SPOTLIGHT on Sabu Singh [and his Short films on Nature]

Sarbjit [SABU as he’s known by] Singh (Rivaz 1957-65), after 47 years in the corporate world, started a second career in 2018 as a maker of short films on birds and nature. His love for nature and the environment are abundantly clear from the myriad of films that he has done.

What became an interest in the mid-80s after meeting a German couple visiting India for bird-watching, has grown into a passion for Sabu. He has been visiting Himachal regularly for the past 10 years and probably has one of the biggest video databases of birds of the lower Himalayas in the world, especially the Indian Paradise Flycatcher.

He also visits parks and sanctuaries as far apart as Dachigam in Kashmir to Vedanthangal in Tamil Nadu and from Kolkata to the Little Rann of Kutch. The rich diversity of the North-East is on his bucket list, he tells us.

Sabu has a active YouTube channel where his work is documented and available to view. Do visit his channel and SUBSCRIBE  – we OCs can assist promote his viewership greatly. Thank you! He is currently a one-man band and does his own shooting , editing, music selection and voice overs. Amazing talent.

Sabu Singh has also written articles on whatever takes his fancy, including excerpts of school life, which are at, for those interested.

Here are a couple of his videos, hope these whet your appetite to go explore his other videos on YouTube as well!

More than anger – Vivek Bhasin

More than anger – such is life mate.. huh??
Our Year of 2020

… as we entered 2020
rumours were initial
yet we celebrated keeping everything aside
not knowing that we would be robbed
blown away…
.. you might say such is life ..
it’s the second time coming
and we were caught in the whirlpool..
reaching towards a drifting log
that slipped through our hands
we are still being carried away to
God knows where..
If we were carried on to the ocean..
at least your Captain would have
hauled you up with his anchor..
but no..
we are spinning in circles..
in a pool of tears..
some laugh
some grieve
many will brush this time aside
..let no one set us asunder..
for when I walk in silence
amongst the fallen cones..alone
when I should have been walking with a very close one..
I have been betrayed…
Yeah .. who gives a flying fcuk
what I think and dream and scheme…
..deeds steeped from history long inked…
let’s look at the big picture they say…
But listen you cousins of Chengez Khan
the next time there will be no goats head soup…
with my rage all spent
my mind will paint
another Guernica…
and Picasso will smile
at me..
and whisper..
sometimes you just have to let go..
of unfinished business..
but recharge your ammo
to strike again…
As long as finger point, green garages, the climb, first bridge and boundary stone wait ..
You will arrive..

Vivek ( Bonnie ) Bhasin

An Old Schoolboy

1943 to 1947 includes 5 years of my school life in Simla.   (Two years in Preparatory School in Chota Simla).   Now an Octogenarian does sum up many years ago.
Strangely enough its indelible imprint on my life leave clusters of fond memories.    Born a Christian of British parentage out in India I have always classed myself as Anglo-Indian.
However, after leaving India in 1956, on an Indian passport to go work for an American company in Iraq. I must begin to tell you the intrigue encounters of my national status. With the name Stringer, introduction to the many ex-pats was an amendment of the first degree to explain my clear English speaking accent.     Explaining my schooling up in the foothills of the Himalayas was at Bishop Cotton School, English founded educated discipline.
But in terror yet hilarious when Iraqi king & government was deposed by Col. Abdul Karim Kasim 1958 and I was detained at an internal checkpoint.      The bumbling guards could not make out from my documents if I was “Hollandee or Hindi.”

Moving on to London December 1958, the Cockney element could not tolerate my spoken English, by far, was clearer & well understood. How come life in old India was easier & better and the sun always shined!  Stone the crows what more could I say?

I seriously began to integrate me with England because of my family British background. Before career reassignments to Libya & Iran, I applied for a British passport and was denied.  Aware of my salary scale undervalued regardless of my well-advanced engineering skills drilling for groundwater.  I had to suffer, to teach drilling practice to other well-paid company fellows. Laughable to listen to some Americans sheer stupidly to ask if I was a US ‘Injun’. Including their wives, more so, taken with my quaint English accent coming from the East.

All throughout my working life and on holiday, countries around the Mediterranean I was forever accepted as local and treated with hospitable kindness.                                                     I say with pride my School motto “Overcome evil with Good” brought me safely where I am today.  You must be proud of dear Patina too.

Peter Stringer Lefroy

BCS 161st Founder’s Day 2020

One hundred and sixty one years  today and my beautiful Alma mater remains steadfast on that spur of Simla looking towards the gap of Tara Devi, whilst the Heavens above look down and Bless our great institution…

The history of Bishop Cotton School is entwined with the history of India and Britain. Our school founded by Reverend Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton is the ground where I grew up from a five year old…. to what I am today.

At an interesting talk at Chatham House London by Mark Tully ( ex.BBC) on life in India, I was sitting amongst the rows of invitees and put my hand up when the Q&A* session started.

I must have asked something terribly relevant.. as Mr Tully started with “that’s a great question…!”

At the end of the event, someone tapped me very gently on my left shoulder. I turned to that side and saw a gentle hand with beautifully manicured nails, delicate long fingers that lead to a gorgeous arm and on to a very aristocratic Lady with coiffured silver-grey hair, a gorgeous face, a string of Mallorca pink pearls and a divine smile ….a whiff of Chanel No 5 and Pure Radiance!

“Excuse me“ she whispered coming closer …”are you the India High Commissioner?”….

I turned around towards her and stood up….we both smiling looking deep into each other’s eyes..

“ No Ma’am” I whispered back ..

“ I am not the High Commissioner, but I am an Ambassador …”

… she raised her well groomed eyebrow questioningly with an even bigger smile..

“ indeed I am an Ambassador Ma’am, an Ambassador of Bishop Cotton School**Simla” 

And that for us was said enough.

Wishing The Director,the Staff and All We Ambassadors** of Bishop Cotton School, felicitations on our 161st Founder’s Day.

God Bless our great institution; may it continue from strength to strength.

*Q&A session : When my class of 1970 sits on the stage in the Irwin Hall with the senior boys throwing questions at us like freebies ….. we will answer… “about the roads we took, the paths we chose, our lives experiences and whether we have reached our destination..

** Every week day at Chapel Service, just after the hymn was sung, the last prayer recited, we used to wait expectantly for Heady Goldie ( Head Master R. K. von Goldstein) to walk up to the alter to end the service with a very brief talk …..he always did… immaculately, striding forward in his three piece suit, oxfords and Head Master’s gown, he never failed us as we listened to his three minutes that consisted of a spectrum of thoughts, stories and events. The Brass hand grip on the Chapel door and more. What he ingrained in me was one of his impeccable sayings that resound in me every single day….. “ never ever forget young gentlemen… when you walk out of the gates of this great institution, always remember…You Are Ambassadors of Bishop Cotton School…”.

Vivek ( Bonnie ) Bhasin



.. hurting deep and hard that my Class of 1970 will not make it to School this year to celebrate our Golden Anniversary. Deep and hard and heart breaking…