Tag Archives: BM Singh


Came across this poem…. Thought I’d share it..

The heartthrob of the school,

is a man grim and sombre.

That lanky little girl,

is now a weightlifter.

The topper of the class,

is a happy homemaker.

Back bencher of the lot,

is an entrepreneur.

The flamboyant fashionista,

became a dreaded lawyer.

Oft ignored average Joe,

turned a well-known writer.

The one who failed math paper,

is a fashion designer,

And one who often got to stand outside the class, is a respected army officer.

The reunion taught me how,

people came with many layers,

and tell me why should we never,

judge a book by its cover.

Comment: We have seen our fair share of such situations.

Bittu Sahgal become an authority on animal conservation, especially the tiger, though he first started by selling Milton buckets and then entered the printing business!

R S Sodhi became a judge after he could no longer fly planes for the IAF !!

Brandy Gill a corporate honcho who brought Gillette to India (an interesting story there). Tennis, his BCS back ground and his qualifications as a chartered accountant got him there with the aid of a few good women!!

B M Singh, Chairman of the Central Board of Taxes, and his ability to handle people and situations – brilliantly !!

Rajive Sawhney, an ace lawyer he was determined to be. He wanted nothing else and he tore his heart out debating whenever he could. It began early.

CM Kohli, a real estate magnate and smoked every one else out of business !

SM Singh, a brilliant entrepreneur who otherwise was the quietest guy around

N K Akers, a hospitality expert and that affable temperament that fit perfectly. He resides in Cairo and has been there for over 30 years now.

Vinod Pawa, a university professor. Actually that capability would have fit anywhere and done exceptionally well.

Param Inder Singh, vastly successful inventor and entrepreneur in the field medical devices business while he first set out to become an aeronautical engineer

Guljit Kochhar, an expert in the plastic moulding business expanded into plastic products. He currently employs 700 people !! He got into the game only because a programme coordinator suggest he take a trip to see some other parts of the US during a college break !!

Mohit Goyal, became an IT entrepreneur when he flipped a job advertisement page that his father sent him and was attracted to what IBM had to offer on the other side of the sheet !!

Also remember those with warmth and feeling who never really entered life or reached their full potential. Shiv Raj Singh, who died of an anaphylactic shock from an injection straight after school or Ashok Dina Nath in a tragic road accident. May they rest in peace. In a lot of other cases Fate just did not carry them to the destiny that may have awaited them !!

There are so many more. The names listed above are suggestive based on a spontaneous listing and certainly not exhaustive.

Vijay [Khurana], BCS class of 1962.

Photos from Saturday March 19th 2016 / Bittu Sahgal and OCs

The dinner on March 19, 2016 which was hosted by Royina Grewal and her daughters, friends of Bittu Sahgal. Royina has a fabulously large place and it was warm and cozy. The Grewals and the Sahgal families are close and have been for over 40 years. Royina was gracious and generous to host the evening. It was simply fabulous. The accompanying pictures, and I have many more, tell the story.
– Vijay Khurana


On March 31st I shall cease to function as the President of OCA (India) and, at this juncture, it is only appropriate that I bid adieu to all the fellow members of the executive team and pen a few words for fellow OCs.

It was a steep learning curve to manage an organization without any authority to command compliance – to which I had earlier been familiar with. Nevertheless, some fellow members came forward to contribute time and effort and carried out work which many would find tiresome and mundane. Special mention in this behalf must be made of Neel Kamal Mehra and Ashwani Virk for their guidance and selfless work. Jaspal Sawhney was only a phone call away and credit is due to him too for helping us whenever we needed him. There were others who were critical and I thank them also as they kept us on our toes.

Such an Association’s primary object is to facilitate bonding and provide a platform for members to participate in furtherance of our objects but all this has to be on a voluntary basis. To this effect, an attempt has been made to update our data base of members with their latest coordinates and I sincerely hope that this exercise would be ongoing in the future. At the outset there was a feeling of exclusion among many younger members as they thought the OCA was a closed club. After much deliberation, the MOA was suitably amended for them to come on board as executive members of various chapters and the central body. Progress has been achieved in this behalf but I would appreciate it if even a larger number of later batches participate in these bodies. Even though an attempt has been made to put the Association on an even keel, much requires to be done at the Chapter level to involve members. We have a vast talent pool among our members and I urge them to step forward to attain our objects.

