Tag Archives: Simla

Class of 1969 Reunion

The class of ’69s reunion story actually started two years earlier in 2017 when, sitting in my office one morning and looking at our class of ’69 VIth form group photograph, it struck me that out of a class of 29, 10 of our classmates had already gone to the happier hunting grounds….

Back row: Dinesh Sud – Vivek Srivastava – Anil Gupta – Vijay Singh – Ravi Thomas – Thanasak Tipparcorn – Amar Rana – Gurrinder Khanna – Praveen Sachdeva – Ravi Pawa – Adnani – Sadhana. Middle row: Kanwaljit Singh – Ravi Pandit – Sunil Sood – Robin Nakai – Anil Bhasin – Ravi Charanji – Rajat Mukherji – RS Mehta – Himmat Kahalon. Sitting: Anil Sood – Taranjit Lehra – Paramjit Nat – Manjit Sembhey – RK von Goldstein – Sunil Singha – Blondie – Ajay Sawaheny – Sekhon.

…Classmates with whom we’d spent our childhood growing up, studying (at times), playing, raiding plum and apple trees and then together maturing into our teens and then aging.  In the ensuing years, tied up with work and earning a living I realized that I personally had lost touch with most of the guys.  And so began the exercise of combing through the net which, one step at a time, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, helped the class to re-establish contact.  Which led to me suggesting that we should all meet before our numbers diminished further.  And what better place to meet than our very own ‘Patina school’. 

Dinesh Sud, with Robin Nakai as has been and continues to be his wont sticking his finger in, worked his charm with the Heady who was most forthcoming.  That led to 15 of us making our way up to Simla and the school in early September of that year.  The 15 were joined by P.S.Nat’s Dad and younger brother, and Satish Singha representing Sunil.

1969 get-together in 2017 at Simla. This is how the 1969 batch looks like after a marathon 48 years .. (and tears …)!! Standing: Arun Bhalaik, Satish Singha, Dinesh M. Sud, Paramjit S. Nat, Himmat S.Khalon, Ravi Thomas, Rajat Mukerji, Jasbir S. Sadhana, Gurinder S. Khanna, Bikram S. Sirsa, Harsimran S. Sarron, Ajay Sawhney, Parveen Sachdeva, Anil Mahajan, Manjit Singh Sehmbey, Ravinder S. Mehta, Robin S. Nakai Sitting: DM Sister (Neena Sood), DM Wife (Meenakshi Sud), Ishita Kahlon, Mrs. Mukerji, Kitty Khanna, Mr. Nat, Sangeeta Sawhney, Sareena Sachdeva, Mrs. Sehmbey, Kamini Mehta.

2017 turned out to be almost like a dry run for our actual golden year reunion in September this year when 14 of us 65+ year olds, along with our respective spouses met up in Chandigarh from where we drove up to Manali for two days of partying courtesy Dinesh Sud.  DM went the extra mile pulling out all stops and hosting us at his resort – The AnantMaya.  Then on to Simla and Bishop Cotton School where the Headmaster, the school Staff, the Boys and Support Staff went out of the way to give us three days of sheer pleasure. 

There was a special Chapel Service which had most of us with a lump in the throat and holding back our tears, followed by a ‘cricket’ (in a manner of speaking) match between the staff and a bunch of lumbering and out of condition OCs making feeble attempts to run and bend down to retrieve the ball (a tennis ball I may add).  The cherry on the pie the next day was the tennis match between a ’69s pair and two school boys which, most surprisingly, was won by Jasbir Sadhana and Himmat Kahlon.  A lunch spread in the dining hall, the like of which I’d never seen in my 11 years at school, followed by 2 dinners over two evenings, one hosted by Mr Robinson in the HMs lodge and the other by the class of ’69 at Cecil, ensured that not only were we well fed, but were also nicely pickled.

   

I would be remiss if I did not add my personal two bits which left me mentally thanking my parents for seeing me through 11 years in BCS to end up as a ‘Cottonian’ in the true sense of the word.  That feeling for me was defined and reiterated by the very poignant chapel service, when sitting in the rear pew in the chapel, I watched the choir walking out singing the recessional hymn.  I for one am not ashamed to say that I had tears streaming down my face looking at young 10-16 year olds, wearing cassocks, holding up their hymn books with their heads held up proudly.  What hit me between the eyes was that about 20% of those kids also had on blue turbans.  To me, THAT one moment is what defines the ‘Cottonian’.  A young boy entering the portals of Bishop Cotton, maturing into becoming a good human being all the while developing a bond ‘as close as ivy grows’ and finally stepping out into the world totally unaffected by any ‘narrow domestic walls’ and far removed from bigotry of any sort.

