Tag Archives: News article

Article on Fali Nariman’s school days at BCS

Posted by Mr. Lakhanpal on the OCA Mumbai Grp.
Sent by Ms. Deepa Kennedy.

Click for full view of photos

BCS, looking sharp!

BCS, geared to produce the next gen of Leaders.

From the Chandigarh Tribune publication of 2nd April earlier this year:

A christmas letter to Mrs King sent from a prisoners war camp in Marienburg (Poland today)

Webmaster OCA

I  am sending you a treasured letter from my friend Mike King whose Father Charles King (Ibbetson House, School Capt 1928) a Rector was taken in as POW in Nazi Germany during WWII.

((A very close and wonderful friend of mine based in Baumberg Germany translated the first page. I can also understand my friend’s emotions as she was not born during those days; she is truly a remarkable person Regine Ullrich Zollmarsch who walked the Camino Francis with me on the path to Santiago de Compostela in Spain)).

Many Thanks for your efforts in keeping our website in its finest…
Warmest Regards,

[Vivek Bhasin – Lefroy 1961-1970]

Prisoner of War Post

To : Mrs Katherine King stamped: 4.12.44 (1944) after checking
Destination: Ideford Rectory
Community: Newton Abbot
Place: S. Devon

Checked with Camp Stamp: M-Stammlager

XX8  (5888) Passed  P.142
From: Rev. (Capt. ) C.J.W. KING  C.F.
Prisoner no: 1088
H. Stammlager XXB
Ld Prisoner of war camp
In Marienburg (Poland today), Danzig

My Dear Kate,
I was so pleased to hear from Vera that you and (dated  30.11.44) young Bill had gone to stay at the Rectory. I feel an awful responsibility towards you two now I’m the second head of the family, and wondered how I was going to fulfill my obligations. I don’t know how long you mean to stay with us but I feel that both sides would benefit if you made your home with us. We shall always have houses which will be too big for our needs, and you the problem of company for yourself and Bill while the lad is growing up. But you and Vera must decide that. Things happen Kate, to people big enough to carry them. That is the conclusion I have reached here, where I have had so much time in which to think. The loads are never more than one can bear, however heavy they may seem. Strangely enough too, the load becomes lighter with carrying and one becomes stronger. And don’t my dear, make young Bill into old Bill. You’ll never be able to make anything more than a good copy, and the child will be far more worth to you as just himself. Winter our greatest all round enemy comes and goes. To kill my disappointment I have dug myself into work and am trying hard to improve my own, and other people’s knowledge of French, German and English. I make some progress in each. My headaches fortunately have been very infrequent so far. They have in past captivity winters been my greatest curse. I did hope to be home this year! But I’ll see to it that the extra time is put to good use. Doing an hour’s Physical Training each day. At the moment I feel I am coming apart, but am, nevertheless. Much better for the exercise.
My love to you both, Charles.

The original letter:

[click to see a larger view]

They obviously opened, read and approved it before sending.

Mike King: Another precious letter

Attached is a letter from Mike King’s father, Charles King, to his youngest brother Noel who left BCS in 1934 to move to England with his parents. He was a Captain in the British Airborne Forces and saw action at the Battle of Arnhem and was actually present at the Japanese surrender in Rangoon in 1945.
Love, terrible Wars…
and then Peace….
Finally a Servant of the Almighty
Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970
[click for full view]

About an Old Cottonian – Lt. Sharif Khan aka Sharifo

J. S. Grewal [1970 Batch] sent in this very interesting excerpt from a book he is reading “The Frontier Scouts” by Charles Chenevix Trench, in which he came across a reference to an Old Cottonian – Lt. Sharif Khan aka Sharifo . There was an incident [1942] where he [Sharifo] was burying a fellow officer Andrew McKenzie, he mentions the Lord’s Prayer and  how  remembered  the prayer from  his days  at Bishop Cotton School Simla:

Additional reading: Quoted from THIS webpage

In 1944, Khojak Brigade on Baluchistan frontier was disbanded.  In March 1945 Tal Brigade was disbanded and some of its units were assigned to Kohat Brigade.  In April 1946, Indian army Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Claude Auckinleck presided a high-level conference at Peshawar.  It was attended by Governor NWFP, Agent to the Governor General Baluchistan, British counsel at Kabul and senior military and civil officers.  A unanimous decision was reached to replace regular troops in tribal areas with scouts and khassadars.  It was to be gradual withdrawal in five phases and to be completed in two years.  It was with this background that Pishin Scouts were raised and decision was made to raise Central Waziristan Scouts and retrain Malakand battalion.  Khyber Rifles was re-raised on 26 April 1946.  The nucleus was from war time raised Afridi battalion.  Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Sharif Khan ‘Sharifo’ (5/10 Baluch Regiment) was appointed commandant of Khyber Rifles.  Khassadars were to be trained and disciplined to make it a reliable partner of scouts.  To achieve this objective, in 1946, a new position called district officer in charge of Khassadars was created.  In 1946, in North Waziristan about two thousand khassadars were put under the command of Frank Leeson.

