Tag Archives: 2014

Letter from Mr Bhardwaj

Mr G. Niblett
Hon. Life President
Respected Sir,

Thank you very much for the e-mail. Sir I am deeply touched and honoured to receive such kind words from an elderly and respected gentleman. It was extremely great fortune of mine to attend the wonderful flavour of a fine get together of young and senior O.C.s at the Bombay Brasserie, London. Specially the presence of senior ladies and senior O.C.s was like the jewels in the crown. Please allow me to place on record my emotional experience with some of the elderly people. I could not resist my tears while interacting with a senior lady for whom this occasion is a platform where she revives the fond memories of  her long time lost husband every year. Frankly speaking, being a Hindi teacher, I was very nervous to make a speech because of my apprehension about my accent and communication in English. However I gathered courage, convincing myself that it is going to be my interaction with the B.C.S. family which resides overseas here in U.K. After reading out the Headmaster’s message and expressing my feelings not only the young O.C.s but even the senior ladies and O.C.s (apologies … don’t know the names) were very kind to congratulate me for my honest views. Sir your hand on my shoulders, Mr Peter Stringer’s hug and (SHABASHI…. well done) and Mr A. Bapty’s and Mr G. Sahi’s warm handshake made me feel that my parents have congratulated me who are no more in the world. This was the moment when I closed my eyes to offer my prayers to “The Holy Trinity Chapel” of B.C.S. with whose blessings I was perhaps able to pay homage to so many elderly people. This kind of generosity was not only very encouraging but will remain very precious for me. Thank you so much to each and every one of you.

While replying to your e-mail, Sir I take this opportunity to formally thank Kuljinder Bahia for honouring his promise which he innocently made while he was young boy of class 8 at his Alma mater in Shimla. After two and half decades he made me fly in the aeroplane (premium class) to his home at London. I’m extremely grateful to Kuljinder and Mrs Bahia for not only making my stay very comfortable at their house but for the kind generosity of taking care of my every expense at London. The students in the school are very often asking me about my visit to London? Beside apprising them about the entire trip I’m taking liberty of mentioning the achievements of old boys and in particular of Kuljinder for which we all are very proud of. This information I’m sure may be a great source of inspiration to the young Cottonians. I also wish to thank Kuljinder for his big heart and allowing me to bring back a fascinating framed photograph of him with Prince Charles from his Drawing room.

The another biggest support to make this visit possible was Gursant Sandhu, whose letter of invitation was a surprise which I could never dream of. He was very kind to send all the required documents for the VISA and his position as a Notary was itself enough sufficient support to do the needful. His frequent guidance cleared everything smoothly. His presence along with Simarjeet Sandhu, Young Guntaz and Surinder Chugh at the Heathrow airport to receive me speaks a volume about the kind courtesy. My stay for two days at Gursant’s house was also very comfortable. I’m grateful to Gursant and Mrs Sandhu for taking a day off from their busy schedule to show me around in the Malls at London. I want to thank Simarjeet Sandhu also for taking me out for evening walks.

I wish to express my sincere thanks to S.S. Chugh with whom I stayed for two days. I’m grateful to Surinder Mrs Chugh for their great hospitality. Surinder I will always cherish the tour of London city with you in beautiful buses (red line and blue line), in underground trains and in cruise in the Thames river. The evening walks at the Big Ben and Westminster were unforgettable. Thank you so much for showing me the entire city.

I wish to pay my gratitude to Dr. Vijay Bhaliak for coming all the way from Liverpool, spending the evening with me and hosting a delicious dinner at a very fine Indian restaurant. I remember Vijay was a very mature and responsible school captain during a crucial era in 1986.

I want to pay my thanks to Vikram Chopra for a very nice card and looking after me, Nitin Arora who flew all the way from America and invited us for a great lunch, Puneet Singh for making me speak to Mr John Whitmarsh Knight, Senior Sehmbey, Mohit Chaudhary, and many young O.C.s (please accept apologies for not remembering the names… getting old) for their encouragement and support.

I also want to thank Mrinal Vijay for showing me the Tower of London and making me walk through the famous London bridge.

I wish to express lots of thanks to Sam Grewal for showing me around in London and clicking my beautiful photographs in Kuljinder’s beautiful Ferrari and Rolls Royce. I will never forget the ride with Kuljinder in his Ferrari. A wonderful and beautiful machine and…. What a speed…!!

My humble and sincere gratitude to my Headmaster Mr R.C. Robinson who not only encouraged me to go to London but also was very kind to grant me leave during the session. Thank you so much Sir, your kind permission has made me grow further as a Public School master.

In the end once again I want to express my thanks to the O.C.A. (U.K.) Chairman Mr K.S. Bahia and Secretary Mr G.S. Sandhu for their kind gesture of showing me the world. May God Bless each one of you.

With warm regards and best wishes,
Your Sincerely,
V.S. Bhardwaj

OC [Canada] Dinner 4th October 2014 / Bombay Palace Brampton

On July 19, 2014, Malcolm Niblett (C45), John Mclaughlin (I47), Deepinder Bains (C70), Gerald Godinho (L83), Tanvir and Sameer Sodhi (L04,06) set out for Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the United States.

John drove for 8 hrs to get to Whitby, and insisting on driving another 3 hrs the next day to Ganonoque where we took the boat. My wife is always blown away by an 82 year old, a 47 year old and two guys in their 20’s talking about our times at school. Malcolm joined us in Kingston. I asked him which house did he graduate from. His answer was ‘was there another house other than Curzon?’

The Thousand Islands is just beautiful and we were all impressed with all the homes and boats and crossing the international line on the lake. We all had a great time and people already started asking when is the next big trip. Please see the OCA Canada facebook page for pics.

