March 2019 \ Diaspora News \ DIASPORA—ARUN BHUMITRA
Life of an Adventurer

Jaipur-born Arun Bhumitra lost his father when ...

Arun’s father had plans to send him to the Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, a city which was the erstwhile British summer capital in India. The boarding school was modeled after London’s elitist Harrow School, known to be a cut above most other schools in England. His mother, a strong-willed lady, wanted to keep her husband’s dreams alive. Arun recalls that his mother camped outside the headmaster’s office for two days, that is until he agreed to grant the boy admission at the prestigious school. Then she camped for another two days to secure free tuition and lodging for her son. When the headmaster eventually acquiesced, his mother told him that Arun had two brothers who also needed the same benefits. His mother’s perseverance paid off, and with it started the journey of Arun and his brothers—Maxy and Shelly—into a world filed with excellence. The eldest, Vijay, had graduated earlier.

At Bishop Cotton, everyone was up at 5:30 a.m. for the morning tea. By 6:00 a.m., students had to start warming up by running. The winter dress code included grey suits, white shirts and ties. In summers the boys wore shorts, blue shirts, ties and calf-length grey socks. They were counseled by teachers at the lunch tables. When school hours were over, the boys boxed, dribbled, took penalty corners on the hockey fields, and also put their skills at soccer and cricket to test. Arun had plenty of stamina, and he was good enough to make it to the field hockey team of the state. Years later, all four brothers were to repay with plenty of interest the kindness that the school and its headmaster had showered on them. Together they established the school’s largest endowment fund that provides scholarships to less privileged children. They have also funded many computer learning centers.