Dear Old Cottonians
I am writing to you all today with pleasure and pride as our long-pursued aim has now turned into achievement. OCA Nepal is finally official!
On 27 May 2016, Mr. Sukhinder Singh, President, OCA, accompanied by his wife and Col. R. Dewan, visited us here in Kathmandu and witnessed the official inception OCA Nepal.
Lead by Mr. Prabal SJB Rana, batch of 1954, the first President of OCA Nepal, 24 other Nepalese OCs and their wives attended this event. Although small in number, with 47 registered Nepalese OCs, we all Nepalese OCs are very happy to have established OCA Nepal and we look forward to taking our association to greater heights.
I have attached a few pictures of the event along with this email.
We would also like to encourage Nepalese OCs around the world to join us. They may inquire by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
[click for larger view of the photos]
Here are the names of the ones present in the group photograph from Left to Right and from Bottom to Top:
Bottom Row (Seated):
1. Silika Shakya-Rajbhandari / 2. Saloni Rajbhandari-Pradhan / 3. Mrs. Sukhinder Singh / 4. Puja Chitlangia-Kabra / 5. Shivani Jajodia / 6. Yumena Shrestha-Pradhan / 7. Palija Shrestha-Rajbhandari.
1. Rohit Man Pradhan / 2. Ayush Rajbhandari / 3. Amish Man Pradhan / 4. Bishal Rana / 5. Nanda SBJ Rana / 6. Prem Gurung / 7. Sukhinder Singh / 8. Pundrik Kabra / 9. Prabal SJB Rana / 10. Deewaker Piya / 11. R. Diwan / 12. Robin Rana / 13. Sabin Rana / 14. Siddhartha Jajodia / 15. Ashish Rajbhandari / 16. Anmol P. Singh / 17. Sailesh Shrestha / 18. Subodh Das Shrestha.
1. Nuraj Batajoo / 2. Pulkit Kabra / 3. Shreyans Shethia / 4. Sobit Aggarwal.
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
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.
[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!]