Farewell Speech – Udit Jain:
I still remember joining this institution in Class 4, where my matron helped me settle
and adapt to the school. Then came a time when I was crying not wanting to come back to school but here I am standing and delivering this speech and not wanting to go.
This is what Bishop Cotton is and the essence of being a Cottonian is.Since my BCS journey comes to an end, I would like to thank my teachers (academic as well as sports faculty), batch mates, matrons, wardens, my seniors as well as my juniors and each and everyone who has been a part of this exciting and memorable journey.I laughed, I cried, I learned and laughed again. I have had good days, bad days, highs and lows, and what not that this journey has shown me. I really thank each and everyone who supported and guided me all the way long. I would like to thank my teachers, PTI’s, matrons and wardens for motivating me and moulding me into a wholesome human being.We thought controlling our laughter in a class full of silence was the most difficult thing to do, but little did we realize that controlling our tears on the last day of school would be a million times harder.
There is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we or like it, everything
eventually ends. As much as I’ve looked forward to this day, I’ve always disliked
If an important, exciting and memorable chapter of my life is coming to an end but there is a whole new chapter of life awaiting for me and my batchmates, for which I wish each and everyone all the best.
Well, I would like to express it through a short poem:
We entered crying,
We are leaving crying,
Memories are such traitors,
They always leave us sighing,
With tearful eyes we settled our ties,
O God, we don’t want to
But it’s time to say goodbyes,
Now as our school life comes to rest,
We try and stifle the pain in our chest,
Now, finally when it’s time to leave,
This place bids us all the best.
In the end, I wish all Cottonians good luck for their BCS journey ahead and my advice to all Cottonians is that they should respect their seniors and love their juniors. Also, I
hope that the Traditions of 163 year old BCS remain intact as they were in the recent past.
Let’s get BCS to take the lead to start a Nature-focused, India-wide, public Schools Initiative.
Sanctuary Nature Foundation could do this at no cost to the school, or to the kids.
We already run Kids for Tigers a one-million-strong network that looks upon tigers, elephants, leopards and what have you as metaphors for all of nature.
Essentially, we wish not just to leave a better world for our kids, but better kids for the planet too.
– Bittu Sahgal
Blue skies over Simla
It’s soon a full moon
Radiating the second flat
As I sit on the benches and look at Tara Devi
The last flickering lights of the train disappear
one last turn a fast bend and into the tunnel and now gone..
to the other side..
life then was simple simon
Less people on the planet
Simla was a small town and
My BCS far away from the madding crowd…
Boarding schools were situated on spurs I said looking down I see White Temple, Buffalo Pond, the Hutty; I turned my neck to the left and perched the top of a desolate mountain Pari Mahal..strains of sitar..
Life was simple, the air was simple, the breeze clear and whistling, sunsets too perfect magenta orange and fiery red.
Some voice across from the tennis courts reminds me.. it’s half a century ago .. changes come through decades; the cart road now dust dust and dust; a million cars parked, little rust buckets and half built ugly structures called homes hang precariously on edges;suicidal homes… humanity never stops fornicating; there will be wars; not for territorial expansion but water wars…
I am told a solitary flying squirrel lives on the roof of The Lodge..stuck in a time zone…
2021 is slowly turning the bend
so I need to reminisce on days gone by you know …
I managed and trudged and got my arse into the land of our divine .. my first AZ shot gave me the boost of confidence as they say …
I shot up to School
slept under electric blankets
and dreamt of monkeys riding on zebras sky high in the sky..
I preached and talked and mentored the young ones hearing that old song much popular by Cliff Richard..
I enjoyed Salmon in the hills and
Queso by Francois and his petite esposa
and looked at the washed stars on a perfect night amongst the deodars ..
S&R stayed on course..
Charts laid in ink
through trough and thin
cement wood stones and paint
never too late
It’s barely 162 years
yet energies with synergies
and finally reality..
Whilst I fed apples to wild hare
and heard the bells of cows
I picked up my walk and fed my soul at St. James
at El Monasterio Santiago de Campostela..
I guess I was the only fella
at Bar Escudo del Carmen
in Calle 13
looking at past storms and the Armada
I felt safe in the crowds at Granada with Hermano Antoniocito..
Yet stubbornness prevailed and walking through Benrath
later in Stockholm leaving Karlstad
I came back through the Gates
A perfect morning..
