Tag Archives: Old Cottonians

Some random thoughts – Indi Khanna

On the cusp of adding another year in my life I find myself, uncharacteristically, sitting idle at my clean-as-a-whistle office table.  With little else to do, one’s mind does tend to wander.  So today I very consciously gave it a free rein, allowing it to meander along down my 67 years, picking up little bits and pieces at random, piecing them together into a mirror for me to peer into.

The reflection I see has left me thoroughly confused, wondering whether it was my education which was flawed, or am I stuck in time while our nation has moved on?

Becoming a boarder at a tender age of 5, through my eleven years in Bishop Cotton, our universally relevant school motto, Overcome Evil With Good, was practically etched in my mind, becoming almost my middle name.  Oh yes, I’d have happily gone through life, dispensing with the “Singh” and instead being called Gurrinder Overcome Evil With Good Khanna.

The confusion now, when I am almost 67 years old, stems from me trying to once again define, identify and separate the ‘Good‘ from the ‘Evil‘.

During my formative years and all the way through to quite recently, those two characteristics were stark and easily identifiable.  Most unfortunately, not so any longer.  Our “democracy” today has brought us to the now when, I for one, am left groping in the dark, trying to understand what happened and actually questioning my own upbringing.  Am I now going to have to re-educate myself into believing that I am different to ‘them’?  Am I?  Different – how?

We need to pause.  We need to rewind and go back to thinking with our own minds.  Not with the minds of others who would try and overturn years of education and rational thought. Maybe we now need the second coming of one who was the unborn nation’s lodestar and guided the founding fathers with words which today have much more relevance then at that time when he, in Gitanjali, penned them down more than a century ago:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Is anyone listening?

(Gurrinder [Indi] Khanna)
Rivaz 1959-69

Treasure trove of Photographs!

We have received a treasure trove of photographs [around 680]. This precious collection has been built by Kanwarjit Singh [Partap] Grewal over the years by photos he has in his collection, by those received from various OCs and some that he came across. Partap’s message and the gallery to his DropBox folders appear via this LINK

ENJOY!

OCA Canada Dinner April 2019

On a wonderful spring day, 14 OC’s got together for a sumptuous, swank, Indian Khana. Sumit Arora planned the event, with all the young bucks half my age.

We talked about a lot of stuff about boarding, how things were different in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and in the 21st century.
It is amazing to see what we have in common. A love for our school, each other and to excel in every area of our lives.
I challenged the young generation that the baton of the OCA Canada is being passed on to them. They have to take it to the next level.
We are now approximately 50 OC’s in Toronto. The most outside India and the UK.
I have also challenged the young guns to think outside the box in our reunions.
Let’s do some Canadian things like getting a cottage for the weekend, go diving, jumping from the plane and spelunking. eh….
The heath of the OC fraternity is the best that I have seen it in the last two decades.
Cheers
Jerry

[Click for a full view]
The following is the list of OCs who attended-
  • Akshay Bansal
  • Kapil Khurana
  • Sandeep Botta
  • Jasraj Singh
  • Sumit Arora
  • Garv Sodhi
  • Vishal Rana
  • Aman Sood
  • Rishi Sood
  • Gerald Godinho
  • Saranjit Singh
  • Gautam Salwan
  • Gurpreet Bhogal
  • Iqbal Singh

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.


Spotlight on OC RAHUL GODRA

Rahul Godra

Jerry Godinho interviewed Rahul Godra [Old Cottonian] and has blogged about Rahul’s spiritualism and what led Rahul to startup “Resplendent Soul“:

I realized that a lot of people were looking for the depths of Indian thought, but could scratch only the surface of it. I felt like I could facilitate their outer and inner journeys within India, and then the idea of Resplendent Soul popped up [….] 

 

The entire interview is available via this link to the Four Columns of a Balanced Life website