http://www.sikhchic.com/people/o_khoteyaa O Khotey-aa! by KHUSHWANT SINGH This is a true story of an incident which took place in a gurdwara in Noida. A Hindu, who excelled in singing the gurbani, had been invited to perform kirtan. A large number of the sangat turned up. Amongst them was a lady friend of mine, who went all the way from her home in South Delhi to Noida to hear him. Everyone was enchanted by the man's melodious voice. A granthi then recited the ardas, and spoke: "I want to say something important", he said. "I agree that it was a very good kirtan and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But I think anyone who has cut his hair or shaved his beard should not be allowed to sing in a gurdwara." The fellow evidently did not know about Sikh maryada (tradition). If I had been there, I would have told him: "O khoteyaa (you donkey), do you know that till the Partition of the country in August 1947, the principal raagis of The Darbar Sahib were Muslim descendants of Guru Nanak's first disciple, Bhai Mardana? All Sindhi ragis like the famous Bhai Chella Ram are clean shaven. At the bhog ceremony of my closest and life-long friend, Prem Kirpal, the kirtan was done by a Muslim jatha based in Delhi." Although the Noida fellow did not think about hurting anyone's feelings, he did so by his stupid bigotry. If I had been there, I would have got up and slapped him on his face. I hope he reads this column and tenders an abject apology to the Noida gurdwara sangat.