Could one say it any better that what George Lynch Cotton left us with – “Overcome Evil With Good

⁃ Gurrinder [Indi] Khanna [on behalf of the Batch of 1969]

Shivalik Hill Drive : OCA Northern Chapter. 21st Sept 2019.

OCA Northern Chapter is organizing a Shivalik Hill Drive from Chandigarh to Simla on 21st September 2019 coinciding with the OCs Week Celebrations at BCS.

To participate : Contact any of the numbers above or write an email to Shivalik Hill Drive

Important documents :

Radio clip 1

Radio clip 2

“How can any Ole Boy forget?”

Early last evening I took a call from Arthur Jones (L 43-48) who lives in Cambridge to say watch BBC2 at 8 pm & follow Michael Portillo – Indian Railways journey – Amritsar to Shimla.
Very nostalgic as both Arthur & I used to make the journey from Lahore (now Pakistan) along the same route.
Rehearsing through the programme starting at the Golden Temple at once brings to mind, on a visit to Indiaaah, how kindly obliging OC Santosh Singh in Amritsar arranged for Napinder Singh (C 43-50) & I to visit the beautiful Temple & later to watch the Tamasha at the Border Gates at Wahga Wahga.
Then a day or so later to be joined with Nappy’s late wife Parvesh spending the afternoon & lunch with Sukinder Singh’s Sister in Amritsar – onto Ludianah stopping to have lunch at a well known Dubba (restaurant).
That Railway line from Kalka to Simla rests in each BCS schoolboy’s memory forever – through Barog tunnel and for me the Ghurka band playing when the Sesquicentennial Special pulled in and stopped for a puri-tac lunch & on to Simla.
Finally, Portillo talking with OC Rajah Bashin who’s legendary knowledge of the town’s history filled me with proud pleasure. Reminded me once again of Old Cottonian hospitality when Rajah invited Maggie & me to a late reception for the wedding of his niece in the basement banqueting hall of the famous Gaiety Theatre.
Memories – memories how can any Ole boy forget?
Peter Stringer (Lefroy 43-47)

(click for larger view)

Message from Peter Stringer

Opening my computer in far off Whyteleafe to see the happy group of the batch of 1969 reunite after 48 years with family in Simla, will brighten my day. It gives me pleasure far beyond words to know the Spirit of BCS lives on.

Our daylight hours have started to shorten & hope the monsoon leaves the surrounds of Patina green & pleasant before we realise summer is nearly over

Meanwhile at home – routine follows the retired course mellowing with age & counting our blessings.

The leaves have started to fall & my garden slowly begins to look bare ……  I often feel sad when I see the colourful leaves falling and I’ve been told to learn to love the gentle decline into autumn, ignore the scruffiness of falling leaves – breathe in the soft chill air and feel virtuous!!    Well we shall try and stay warm as I have heard it is going to be a cold hard winter.

We have keenly followed the TV coverage marking the milestone 70 years after Imperil India gave Pakistan & India Independence.

Incredible to reflect back as I was young & cocooned in BCS Simla at the time & had no idea of the real gravity of partition, never understanding WHY & many of our chums sent home across the border.  

It was a hopelessly planned political strategy causing unnecessary upheaval, bloodshed & such bitterness that will take a long, long time to forgive and mend.

Still life must go on as we pray for peace

Please post this reply with cordial fraternal wishes to the Batch of 69 and Old Cottonians around the world 

Cheers

Peter Stringer (Lefroy 1943-47)

BCS Ghuntee

BCS Batch of 1969 – looking good!

1969 –

48 years ago.

2017 –

BCS Batch of 1969 reunion 2017

Standing:
Arun Bhalaik, Satish Singha, Dinesh M. Sud, Paramjit S. Nat, Himmat S.Khalon, Ravi Thomas, Rajat Mukerji, Jasbir S. Sadhana, Gurinder S. Khanna, Bikram S. Sirsa, Harsimran S. Sarron, Ajay Sawhney, Parveen Sachdeva, Anil Mahajan, Manjit Singh Sehmbey, Ravinder S. Mehta, Robin S. Nakai
Sitting:
DM Sister (Neena Sood), DM Wife (Meenakshi Sud), Ishita Kahlon, Mrs. Mukerji, Kitty Khanna, Mr. Nat, Sangeeta Sawhney, Sareena Sachdeva, Mrs. Sehmbey, Kamini Mehta.

1969 Batch get together at Simla for a wonderful reunion 48 years after leaving the school gates. Three Cheers!