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Perks of a Sikh (from sptalks blog)

Discussion in 'Inspirational Stories' started by spnadmin, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    My popping eyes had chased every ball and I had relished every stroke. It was the Wankhede Stadium of Mumbai. Cricket was still a test match then.

    I was in my teens and a confirmed cricket lunatic. The spectators had begun to disperse. The day had ended on a high note. Dressed in white, I felt like a cricketer.

    The players were now boarding the bus. This was my only chance to confront the cricket messiahs. In haste, I too boarded their bus. It was the moment of my life, shaking hands with the greats. Thousands of fans had now surrounded the bus and the crowd was swelling up. The security guards had taken their position. I was trapped like a white pigeon, in a cage. Left with no choice, I jumped the bus and the crowd roared – “Maninder Singh”.

    Hundreds of cricket fans were running after me and I was running away from the security. The bruised and tattered mistaken Maninder came home with a missing shoe. I guess there is always a price to stardom. The real left-arm orthodox spinner like many protégés was doomed to follow in famous footsteps. We all epitomize many unfilled promises. I too got busy with my engineering studies. I had now moved to my twenties and so did the cricket. Mustache, beard and turban make the most out of a Sardar’s identity. I have always reveled in it.

    Cricket for me was now passé; I had just alighted from the train at the Lausanne station in Switzerland. A young girl in her teens seemed to be following me. I was pleasantly surprised. This was my first trip to Europe, I was naive. She asked, “Are you a Sikh? I am reading Indian Sikh history”. The next 30 minutes, I was the best professor in town, not that I was a historian. I wonder how she felt walking the Sikh history. Over the years we exchanged a few letters. She must have done well in her history subject.

    History repeats and this Sikh was now in Paris. My wife insisted on a walking tour. Most men replied in French while we enquired in English. In frustration I began to blabber in chaste Punjabi. The French panicked and quickly replied in English. You bet the French didn’t know an iota of Punjabi. Necessity is the mother of all invention. It is just the art of being different and the Sikh gets noticed. We could now find our way to Champs Elysees, with much ease.

    The French connection though did not work at Dubai airport. I was asked by friends to look for Alex and Mini. They were to join our ruffian Kenya safari tour group. Alex, I understand was to be a thin short man with a lovely wife and daughter. I waved at every possible couple that matched the description. Soon I had half the airport waving at me. I presume they all had a lovely wife and a daughter. Wisdom prevailed and finally I was able to trace Alex and Mini. We hugged each other and exchanged many pleasantries. This was to be their first safari, and they looked excited to den the lion. I was now promptly handling their vouchers and passports. I realized to my discomfort the passports belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Kutty.

    The real Alex and Mini arrived much later, so did my dirty dozen friends.

    Mr. and Mrs. Kutty were touched by the Singh hospitality and choose to continue the trip with us. Their little film buff daughter exclaimed, “Singh is King”. Now what’s in a name, more the merrier? The Kenya trip is now two year old, so is our friendship with the real and not so real Alex and Mini. Why Alex and Mini hugged me (stranger) at the airport, is as weird as the French knowing Punjabi lingo.

    Sikhs have been known for their jovial, “ulta – pulta” (topsy-turvy) approach to life. They joke and can be joked. You can trust a Sikh behind a wheel. For good food, what better than a “Sardar Da Dhaba”. On a serious note, most medals of bravery are pinned to the Sikh. They are making their mark in literature, sports, politics, science, finance and most other walks of life. The Sikh begs to be different and gets noticed.

    These are the major perks of a lovable minority. The prime minister of a billion is giving a new dimension to the Sikh. The world’s largest democracy hinges on the perks of a Sikh. The turbaned Sikhs are a distinguished face in the crowd. Those friends, who chose to chop their hair in 1984, are now raising their hands to get counted. I am afraid; they have lost their perks, long ago.

    Perks of a Sikh

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  3. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Oct 6, 2006
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