During our tenure we did take some initiatives such as extending monetary help to OCs in need to meet hospital bills or to undertake a climb of Mt. Everest (during the coming season). The celebrations of the Golden and Silver anniversaries of leaving school were formalized and I am glad that each of these classes made valuable additions to the school’s infrastructure. As a result we have a refurbished staff room, a visitor’s waiting room and the school swimming pool has a filter. A major project undertaken by the OCA last year was the installation of a Solar heating system for the main school and after its success a similar one has been ordered for the junior school. Besides providing a greener environment, it reduces drastically the school’s fuel bill. The ‘To do’ list is endless and I wish Sukhinder Singh and his team the very best in their task ahead.

Last but not the least I wish to thank D.C.Anand for his invaluable guidance and help to our Association and to the infrastructure placed at our disposal with the great assistance provided by Ms Gopa Seal of his company.

We shall prevail and

BM Singh




Re: Protocol for Old Cottonians

The matter relating to visits of OCs to the school was discussed with the Headmaster and he was informed of the apprehensions expressed by some members of being shut out of the campus and not being allowed to visit their Alma Mater.

Mr Robinson assured me that the old boys are always welcome to visit the school but the entry of visitors has to be balanced with the need to avoid disturbance of school routines and the present day security issues ( regarding which he has received a communication from state authorities). Hence, OCs are advised to call and seek permission before visiting the school and, if this was not possible, to wait  awhile at the gate while the security gets a clearance from the Headmaster/Senior Master.

In addition, he assured me that they can visit anytime from 3pm to 5pm on weekdays and through out the day on Sundays when classes are not in session.
It must be understood that students do get disturbed when classes are in session and visitors are seen on the first flat.

I would also like to request the Chapter Heads to issue some sort of ID cards for OCs as this would make it easier to distinguish them from other visitors and meet the needs of security. They must also maintain proper decorum on their visits and not create any disturbance as, by doing so, they shall set an example for the school kids to emulate.

Thanks and regards,
BM Singh
President OCA India

To contact OCA India please click HERE

Update Mrs Coralie DeMellow – Sept 17th 2012

Dear All,
Mrs DeMellow was hospitalised in August, 2012 after a pelvic injury and was operated upon by Dr Pradeep Sharma, an eminent surgeon, at the Holy Family Hospital. She continues to make excellent progress. She is now able to stand and walk around with a bit of support.
There is now compelling pressure from the Hospital, though one must compliment them for their compassion, to effect her early discharge lest she contract a hospital infection. Mr Ishwar Bhatia, her principal care giver, family friend and guardian has been frantically trying to find an old age home for Mrs DeMellow. He is of the opinion that she can no longer live by herself even with the support of staff since she needs full time medical assistance. She needs greater support and has now finally reconciled to an idea that she had resisted for far too long.

Mrs Coralie Emma deMellow – correction/update/rejoinder

Dear OCs

Further to the details of the visit to Mrs deMellow, here is a letter from Mr. I.L. Bhatia that is of importance. We apologize for the misspelling of the names and will be correcting this error now.

OCA Web Team

I thought I must tell you about a couple of changes which you ought to make in the write-up based on factual position. These are broadly as under:

The Names:
Melville Frederick Oswald deMellow. Born on 28.04.1913. However, he used to write Melville deMellow which he used to pronounce also as “The News Read by Melville deMellow”. deMellow is one word with d small.

Mrs. Coralie Emma deMellow (also known as Jane).

(I have purposely given the correct spellings as both of them were very sensitive persons, more so in the matter of their names. Editor: Our apologies. Corrections being effected!)

Mrs. deMellow’s elder sister lives in Bangalore along with her son is not able to come to Delhi, since he looks after his mother.

Her brother – Dr. Stephens (A Medical Doctor) who is 100-years old lives in New Zealand.

All three have 90% hearing impairment.  I am somehow in touch with both of them through mails or at times I connect these persons on my mobile so that Mrs. deMellow can speak to them on special occasions like Birthdays, WAs etc.