BCS introduces Scuba-diving

Bishop Cotton School Shimla is the first school in the country to introduce SCUBA DIVING as an adventure sports activity. BCS is expected figure in the LIMCA Book Of Records for this achievement. Congratulations to all!

Click the picture for a full view.

Karen Ann Monsy interviews Ruskin Bond

Karen Ann Monsy interviews Ruskin Bond [Bishop Cotton School 1943-1950 Ibbetson House]. As published in the Khaleej Times WKND Magazine of 9th December 2011 reproduced below. The original article photos and can be read here.

From Ruskin with love
By Karen Ann Monsy

Sixty years on and with pen firmly in hand, Ruskin Bond proves he’s still as capable of enchanting readers as he was when he first began.

of screaming fans in a tent packed beyond seating capacity. That an audience could 
be just as captivated today by the man whose storytelling first fired up their imaginations as little children decades ago was a testament to just how popular an Indian author by the name of Bond — Ruskin Bond — could be.

With over 300 short stories, essays and novels to his name, it has been his irresistible signature of unassuming wit and simplicity more than anything else that has forged much of the bond between the Mussoorie-based novelist and his readers. Considered an icon in literary circles, the 77-year-old of British descent was recently declared due to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Delhi Government. To his cheering fans at the Sharjah International Book Fair last month, he stated simply: “Without readers, there cannot be writers. If I’m famous, it’s because of you.”

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Bon appétit – from Al [Ashok] K. Stokes

Bon appétit – OCA Dinner.

September 18, 2011
Five months ago, I was surprised to receive an email from Sukhinder Singh and Vijay Khurana to attend the 50th class reunion. I apologize for taking so long to reply. Firstly, I was in the process of moving. Secondly, since I could not attend, I did not feel I could contribute anything.

Upper II Class Photograph:
I have included the 1956 Upper II photograph originally sent by Brandy Gill. If my memory is correct, the person in the second row behind the 7th person from the left in the front row (the person with eye glasses) is  Bentick ( I don’t know if I am spelling the name correctly; I don’t know if that is his first or last name). Minor correction to Sukhinder Singh’s  message “we were together in the III form” It should read Upper II and not III Form. I left after completing Upper II, the year this photograph was taken. I joined BCS in 1952 when I was 8 years old and I was expelled from BCS in 1956 when I was 12 years old.

[Click this picture for a full size view, or right-click to save it]

[EDITOR: This is the listing we had earlier from Vijay Khurana when this picture was circulated in April 2011] –
Vijay said: “
I can recognise the following :
Sitting first row: (left to right) Gurdial Singh, Brandy Gill, KS Dugal, Sabharwal (Rivaz, left to join Doon), RLV Nath (second from right same row). . . but none of the others .
Standing second row( left to right) Rupinder Singh, Rakesh Sawhney, unknown and Ramesh Suthoo.
Standing third row (left to right) unknown, unknown, Ashok Anand, Ashok Mulchandani, unknown, SM Nanda, Himmat Singh,  AK Stokes, unknown, Inderjit Singh (Badal).
Standing last row(left to right): Preharan Singh, JS Rarewala, Hundal, GS Anand, unknown, unknown,  A Motwane].”