I shed my garb
and perched on that stone…
…that’s where I still am
As Christmas has arrived
Strange times Strange vibes
The chilled wind
I still sit on that stonez
Wishing you all
and hoping the world will be
a better place a week from
today .. Happy New Year…
Kindest Regards and Best Wishes,
Vivek / Bonnie Bhasin
Sitting elf-like on boundary stone in the cold dark winter of Simla.
In SWEDEN yet at the edge of BCS.
…Will this ever end
will this never end, the steep climb on hard asphalt between Neda and Pontedeume.. ?
An inner voice plays with my painfully aching shoulders, screams at my knees and pounding feet.. ” Stop! Release your Mochila(your backpack).. It will only get worse as you reach the top of this one, a sharp descent and another steeper climb awaits you..throw caution to the wind and fling that pack into the ravine; then your walking sticks too, your heavy sweat filled jacket,
remove your dripping shirt, your vest all..everything. And now walk slowly to the edge of the forest..
When you arrive you will see a patch of soft green grass still wet with last night’s dew.. Yes it will be cool and fresh! Lay your body down on your back and look up at the swaying branches, the puffed cloud
s sailing across the azure blue sky…the whistling wind will then caress you…it will..inhale, exhale, smile contentedly.. no pain now .. Are you not free… ?”
I stop in thought, trying to fathom what my voice just told me….
Not with anger, not with frustration, not with tiredness nor with the pain and aches…I reach deep down and pull out that “inner voice”.. Holding it in my hand it smiles at me as I look at it with great curiosity…
. ” Yes Yes, it’s the right thing to do…just do it “ the ” inner voice” laughing.
Grasping the “voice’ I walk to the edge of the forest and approach a handsome tree.. I press the ” Voice” against the trunk of the tree carefully wrapping my long scarf around it so it cannot hurt itself not drop…
….nor try to conquer me…
I bid “Adios” to my inner voice and struggle away not looking back.. far up the hill until the last shrilling, protesting and desperate tones of my ” inner voice” …. “why are you not listening ? Heeding to me imploring you……?”……fade away .. my body heavier, exhausted.. yet I…never stop.
Looking up to the sky, I see an eagle in flight… He acknowledges my presence, my determination and swoops in towards me; with terrific speed flies over me, I can feel his jet stream….then he shoots up into the sky and is a speck again..
.. The peregrino(pilgrim) I am.. I just keep walking towards the Monastery of Santiago de Compostela.
I am now that Eagle gliding through the skies and looking at all my Camino Closest as you continue your Camino de su vida( the walk of life ..)
Ultreia et Suseia..
Go Further.. Go Higher
Capitan Vivek ( Bonnie) BHASIN
“ Dad” Mahinder Nanda Esq; Global CEO of the Male Shaver’s PLATINUM Guild & SUDOKU Wizard..
As a young boy at BCS there lived amongst us thinnies’n skinnies a couple of hairy rascal gorillas in both the Rivaz & Lefroy Dorms… one I distinctly remember was a chap, short stocky compact with a loaded bristles-forever-face. The dude was sixteen but looked like yes, a mature gorilla with hairy arms that sort of nearly touched his ankles. If his hair wasn’t dark and jet black I could have sworn he was a Gorillorangutan, yes you too may have guessed, his parents “could” have been Gorilla and Orangutan one of each and “could” have met in the tropical jungles when hot-humid-pissing-down-in the rain forests, both seeking shelter from buckets of rain holding huge wild ferns over their heads, sitting next to each other staring ahead into the dark green sweltering heat with dragon flies a plenty…but as instincts call they both turned towards one another and Sweet Hallelujah it was LAFS; simplifying it-it was Love At First Sight, quite a scandal amongst the Gorilla and Orangutan tribes, but who gave a toss of banana scandals… and so the priest , another rascal of a Chimpanzee calling himself “ The Most Reverend ChiChoBonaparte” wed the 💏 couple in love ( thankfully the Orang was a Lady of the Highest Order and the Gorr a Gentleman who was a graduate from the esteemed HSBC, the Harvard School of Baboons & Connivers ( not the bloody bank).
Recollect readers the hairy Cottonian’s parents only-possibly, “could“ have been the two Apes…no?
The chap was a Rivazian and I looked at his face in awe; he was in Fifth Form and I in Upper One, so we were around ten years apart along with the fact his face, a layer of thick blue-green of bristles; we guys were silky smooth something like Cadbury’s chocolate.