Assignment with Radio:
Mr. deMellow was a regular employee of AIR on a 58-year contract. All the performing artists in AIR (there was no Doordarshan then), were termed as Staff`Artists and initially were given a five year contract. Later, it was decided to give them a contract till 58 years of age – to be at par with the Govt. employees. Although Mr. deMellow’s contract up to the age of 58 years expired in 1972, he continued to get extension of two year contract till 1978. He retired in the scale of a Joint Secretary. The only difference between Staff Artists vis-à-vis Govt. employees was that while the former were not entitled to Govt. Pension, the latter were entitled. This distinction was also done away with in 1982 when all the Staff Artists were declared Govt. servants. However, by that time, Mr. deMellow had retired and therefore all SAs who were in position prior to 1982 were not entitled to pension. Mr. Jasdev Singh who was trained by Mr. deMellow is getting a fat pension as he retired after 1982.  In short, he was not paid on assignment basis but was getting regular salary every month.  The ex-gratis payment of Rs. 1500/- was sanctioned by AIR in 2009 when she had corresponded with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi as advised by me. But it was suddenly stopped as the Prasar Bharti Board had stopped all such payments. The DGs of AIR whom I knew personally (Ms. Noreen Naqvi and presently Mr. Liladhar Mandloi) could not get it restored as it was a Board’s decision.  The article in the newspaper was a subtle message for AIR in their ignoring the widow of a Padma Shri broadcasting icon!

I worked with Mr. deMellow exactly for ten years from 19.08.66 to 18.08.76 when I moved out after qualifying the UPSC examination. Even after I got shifted to administrative line, I was in touch with deMellows and was considered a family member.  After the untimely death of her husband, Mrs. deMellow did  not want to live in Kalkaji and wanted to be shifted to Saket so that she can be some where near to my residence.

After working in several Departments and Ministries of the Govt. of India, I superannuated in April 2004 after working for more than six years as Chief Vigilance Officer in the Ministry of Water Resources. Immediately thereafter I joined as Adviser in AAI where I worked till February, 2012  All these years, I have  tried to help and assist her in every possible manner which she gratefully acknowledges as well. I do it out of compassion rather than any compulsion. Practically all workers and residents know me who go to her house immediately in case of a problem and also immediately inform me when she has a problem.

While I have not been introduced to Mr. Vijay Khurana formally, nor in a detailed manner to Mr. Neel Mehra and Mr. B.M. Singh, I thought of giving you my background and therefore this detailed mail. Breda Dayal came in to picture 4-5 years back only and I had no idea as to who she was, till I was introduced to her about 3 years back. Mrs. Dayal is an Irish lady who genuinely helps her whenever she can.

When I met both the above gentlemen the other day, I had emphasized that the best thing would be to depute someone to try get her a fixed monthly amount with which she can live a decent life. Perhaps, you can concentrate on that and in the meantime, as was requested during our inter-action with them, to arrange for a lady assistance from 8 am to 8 pm. Since I am also now +68, I do not have much energy left to run around. Still I do help her and regularly see her to meet her medical and grocery needs, payment of all bills etc. despite the fact that it has genuinely impacted my life in a way! My only interest is that she should pass the remaining years of her life as she would like to do and therefore despite telling her about the old age homes, never compelled her to shift there as she is comfortable staying in her home.

For any other information, you can contact me whenever you feel like doing it.

With best wishes,

IL Bhatia

OCA Welfare visit: Mrs deMellow

Dear All
Last week, B.M. Singh – the initiator and Neel Mehra – the backbone of this project; visited Mrs Coralie DeMello deMellow. A couple of their photographs are shown below, with Mrs DeMello deMellow (she is called Jane by those who know her), Mr I.L. Bhatia and Mrs Breda Dayal.

Neel Mehra with Mrs Coralie DeMello deMellow flanked by Mr. Bhatia and Mrs Breda Dayal ~ BM Singh with Mrs Coralie DeMello deMellow flanked by Mr. Bhatia and Mrs Breda Dayal. Click for larger picture.

Much of what we know about Mrs  DeMello deMellow has come to us from Breda who regularly visits the lady. Mr I L Bhatia was a secretary to Mr Melville DeMello deMellow. A hard working and devoted friend he joined government service and retired after a successful career. He now lives in the same complex as Mrs DeMello deMellow and is a person she trusts. He is there to support her in any manner that he can. Mrs DeMello deMellow has confidence in both these persons and that is a statement in itself when people at that age, 95 years, begin to develop fears and insecurities of their own.

Mrs DeMello deMellow, the nonagenarian, exhibits all the signs of physical ageing but is remarkably free from social ageing. Her intelligence and her cognitive processes have not declined. Thin and emaciated, she has her wits about her. Her hand writing is remarkably stable and steady. She writes her own cheques and is aware of the balance in the account, which is now in a precariously depleted state. What is impaired is her hearing. She has a high sense of insecurity (“What do I do when I am alone and frightened? !!” ) She is terribly lonely, alone but concerned at the cost of a presence. “If someone comes to work and stay with me during the day, do I have to make her tea? Who is to feed this person? ” are the kind of questions that draw her attention. She has no near relative around her. A sister, older than her lives in Bangalore in a home for the aged and an even older brother in New Zealand. There is no contact with any of them except that the same genes are healthy and operative in all three cases!