Graduated Senior Cambridge in 1960:
I considered Upper II as the 7th grade and VI Form as the 12th grade. After leaving BCS, I joined Modern School, New Delhi, in the 7th grade. This did not work out and I did not cooperate. I was in the boarding school. My parents then put me in day school. I was staying with my father’s friend. They thought that perhaps I was afraid of girls as Modern School is coeducational or perhaps I did not like the Hindi medium of instruction. Little did anyone know what upset me. I was only 12 years old and kept everything to myself. What bothered me was why they put me in the 7th grade when I had already completed the 7th grade in BCS. If you remember, I use to be on the top or near the top of my class. To make a long story short, I lost one year doing nothing. In 1958, my father put me in Hyderabad Public School. I insisted that I join the 7th grade which the school accepted. Luck would have it, their grading system was different. Their highest grade was not 12th grade but 10th grade. (On the first day of my class I had my Geometry class. I started with the 49th theorem. Within a few days I started to learn Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus!)  So I gained two years and lost one year. That is why I graduated one year before my classmates in BCS. This is not the end of the story. My father and my elder brother both graduated in Engineering from Benares Hindu University. The only college that I applied to was Benares Hindu University. The university was prejudiced against Senior Cambridge students as it was a foreign examination. I was told I did not qualify for admission. My elder brother told me that I was foolish in applying to one college only. Once again, luck was on my side. The son of the Vice Chancellor of Benares Hindu University was in the same predicament that I was. Finally, the university admitted Senior Cambridge students. In the first year of college I stood first in my class. From then on my mother had complete faith in me. This experience had a profound effect on me. We are taught to think within a box. This taught me to think outside the box.

Uranium Enrichment by Gaseous Centrifugation 1970-1985:
I had proposed to the Government of India for providing nuclear fuel two times in 1970 and 1985. Enclosed is a 1984 article from The Tribune, Chandigarh. Both my attempts were unsuccessful and I gave up on this good idea.

[Click this picture for a full size view, or right-click to save it]

Toastmasters International 1994-Present:
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization that teaches public speaking, communication and leadership skills. It has 270,000 members; 13,000 clubs in 116 countries. I have been a member for 17 years. We practice original speeches that last between 5 to 7 minutes.From time to time, I have given speeches on energy in general and nuclear energy in particular. The purpose is to explain in a non-technical the various facets and aspects of energy. I had stated earlier that I felt I could not contribute anything. Then, it occurred to me that this information would be educational to the students at Bishop Cotton School. I have introduced several new terms  such as Nugami (portmanteau of Nu for new or Nu from Nuclear and gami from origami) and Hatt (portmanteau of H from Heat and att from Watt). My proposal was based on providing 100% Nuclear Energy. This included both generating electricity and providing hydrogen fuel for automobiles by the electrolysis of water. France has come close to providing 100% electrical energy though they have not gone as far as using hydrogen fuel. They closed the last coal mine a few years ago. So far only Iceland and a few other countries have experimented with hydrogen as a fuel. I had proposed one 1 Gigawatt Electrical / 3 Gigawatt Thermal (in my terminology 1 Gigawatt  / 3 Gigahatt) Nuclear reactor for every 100,000 (one lakh) population. The title of my paper is: Energy is almost God… and God said “Numbers do not lie”. I had hoped to complete this paper by now but it has taken longer than I had estimated. Firstly, I had changed from a Microsoft PC to an Apple Mac and had minor software issues in producing the documents. Secondly, some of the documents were done on a phototypeset over 40 years ago. I want to convert these documents into digital format instead of just scanning the documents. As a sneak preview I have included a document “Nugami.pdf“. When you print this, make sure the “Page Scaling” is set to “None” so that you get a full size of the drawing. If printed correctly, the 32 x 32 grid should measure 6.375 inches by 8.25 inches (75% of 8.5 inches x 11.0 inches sheet of paper).

Hope to send the complete article as soon possible. Maybe the students at BCS will find it useful educationally.

Al (Ashok) K. Stokes

EDITOR: Here is an email from Vijay Khurana to Ashok [published online with permission from all concerned!]

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BCS Boys create sea-diving history

Pranav Sardana, 10 and his brother Ayush, 8, both students of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, [their mother is a Sky Diver and jumped for BCS for the 150th] have created history by qualifying for the junior open water diver course and bubblemaker course respectively. Pranav is the youngest boy from Himachal to obtain the license from Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), USA, a premier diver training organization. He has the license to perform diving in sea anywhere in the world, whereas Ayush has learnt the art of bubblemaker in diving.

The brothers said they have undergone rigorous theory and practical training sessions since past three months to learn sea diving […… read more here]

Love From The Sidelines – Mayank Anand

Mayank Anand [BCS Lefroy 1985-97] Actor ~ Writer ~ Artist

was born in Kaputhala Punjab and spent his early years in Shimla,  he studied at Bishop Cotton School and then went on to Mumbai to attend St. Xavier’s and then to Knox College in Illinois USA.