Having the courage to ask him one day about his bristles and how they came about etcetra … he appeared smooth as silk too.. baffled! but still I ventured to ask nervously and he…“ I shave twice a day “ .. “Lola” replied with a confident smirk ‘n swagger and just jazzed off like a real star of the bristle brigade into the Tara Devi sunset ..yes Lola and another new fandangled word for him “Jhariaa” or thick bushes with bramble that butterflies-afraid-to perch on was his second nick name.
Many of us wondered what that word “ shave” was all about…
Of course I tried to ask many in Lefroy, even the surdies who boasted Rapunzel hair under their turbans; none had the foggiest about bristles’ n beards and how “Lola the Jhariaa” was ahead of the hairy curve.
Lola passed out from BCS and except for a scant one or two strands emanating from some other dude’s follicles I never encountered another Gollirorangutan passed my ten years in School.
Another year and two passed.. I was going to join the band of gypsies as The Merchant Marine called.. By now a few strands had emerged in my regale chin too and I was told by the Company Superintendent “ report on board with your packed kit bag; a shave every day with a decent hair cut”. ….
The first ablution! Shave! And still I was lost. My Father was away to Sandheads so Mum said she would book a trunk call to Bombay and I “ should speak to Mahinderji who will be able to explain slowly carefully and simply how you should shave 🪒 “
I remember trunk calls during the early 1970’s were a Big Deal; with water and sewage in the trunk line it was required to shout loud and hard as there were 2000 kms between Calcutta and Bombay..as it was important that your neighbours heard you, so impressed by the howls and screams after all this was a Trunk Call not a telegram..
The trunk call was all I needed..
to understand the beard to be weeded
Mahenderji, a real shaving ace
Asked me to feel the contours of my face
Mine was smooth rough low high beard
Don’t fret it will feel initially weird
Now wash your face with hot water
A nice badger brush to build up lather
those days the cream he used was Old Spice
Impressed me do not roll the dice
stick to that cream good advise from the wise
Now a safety razor with seven’o’clock
that I applied, nicked and in shock
Follow the lines of your chiseled face
Long confident strokes you will make
Like the smooth Kalka Simla train
Beware never ever against the grain…
and so my story goes, it was Thanks to Dad Mahenderji I learnt the art of shaving. He was a little skeptic on showing me tricks on designing my moustache since he had a gallant sophisticated bigote and I wasn’t allowed to sport one.
Whenever my ship docked after transatlantic voyages at Bombay, I bounded across to Silver Oaks to meet the Global CEO of The Male Shaver’s PLATINUM guild who studied the fine contours of my face; we heaped praises and plati-accolades on each other’s fine performances most he-to-me in his humble way; I always took copious notes but I knew then I still hadn’t achieved the ski lines or the glowing freshness of DAD’s and had much to learn, to complete many badger-creme-razor voyages before I could shave on a dark night with only lightning striking the palms above in a pouring rainforest…. as a Gorilla and Orangutan madly in love holding hands sat watching me…
.. till date the shaving lectures I received have being ingrained in my memory…….perhaps it was the deafening rock concerts I went to, the roll, pitch and pounding of my ship catching me off balance that I shaved my tuft against the grain too often and Alas! My Beard is amongst the damnedest sharpest roughest the world has ever seen or anyone has felt ( wink ! wink!)
But I remain ever grateful to “ DAD” who continued to impress the Yanks with his mathematical wizardry; fifty years ago whilst visiting Japan Dad met Emperor Shōwa Hirohito who asked him “besides Honda Toyota Kawasaki and Seiko what else could the Imperial Rising Sun give to the world”?
Dad whilst enjoying a plate of salmon sushi and saki smiled and bowing to His Royal Highness … whispering questioning “Royal Highness .SODOKU.?”
Confused HRH Shōwa with a high brow responded …”Please expand Nanda San ….”
… and Dad replied.smiling again …
“ Your Royal Highness…Suji wa dokushin ni kagiru “
And that’s when it all started …
First THE ART OF SHAVING &
Later SUDOKU WIZARDRY
Wizard of Many
Dragon Slayer of Sudoku …..from Easy to Evil.
Global CEO of The Male Shaver’s Platinum Guild
Bonnie ( Vivek )Bhasin
Still Shaving .. imperfectly
Still referring to copious notes..
(Also in memory of Lola the Jhariaa Sharma .. wherever your growth has taken you..Bro 🙏)
08 Aug 2021