Next year in July we will be going to Stratford for the festival and theatre.


I look forward to seeing you on Saturday October 4th at 6.30pm at Bombay Palace Brampton.


Letters from Gay Niblett and Peter Stringer / OCA UK

Thank you for all your information, keeping us up-to-date with the various Chapters in India. It is good to hear how well they are flourishing, keeping the spirit of BCS burning strong.

I am adding two reports from Peter Stringer, now retired, long-standing Hon. Secretary and myself.

Please keep the information flowing. Both the old and new OCs treasure all the news.

With best regards,
Yours truly
Gay Niblett
Hon. Life President


On a lovely summers day there was a healthy gathering of OCs, at the Bombay Brasserie, where a spirit of change and renewal filled the air. Chairman Kuljinder Bahia, had prepared a surprise for us all. He had invited one of his old teachers from BCS as a special guest – the diminutive but beautifully spoken Hindi teacher – Mr V S Bhardwaj.

Mr Bhardwaj gave – without notes – an eloquent and emotional speech, which brought tears to the eyes of many of the young – and old OCs. He spoke of his humble beginnings – chiming with India’s new Prime Minister – and his gratitude to BCS for accepting him and teachers and pupils alike – taking him to their hearts. He stressed his pride in being a Member of the BCS teaching staff and his undying loyalty to the School. He then read a letter of greetings from the Headmaster, Mr R C Robinson – who had encouraged him to accept the invitation to be with the OCA (UK).

This was a “first” in the ongoing exchange of pupils and (soon, we hope, Masters) between BCS and Marlborough College. We have had pupils from the two schools visiting their opposite numbers. This visit by a BCS teacher, will, we hope be the precursor to the BCS Headmaster’s visit next year to Marlborough College, where a Memorandum of Agreement will be signed by the two Heads to layout a permanent future plan for the exchange of pupils and teachers between the two schools. A reduction the costs of visas between the two countries would certainly help!

The other surprise, was also a “first” – a short, speech by Peter Stringer – our retired but still very active, Hon. Secretary, who, earlier, with his wife Maggie, had held their last pre-Annual OCA lunch party at their home. We are all going to miss this wonderful informal gathering. However, Sheila Reed, widow of Bob Reed, continues, with the help of her lovely family, to hold her annual luncheon party at her home, at the beginning of May.

Peter Stringer, writes of the many old boys who attended, along with visitors and the joyous spirit of the young boys, who in increasing members, are attending under the encouragement of the new Chairman, and the Committee of Gursant Sandhu, Treasurer Puneet Singh, Vijay Bhailak and old stalwart Raj Lamba. A big thank you as well to all the OCs who travelled from India to attend – wish that, more of us older members could reciprocate! Peter Johans and wife also travelled over from Switzerland!

Best wishes to you all

Gay Niblett
Hon. Life President OCA (UK)

2014 Letter from Peter Stringer

Letter from Indira Joshi, on the recent OCA UK meet

I was invited to a BCS reunion last Saturday. It was a lovely lunch at the Bombay Brasserie in Kensington. There were old students from 1935 onward. The Hindi teacher came with greetings from the headmaster and gave a very moving speech and they sang your school song. It was very nostalgic and moving, brought tears to my eyes. There was no one from my year except Padam Singh who was a year junior I think The oldest was 92 years old. The ones before 1947 were mostly English.


EDITOR: Indira Joshi is the sister of OC’s  J [Joe] L Joshi & Jai Hind Joshi – both of Rivaz 1954-63. This letter was sent by Indira to her brother.
A brief on Indira appears on Wikipedia –

Indira Joshi is a British actress of Indian ethnicity. She has appeared in episodes of many well-known British dramas, including Holby CityDoctorsAll About MeThe Bill and Coronation Street. However, she is probably best known for her role as Madhuri Kumar in the spoof chat show The Kumars at No. 42. Indira is an occasional contributor on BBC Two show Grumpy Old Women. She also appeared as Secretary General of the United Nations in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and ‘Erin’ in the sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf episode Lemons.

She has two sons, Shiva Dominic, who is a Buddhist monk, and his younger brother Krishna.

CORRECTIONS sent in by Indira:
“Liev Shiva Dominic also known as Thubten his monk name, and Krishna Dylan.”

Recent OCA Meet

Dear Gursant :
It was wonderful to be there last Saturday among you all and to savour the flavour of such a fine get together. Apart from the lovely arrangements and the cuisine, what was more to be appreciated was the visible hard work and dedication with which both you and Kuljinder have, socially, welded together such a large number of OCs around here. I’m sure under the care of you both, the family here will grow even more, much to the happiness of us all. Well done. Please convey my congratulations to Kuljinder. Could I have his e-mail iD ?
I regret Mr. Brown’s daughter, Susan, could not make it. She lives at Bexhill, close to Hastings,and was taken up with a medical problem. She is planning a trip back up to Shimla ; both she and her husband hope to be in India about the 10th of October.
It was nice to meet Mr. Bhardwaj from BCS and to hear him. It was very pleasing to see the nostalgia that his presence and Speech stirred up among your generation. He is a fine man, conscientious, dedicated and faithful, and full of humility : all qualities not so easily available nowadays in one piece. As I have been in touch with School in recent years more than most of you over here, all you Guys can feel comfortable and happy in the thought that our School is doing very well under the stewardship of Headmaster Robinson. For the very good work he has done over the last decade he deserves the wholehearted support of all us Old Cottonians.
More again. Carry on with the good work. All the best in your profession.
Gurpratap Singh ( Sahi )