Good Reading: 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

🙏❤️🙏Dad!
Wizard of Many
Dragon Slayer of Sudoku …..from Easy to Evil.
Global CEO of The Male Shaver’s Platinum Guild

Bonnie ( Vivek )Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970
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

BCS 162nd Founder’s Day 28th July 2021

Up in the greens of Simla
on a magnificent spur
S I T U A T E D
is an institution steeped in history..
As young boys we arrived
with some trepidation
some anxiousness and many not knowing then…
WHEN..
time is finally up
through the stone corridors
the dorms, the classroom, the Irwin Hall, Linlithgow, Remove, Main School, the Biology and Chem lab, the flats, the courts, the bakery, the war memorial, the art block, Chipu’s, the Lodge and The Chapel….
walking running singing howling acting sitting grubbing laughing smiling melancholic ..now at so many points on the planet ..
we yearn to be there
even for a brief moment.
Today I close my eyes
and arrive through the global positioning systems in my mind..
like a drone hovering above capturing the entire print of this beautiful place…
I can see ..
we all arrive
in mind body and spirit..
all in congregation
each drone different
each drone uniquely the same..
like mists rising after
today’s sweet summer rain
we inhale the bouquet of the earth , the pine laden wind…
looking down from the skies
we see the young Cottonians
looking up at the sky
pointing at us
smiling from the benches
they shout at us in glee..
our propellers create a whirlwind..
they hold on to their school caps
as their metal badge beat on their chest…
insisting we all land ..
but today ..
not today
we came above
in the sky
to pay obeisance
to our great institution..
on our one hundred and sixty second Founder’s Day
we know …
Bishop Cotton School,
Our School … will be there for us..
F O R E V E R 🙏

Vivek ( Bonnie) Bhasin
28 July 2021
on the 162nd year of my Alma mater.

BCS 163rd Founder’s Day / Live Facebook Event

We would like to invite you to join our 163rd Founder’s Day Live Facebook Event, either online at our BCS Facebook page, or in person at our BCS Heritage Campus, Shimla.  The event is being held on 28 July at 2pm in the Irwin Hall, Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, HP..

We are welcoming our Old Cottonian historian Raaja Bhasin as guest speaker who will be speaking on the unique history of Bishop Cotton School. 

Regards, Rebecca Weale

Communications mobile: 8894454565

Editor:
BCS founded in 1859. 2021 makes it the 162nd Founder’s Day not 163rd!

Ajay Nanda / Curzon 1976 batch

Curzon 1976 Batch sent in this message :

“We lost a dear friend”

and they forwarded a message from Ajay Nanda’s family

With profound grief and sorrow, we inform you that our beloved father, Ajay Nanda, has left for his heavenly abode today on 19th july due to a clot in brain. 

A kind and loving son, husband and father & an brother like friend.


Ajay Nanda : Curzon 1969 -1976
Always smiling
Sportsman and an excellent cricketer. Classic spinner.
His name is on the cricket eleven board for 1976.
Pics are attached. In fact there is a pic attached of Curzon 1975 with the cock house.

Regards
Rohit Malhotra
Curzon 71-76


Always in our Hearts. We request friends and family to keep him in their prayers.

Ajay Nanda – a spirited Cottonian.

The first thing that struck you upon seeing Ajay was his brilliant smile. It reached his eyes and lit up his face. He retained that right through.
A good looking lad, friendly and of good disposition he befriended all his classmates and had a opinion to offer on a variety of subjects.
Had a precocious streak which made him wise beyond his years as a young boy and he always spoke with astuteness on relationships and worldly matters.

A good all around Sportman.
An extraordinarily talented cricketer he played for the School 1st Elevens for 2 years, a difficult achievement as it meant you were better than many seniors. He was equally adept with Bat and Ball along with being a brilliant fielder.
He remained in touch with all of us, his batchmates and the Delhiites used to meet him regularly over a evening of
merrymaking until the pandemic.Our deepest condolences to his family members.
He will be missed by all of us whose lives he touched.

– on behalf of the Batch of 1976

Rohit Malhotra


It’s been 45 years since we finished 6th form and walked out the schools gates. 45 years may seem, and is, a long time. Yet, when a batchmate leaves, time disappears and you go back to where you were, oh so long ago. We were both Curzonians, we opened the batting for the house team, he opened for the school elevens, while I came in 1 down. He was by far the best batsman of our time. I can still get the smell of school as I watch from the pavilion Nanda hitting his pads with the bat, as he makes his way to the crease.

His innings has now come to an end.

My condolences to the family. Loss is never easy, it was never meant to be. It’s full of great memories, and painful ones. Of time spent and time lost. Of things done, others forgotten and discarded along they way. The certainty, that which has gone will not come again. Its as you delve among these memories that will find solace. It is not going to be easy, yet slowly but surely you will find your way as you plan and go forward with your lives. I wish you well.

The last we met,  we felt live would never end. Everything lay ahead of us. Now 45 years later, I find I have lost an old friend. Where ever you are, wherever you’re going. Travel safe, go in peace.

Udayan Anand
68 – 76


Nishant Nanda is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Ajay Nanda’s Chautha – Link 1
Time: Jul 22, 2021 04:00 PM India
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85641815721?pwd=LzJvcEdEaEtpNnUzVkN2SkJpY2QrZz09
Meeting ID: 856 4181 5721
Passcode: Ajay

Old Cottonian Raja Virbhadra Singh / passed away 8th July 2021

Raja Virbhadra Singh [(23 June 1934 – 8 July 2021)] was cremated with the state honours on July 10th 2021 at Rampur.

His son, Vikramaditya Singh, had carried his father’s ashes to Haridwar for immersion in the Ganga the next day.

The ashes will also be immersed in the Sutlej at Nogli tomorrow, on July 17th 2021.