Here are a few links to Maynak’s book, Love from the Sidelines. The cover, is Maynak’s art as well.

India Forums




What a line! Lalit Modi to Preity Zinta

IPL’s chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi [an OC!] talking with Himachali bollywood actress Preity Zinta at the cricket match held at Dharamsala on the 18th April 10.

Charanjit Matharu – BCS teacher

Many OCs will remember Mr. Matharu who taught craft and clay modelling at BCS.
There is an article by Reetica M Singh published on April 17th 2010 titled “Born to Succeed

A small quote from the article:

When asked about his life in general, Matharu says he has lived and enjoyed every bit of his existence. Life has been decently kind to him as he got the most wonderful opportunity to make all his dreams come true, from studying Art, to putting One – Man shows and sharing his knowledge by teaching in two of the world’s most prestigious schools, Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and The Lawrence School Sanawar. In his opinion, life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived.

Roshan Lal Vashisht – April 2010

The Hindi daily Dainik Jagrancarried an article on Mr. Roshan Lal Vashisht – a cutting of which was sent in by Karan Sarin. We hope tohave an english translation of the article posted here soon [Editor: See below for the translation].

Dear Brother Cottonians,

For all those who missed the article, please find attached herewith the scanned image. Since I have limited copies of the same, I am sending one to Mr Gill, Mr Narinder Chauhan and Mr Arun Sawhney who I request may please pass them on.

I also request all who receive this mail , to please foreward this to others. This is thanks to all who have joint hands to make it possible.

Warm regards

Karan Sarin

Click for a full view


By Amar Singh, Dainik Jagran, Palampur

As narrated in the ancient books and mythological scripts about the GURU SHISHYA relationship, in this modern age as well, history repeats itself. The example of Eklavea paying back his guru Dronacharya for the education received by him in the form of sacrificing his thumb have not faded away till date. 

A similar example can be seen in a village near Palampur called Khalet. A teacher whose food and living is being looked after by his students who are at high designated posts. After lighting the lamps of knowledge in very well known institutions of the country, this teacher got lost in the dark, another example of Eklavea was set by his students. Apart from this teacher his only child , his son living with him has got a second life. Near Palampur , a village called Khalet , which had old eyes pleading for help for two square meals has now his eyes glowing back. After ages , Mr Roshan Lal Vashisht is now once again seeing the blossoms of spring in his ancesteral house. He is THE ROSHAN LAL VASHISHT who has taught at ST. PAULS SCHOOL PALAMPUR, BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL, SHIMLA, SAINIK SCHOOL KAPURTHALA and DAV SCHOOL in DELHI. His command over three major languages”ENGLISH, HINDI & SANSKRIT” has resulted in the making of laurels in every institution.

Vashisht was responsible for educating film stars like Kumar Gaurav .  Stars like RAJ KUMAR (JANI) are also fans of the revered teacher. What we write of him is much less than the introduction that he deserves.

Some of his students who have had the oppertunity of being blessed by him are MR GS GILL IPS DGP Himachal Pradesh , Mr Narinder Chauhan IAS, Mr TC Janartha, Mr Dharminder Goel, Mr Arun Sawhney, Mr D M Sud, Mr Sandeep Kakkar, Mr Karan Sarin. Others who have been associated to resettle Mr RLV are Mr Gopal Sood, Dr Ram. Prominent social workers in Palampur. 

Mr Vashisht retired in 1986 from Bishop Cotton School after which he, in-spite of having taught in various prominent institutions did not receive any help, or aid from any of the institutions that he had taught. That was when the dark days begun for him. 

His wife abandoned him leaving behind a son who was not stable. Mr Roshanlal at this age had to face the challenge of the survival of himself with his ill son. A totally abandoned ROSHAN LAL VASHISHT was surviving at the mercy of his neighbours.  

This is when OLD COTTONIANS ASSOCIATION & OCA  (HIMACHAL CHAPTER) came to his rescue and refurbished his living. This step changed his life standard.

OCA has organised not only his regular medical checkups but also a care taker who does his cleaning , washing and cooking.

As of now Roshan Lal Vashisht lives in a house renovated by the OLD COTTONIANS ASSOCIATION, healthy and happily as an example has been set by OCA of the GURU SHISHYA RELATIONSHIP. “

The above is the literal translation of the article, word by word. !!!!! FOR CONVENIENCE OF ALL!!!!!

Warm regards

Karan Sarin

Editor: take a look at Karin Sarin’s lovely resort in the mountains.