It is fear, the dread that comes with being all by yourself, that afflicts her most. It haunts her constantly inspite of the assurances of those who have made an effort to help her. She feels helpless and that apprehension is a constant theme. Accompanied by penury, it takes on a hue all very dark and with uncomfortable tones. The saving grace is her frequent return to balance when she is assured that she is not isolated and unwanted. To alleviate that sense of dismay is not easy and the care givers make a constant effort. It is loneliness of the night that she dreads the most.

Mrs DeMello deMellow eats twice a day, the breakfast and the lunch are her only meals and they are understandably frugal. She has declined to move into an old age home and is keen to retain her dignity and her independence. Understandable. She has lived an active live and this is apparent when you learn that she was teacher of Russian until 2002.

She remembered Melville telling her about his wonderful years at BCS. He was there from 1925-9. She recalls he would go up to The Ridge to practice his speech with the use of raw eggs. I wonder how he did that!! Well whatever technique he used was superb because his commentary of Gandhiji funeral, the Republic Day parade or a India hockey final are still remembered for the vividness of their description of the event. It left you spell bound for its detailed narration in a voice and language that painted a picture that was animated and eloquent.

Melville DeMello deMellow passed away in 1989. He was not a permanent employee of All India Radio and was therefore paid on an assignment basis. His last employment was with the Sports Authority of India who hired his services for the Asian Games in 1979. After that stint they kept him on until 1989 and he passed away. Out of compassion, an ex-gratia payment was made to him of Rs 1,500 every month until last year when it was discontinued. The absence of this source and the continual dipping into their savings has resulted in Mrs DeMello deMellow facing a financial closure of sorts. She has no savings and no source of income. She is without funds of any kind. What little gold she had was sold. That is hard for any woman but the compulsions of the situation were such with little option available.

To offer Mrs DeMello deMellow immediate relief, B M Singh and Neel Mehra have disbursed an amount of Rs 10,000. Further action is contemplated to ensure that the lady is well settled and offered complete care. Her insecurity and the surrounding uncertainty must be eliminated so that she can pass the rest of her days with a degree of equanimity and comfort. This is what we aim to do.

The contributions are still coming in and more will be welcome. We aim to develop a fund where we can support Mrs DeMello deMellow with a month payout. Currently we estimate this to be approximately Rs 10,000 per month. Given our initiative, it is possible that other organisations may want to assist in taking care of Mrs DeMello deMellow. We will need to assess the need and act suitably.

The time and effort of B M Singh and Neel Mehra must be appreciated. They are patient, dedicated and compassionate individuals whose efforts must be lauded. Their efforts reflect on the rest of us OCs and describe just the kind of people we are and want to be!!




New Year greetings to all of you!  

You may be aware from the message circulated on our Website by Wendy Dewan , Secretary OCA, the ANNUAL LUNCH this year is scheduled to be held on 19th Feb at Aurobindo Marg.

Let me take this opportunity to earnestly request our members to make this a great success by attending in large numbers. May I also request you to please take the trouble of informing other OCs who do not access the website and persuade them to attend.

An Association like ours exists primarily for the members and it is for the members to ensure that these get-togethers are well attended. Your participation means a great deal to fellow OCs.

To ensure that the food is not wasted or that it does not run short please indicate your attendance to the Secretary, OCA by e-mail to oca_delhi@yahoo.com and by phone to Ms Gopa Seal +919899546669 and 011-42092300/42092302

See you in large numbers with wives/girl friends!

B.M.Singh, President OCA (India)

BM Singh hosts a dinner for BCS 1961 Batch

Dear All

BM Singh, President OCA (India) and his wife Ravi Singh hosted a dinner for the batch of 1961 who will go up to Simla to celebrate their 50 years of leaving School this week. The dinner was hosted at the Deck Suite at the India Habitat Centre

The numbers for this batch have dwindled rapidly but their gusto and enthusiasm remains undiminished. In typical OC style,

Sukhinder Singh, Billy Gill,  Adarshpal Singh, accompanied by Ajay Thiara drove in yesterday [17th Sept] morning from Chandigarh for this dinner. The dinner which began early at 7.30 pm concluded almost near the mid-night and these gentlemen then drove right back last night. They were sleeping when Ashok Mulchandani rang to seek some assistance and advice!! What do you expect ? !!

