Tag Archives: 2019

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….

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…

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

Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970

Diwali greetings!

Monday 28th October 2019, a message from Vijay Khurana:

Dear All,
Belated wishes for Diwali but they come with the same degree of warmth and sincerity had they been delivered yesterday. 
These wishes are accompanied by the one thing that we as aging adults will need most are good health accompanied by the capacity for a hearty laugh in the days ahead. I mention that the bit about laughter deliberately since old folks have been known to get grouchy !! So just dispense with that part and learn to smile and laugh a lot more in the new year.
I recall Mrs O. Advani narrating to us the story of the Ramayan when we migrated to Lower I in 1955. She assisted us in making Diwali greeting cards which were then posted to our parents. It was actually an imitation of what she drew on the black board. So about 30 sets of parents received almost identical Diwali greeting cards though each must have felt especially proud that their son had applied himself to the first few lessons of art and craft with a measure of discipline!! Besides, their son’s sense of colour, dimension and tradition were being given a bit of a boost. Some of us developed these skills more than the others and went ahead to become reasonably proficient in the subject to Art but the others never went beyond those crooked diyas that they drew for the rest of their lives !! 
I stray. I read an article that articulates the beginnings of Diwali which I am taking the liberty of sharing it with you only because it offers more interpretations from the version that Mrs Advani narrated to us. It does, however, include her narration as well with a victorious Ram coming home to the delight of the citizens of Ayodhya. It makes for an interesting read and will also educate you about the origins of the use of sulphur and crackers to a festival that originally was simply built around the use of light and not much about sound and, today, pollution !!
The Many Beginnings Of Diwali:-
 Vijay Khurana
DeVats (India) Private Limited
E-4, Sector 8, Noida – 201301, Uttar Pradesh, India

More messages, as replies to the email thread started by Vijay Khurana:

Diwali is the day when Rama and Sita arrive in Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.
There was a reason why they were exiled. Here then is the real story of Diwali

Jai Joshi MD
The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation
Tucson, AZ

Thanks Vijay for the simple and warm memories of Diwalies spent at school..
In my mind the vision of bursting crackers on the 1st flat stand out.
Greetings for Diwali and the coming festive season to all Cottonian kin.


Message from Mr Goss:

Dear Vijay:
Thank you for enlightening me on the origins of the beautiful festival of Devali.  Although belated, may I take this opportunity to wish all my BCS friends in India and abroad a VERY HAPPY DIWALI.  May the spirit of celebration and joy live forever in your hearts and in your homes.
It is with love and gratitude that I cherish and recall my years in BCS.  Always carry our motto in your hearts and live it every day: “Overcome Evil with Good”.
Ronald Goss
(BCS 1956-64)

Upcoming events


This community website links and brings together, globally, all Old Cottonians of Bishop Cotton School Simla. It is not specific to any one country or chapter of the OCA.

OCA [India] Northern Chapter AGM 2019


The Annual General Meeting of the Northern Chapter of the OCA (India).  Is scheduled to be held on 30th September 2019 at 5.30 pm, in the basement of the Chandigarh Golf Academy (of the Chandigarh Golf Club), Sector 6, Chandigarh
The proposed agenda for the AGM will be as under
  • ITEM NO 1 To confirm the minutes of the last AGM
  • ITEM NO 2 To adopt the annual report of the Secretary
  • ITEM NO 3 To adopt the audited accounts for the period 01 April 2018 to 31 March 2019
  • ITEM NO 4 To examine any proposal duly approved by the Executive Committee
  • ITEM NO 5 To conduct any other business with the permission of the chair
The members of the association are requested to be kindly present by 5.30 pm
Jatinder Hayer
OCA (India) Northern Chapter

Notice for the AGM and the Agenda of OCA INDIA – 2019

The AGM of OCA India is scheduled to be conducted on Saturday , the 28th of September 2019, at 5PM.
The location of the meeting will be :
The Ethiopian Cultural Centre
7/50 G , Niti Marg , Chanakya Puri,
Opposite the Nehru park,
New Delhi – 110021
The meeting will be followed by cocktails. A confirmation from you at oldcottonianassociation@yahoo.com would help us with our logistics.

The Agenda for Annual General Meeting of OCA INDIA – 2019

  2. Confirmation of the Minutes of the Last AGM (2018)
  3. To approve and adopt the Annual Report of the Secretary
  4. To approve and adopt the annual accounts of 2018 -19
  5. To examine any Proposal duly approved by the Executive Committee.
  6. To elect any new members in the executive committee, if required.
  7. To conduct any other business with the permission of the Chair.
Ajay Thiara
Secretary – OCA India

Message from the webmaster:
This community website links and brings together, globally, all Old Cottonians of Bishop Cotton School Simla. It is not specific to any one country or chapter of the OCA.