Dear OC,

Greetings from OCA-India.Trust you and your family are doing well during this most trying time on account of the Covid 19 virus.

I would like to use this opportunity to share with you that at the recently held meeting of the Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School on 11/05/2020,it was decided that the school along with OCA-India would endeavor to provide support and succor to the lesser fortunate who had been adversely impacted by the Covid 19 virus.Representing the OCA-India in my capacity as its President along with other eminent Old Cottonian’s on the Board of Governors,namely Mr.D C Anand the President Emeritus of OCA-India and Mr. Anil Mehra, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Board were in agreement to this proposal.

This as a background the school has committed an amount of INR 500000/-(Five lacs) as support for this project with the hope that Old Cottonian’s would match it with an equal amount.The contribution from Old Cottonian’s would be collected in the account of Bishop Cotton School,the details of which are as follows:

Bishop Cotton School

HDFC Bank Ltd.-Sec/5,New Shimla-171009

Current A/c No:50200039445899

IFSC-HDFC0002447

You are also requested to kindly share your Contact details,Batch and House along with the amount deposited with the Bursar of BCS Mr.Rajiv Mehrotra at bursar@bishopcotton.com.

Whilst the deployment of funds would be monitored directly by the Chairman of the Board of Governors,the President of OCA-India would be kept informed of the same. The contribution would be entitled to tax benefit for which an appropriate certificate will be provided under 80 G by Bishop Cotton School. We already have commitments of over one lakh. Upon exhausting the funds a complete statement of account would be circulated to all Old Cottonian’s as well as posted on the OCA-India website.

May I request you to kindly come forward and lend a shoulder to this noble project by contributing generously so that we may be able to provide assistance to the affected in their time of hardship and distress.

Wishing you all safe and healthy days ahead.

Warm Regards,

Davinder Singh Jaaj

President

OCA-India

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.

Christmas Letter 2019 / Vivek Bhasin

… back inside a little hole in a Fir tree trunk…
Curled like a ball
I struggle
to stretch my neck out
adjusting my shrunk body…

Making it a point to get back in
every year…
to tell myself
you did all that…

…attending OCA luncheons in Delhi, London and Chandigarh..
Worshipped at Kali Bari..
The School Chapel…
The Monasterio de Santiago de Campostela…
Christchurch On the Ridge..,
Talai Mandir Criagnano, Mashobra..
Walking on the path…
On the Ridge…
On the Mall…
Through cobwebs of Gurugram..
Swimming in the Pool at Garden Estate..
Playing Golf at Karlstad..
Looking across London with another soul mate riding the London Eye..
.. slow walk at Notting Hill
.. and the SW train to Weybridge..
Dinner in Mayfair with John Hoare Esquire…
Reading “Walking with Nanak”
.. slow an easy in liquid sunshine in Düsseldorf..
and Schloss Benrath with Lady Pureness.

I sometimes stoop and fall
but stand up eventually ..
to teach wild village boys to respect their women in Lohvan Vrindavan..

and jazz across the catwalk at ITC Grand Bharat..
a kaleidoscope of colours.

Having dinner with
Simon David Weale Esquire..
..showing Class XII Cottonians the way …
And being half the force in India Viking..
Gosh… do I realise stuck in the hole in the trunk of that tall fir tree in a thick dark forest in Karlstad …that I am now 3 score and four… ?

that it’s Christmas Day !…

I stick my head out cautiously
… and see a Moose looking at me, confusedly… “ what is he doing in there ?” Yeah what am I doing in here right now…?

So after the hectic never ending gallop through 2019, I better look ahead …
With renewed strength…
With renewed hope…

Having sung Silent Night – Holy Night in Swedish at midnight mass last evening in Karlstad’s Cathedral …

I just flashed a message to my Class of 1970..
Fact: thirty four of us rascals times ten point five years time two hundred seventy days gives an answer of approximation …

Yes one hundred thousand times we heard the bugler ringing the bell on the First Flat for Chapel…

A hundred thousand times we entered our Beautiful Chapel and prayed from 1961 to 1970…

We came from all walks of life..

Our Moms and Dads sending us on the Howrah Kalka Frontier Mails to become some Scholars, some Bankers, others Lawyers and a few those Military men, some Sea Captains and some Mountaineers , some based in Washington, others in Minneapolis, Chicago and Kathmandu, Calcutta, Stockholm and Bombay, Delhi and others in Madras and Dubai. With our precious Metal Badge and our Four colours… we became what we became.. Good Men..

On this Christmas Day.. I called my Mother in Gurugram … I spoke to her ( as I whispered too to the soul of my departed Father)…. “ Mum Thank You for sending me to Bishop Cotton School… and maybe today I sometimes do get irritated and impatient with you and “seem” to think I know more and know better than you … and you agree ….
Mum …within my heart I disagree with myself …. You sit alone .. counting the days when I will come back to spend that precious hour having tea with you…. it was you and my Father who sacrificed so much to send me away .. so I could polish my own shoes and scrub my own back and become the boy that still stays within the man within me….
YOU GAVE ME ROOTS
BUT ALSO WINGS …

so I could keep my ship and crew safe and secure.. so that I could wing away to my closest and special ones… and walk the world being both of you and with the soul of Bishop Cotton…
YOU GAVE ME ROOTS
BUT ALSO WINGS
AND MADE ME THINK…
LIFE HAS BEEN GOOD..
THERE IS A PLACE UP IN THE MOUNTAINS..
THAT BELONGS TO ME…
THAT BELONGS TO MY BROTHERS..TO ALL OF US
THAT NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY…
IT IS THERE FOR ME
FOR THEM
FOR US…..

Thinking of All Cottonians where ever we are… At Christmas 2019.
( from within the trunk of this conifer tree)…

Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970