Posted in Faith, Quote, Words

The Wolf’s First Howl

The Wolf has,
made his first howl.
His presence shocked me not,
Watch and wait I will.
Patience, belief and reason,
These are my shields.
Oh Wolf, I hear you howl


This is an old piece which I wrote over 25 years ago. I was attending a university conference where students across the UK came together to talk about their faith experiences. Share stories, engage in Q&A sessions. The subject of hair came up. A student stood up and asked panel, how do we stop the big bad wolf ? He was referring to Sikhs who kept uncut hair. The symbol of hair (Kesh in Panjabi) forms part of one of the 5ks in Sikhism. For this student the wolf is temptation, influence. I remember coming away and writing this the next day. For anyone who wants to practice their faith fully, across any religion, we have to deal with the wolf every day. The power rests in the individuals hands whether they let the wolf through the door.


Post header image acquired at here.

Posted in Short stories

“Ego” – Explosive Gloating Overdose

Narrative

“Sometimes an inflation occurs to my sleeping ego, knocks me for six, and afterwards I’m back to . So I remember that story mum used to tell me”.

In the Sikh faith, Langar is a free kitchen often found in Gurdwara’s, Sikh places of worship. Over the last few years, stalls have been set up globally serving food to those who need it. Most notably during this pandemic. Anyone, from any walk of life, race, colour, creed can visit the Gurdwara and partake in Langar. The serving of Langar to the congregation can be conducted by anyone wishing to partake in this selfless service (Sevadar).

Continue reading ““Ego” – Explosive Gloating Overdose”
Posted in Faith

Vaisakhi: Stay home, stay safe

On this day, 13th April, millions of Sikhs across the globe like myself, will celebrate Vaisakhi. This day marks a very special event in the calendar of so many of us.

What is Vaisakhi

The Sikh faith was started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the 16th century. Based on simple principles, he preached the message One God. After leaving his body for heavenly abode, nine Guru’s succeeded thereafter, each shaping the very core of Sikhism to what it is today. The 10th and final human form Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji created the Khalsa on 13th April 1699 through an initiation ceremony. If you’ve met a Sikh before you may have noticed a Turban and unshaved hair. These are just two of the five symbols that were gifted to the faithful. This era was besot with war and oppression, and so the vision behind this historic event was to create a mindset amongst Sikhs of Saint and Soldier. Guru Gobind Singh ji insisted that a Sikh must be able to remain calm, negotiate and show diplomacy in all strands of life. However a Sikh must also be ready to defend themselves and those being oppressed, regardless of race and background. And so we celebrate this turning point in our faith each year. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a great visionary, a poet, skilled in art of war and tactics and ahead of his time.

A procession

Normal practice proceeds that the weekend that follows 13th April, communities across the world partake in a street procession. I live in Kent (UK) and have been attending the procession since I was a kid. It’s grown in numbers, last year around 5000 people attended, maybe more. It is also well attended by other non Sikh communities.

Procession starting from my local Sikh Temple (image: ITV.com)
Procession moving through our local town centre (image: Kent Online)

Stay home for now

For the first time in our local history, and probably elsewhere, there will be no street procession. But in the safety of everyone this is the right thing to do. While we will all remain in our homes, technology will play a huge role. Anyone wishing to be part of the event will be able to view live streaming from our local temple, and will also include Vaisakhi messages from all. The key thing is to keep everyone involved and be safe.

Wishing everyone a Happy Vaisakhi!

Posted in Faith, Poetry

An Inspiring Individual – Vaisakhi Thoughts

Never has this world ever before,

Witnessed such an Inspiring figure,

He showed equality,

Placing both hands on pots of significance,

Tender an age he was, but answered his Father’s statement,

Knowing it led to certain death,

Such was He a visionary,

He energised an entire race,

In one instant action of determination,

He diminished all chains of caste,

But humble was his very nature,

As he knelt down to Khalsa, Amrit to partake,

A transformation he led of numbers very small,

Having achieved an impact of most significance,

He sacrificed his Four Sons, stating he had many more,

Whatever is said, is not enough!

Just not enough, a debt we can never repay!

Posted in Personal Observations

“Chup Da Dhaan” – A Plea for Peace

I hand wrote this post some 8 months ago while travelling on the train on a Monday morning. Something had bugged me the day before at an event so I jotted down some thoughts.  The draft remained on the back page of my work notepad, ink dry on a rough sandpaper type piece of paper.  Today I attended an event and came across the same experience 8 months earlier, so I decided to transfer dry ink to electronic font!

I sat down gently, my posture facing the front.  The Divan Hall was packed, both sides balancing each other out.  Not pretending to know everything that was being spoken, I tried to understand, learn, cling onto phrases I may recognise and hence piece together the meanings.

But, my focus was broken and I sensed the focus of the one speaking was also beginning to waiver.  I felt an intense heat of shame on my back, starting to feel its way into my skin and to my head.  It was the noise of the others sitting behind me, talking, continuously, embroiled in conversation, almost like the sound of a swarm of bees.  I really felt angry, disappointed….suddenly, the stage reacted.  Someone stood up, nodded to the Priest reading from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (The Sikh Holy Scripture) to lower his tone, then addressed the Sangat (congregation) by saying Chup Da Dhaan Buckshawgrant us the plea for peace. A hush hovered over everyone, I felt relaxed again, I closed my eyes, but then the heat started working its way back, the Sangat had started talking again, loudly, and I couldn’t make out what the Priest was reading.

The Sukhmani Sahib Path (prayer) is one of bliss and joy, which when absorbed brings tranquillity to one’s heart, like all Sikh prayers.  When we attend the Gurdwara (Sikh Holy place of worship) or any other place of worship then why do people insist on talking between each other?  Would you talk between yourself when someone at your workplace is giving you an important presentation?  The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji must be treated with the utmost respect – realise your environment and its importance to you and those around you.  You may not understand each and every word that is uttered from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji or by the Priest, however this is your opportunity to learn, even if it’s in small segments.

Please, respect your surrounding, those around you, don’t lose the opportunity in your grasp.