The following other guys from the 1961 batch were present:
Veenu & Jaiwant Gill
Nano & Ricky Sawhney
Anita & Sudhir Khanna
Sudhir Kashyap
Ashok Mulchandani

The others present were:
Harry Bedi
Jyoti & R S Sodhi
Ritu & Neel Mehra
Anupam Thapa
Vatsala & Vijay Khurana

The pictures that Sudhir Khanna took, and sent as a separate mail with a Picassa link, simply indicate what a lovely evening it was. What I am doing is sending some of these pictures with the names of the persons labelled (left to right pattern) so that you can identify the persons in the respective pictures. Unfortunately, the quality of my attachments is not outstanding but Sudhir’s mail will give you a much better idea. Go full screen and a slide show to get the complete effect of what a group with an average of 60 can do and enjoy an evening!

We take this opportunity to wish the 1961 batch a happy and lovely reunion.

[Hover your mouse-pointer on a pic to see the title, click a picture for a larger view]


Delhi / NCR Chapter

Dear OCs,
In my previous letter there was mention of the various Chapters of OCA (India) and the need to structure them within certain geographic limits. I have not had any feed back as yet from any of the members on this subject.

Even the Delhi or NCR Chapter, as it should be called, has not really been constituted and has not been functioning as a distinct body. The members from this region should take steps to do so. For this purpose, I have requested Neel Kamal Mehra  to convene a meeting of active OCs of this region so that they can choose their representatives. While he has the e-mail addresses of many and so does Jaspal Sawhney, it would make matters simpler if the members from NCR should contact him at nkmehra@gmail.com and give their contact details to facilitate this.
With best regards,

Letter to all OCs – from BM Singh

Dear OCs,
I feel privileged in addressing this letter to all fellow OCs after my election as President of OCA (India). I accept this responsibility with all humility and with some apprehension too. There are some OCs who feel that the organization is not inclusive but too Delhi centric and want a greater say in its management. That our MOA needs to be amended is accepted by all and, to this effect, a draft has been prepared by the constituted committee and hosted on our website. It is open for members to offer their suggestions, which will be further screened by representatives of all chapters and put to vote at an EGM. By this open democratic process we hope to eliminate most, if not all grievances, of members.

At this juncture I would like to put across to you what the OCA means to me. It has a dual function. While being an organization, which is a platform for all old students of BCS to meet, socialize and bond, preferably across all ages; we have to also, in an altruistic manner, provide support, financial and moral, to B.C.S. without interference with the actual running of the school. We do have representation on the Board of Governors and, to that extent, help in the framing of policies of the management.

In every group or association there would be diverse views on all subjects. It would be our endeavor to listen and take into consideration all the varied suggestions before proceeding further. In furtherance of this objective I would like to take this opportunity to request each of the Chapters to suggest the names of two members who could participate as members of the Committee.

While on the subject of Chapters of OCA (India), we should further fine-tune their geographic limits taking into account the number of OCs residing there in. Delhi or NCR, Northern (comprising of Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and J&K) and Himachal Pradesh are generally accepted but what about the rest of India? The Bombay or Mumbai chapter has many members but does it only comprise of Maharashtra or also the other adjoining states? Moreover, how many OCs reside in the southern and eastern states? Are there enough to constitute separate chapters or should they be part of say a ‘Rest of India’ chapter. These are all matters, which require urgent resolution and I request all active members to write in with their views. We at the office of OCA (India) will also be perusing the list of members to arrive at some understanding of this issue and if there are OCs who are willing to lend a helping hand, they are most welcome.


Obituary – Rupinder (Ruby) Randhawa

Obituary – Rupinder (Ruby) Randhawa




With great sadness and deep regret we wish to inform you that Brajinder Mohan Singh (Curzon 1957-63) lost his sister-in-law Rupinder (Ruby) Randhawa in The Taj during the recent incidents at Mumbai India.

Ruby was a wonderful teacher, first at The Cathedral & John Connon School in Bombay and then at the B.D. Somani International School.

“Others remember, with fondness and sadness, people who had touched their lives, like Ms Rupinder Randhawa, a teacher at B.D. Somani International School, who fell victim to the terror-attack.” reported The Hindu. She was a perceptive and innovative teacher who knew how to retain the interest of her class in different and unique ways all the time. .She was a delightful human being. The praises from her students have been extravagant, genuine and heart felt.

Our sympathies and condolences to Ruby’s husband, a pilot with The Tatas, her family and to Ravi & BM.


P.S. Ravi and BM are currently in Delhi. They will proceed to Patiala for The Bhog on Sunday, December 7, 2008.