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His Master's Voice


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
His Master's Voice
Swasti Chatterjee

The continuous hustle bustle of the main road might prevent you from catching a glimpse of this store. But a second look will transport you to a different spiritual world all together. When you enter this little shop located on a narrow lane off M G Road, you will be awestruck by its unconventionality. '13 Naam', pronounced as 'Tera Naam', is an earnest abode of Guru Nanak and his preachings. 13 Naam is the first shop in the country dedicated to providing an array of products with the Guru's teachings etched on them. “I did not start this store. It is my Guru's blessings and thus a token of respect from my end,” says owner Rajwant Singh. “I was going off-track in life and wanted to do something which would reinstate my faith in the Guru Granth Sahib,” adds Singh, who had been a freelance photographer before he started the shop. “This venture is a way of worshipping the Lord,” he adds.

Started two months back, the store houses all kinds of clocks, greeting cards, show-pieces, T-shirts, wall hangings, religious CDs, and books relating to the Sikh religion. All of them are unique, with the khanda (religious symbol) or the gurvanis inscribed on them. Uncannily though, there is no picture or idol of Guru Nanak in the premises. “Nanak never asked his disciples to worship him. So I never keep his picture or idol for sale. Instead, I have framed his words and his preachings, which influence us more,” says Singh. He, along with his younger brother, designs message T-shirts and does calligraphic work for the store.

The workshop, located on the first floor of the store, makes customised clocks, frames of the preachings and key chains for the store. The books range from the subject of the 1984 Sikh riots to Sikh bed-time stories for children. “I want young children to know about our ancestors, in a simple language,” feels Singh, who has also come up with the innovative Khalsa doll. Priced at Rs 1000, the doll wears a pair of spectacles and the complete royal blue khalsa uniform. There is a wide range of game boards too, including Ludo and jig-saw puzzles featuring several of the Guru's preachings.

Apart from managing the store, Singh also takes a keen interest in enlightening people through the Guru Granth Researcher Software. “Through this process, I am learning of several religious queries that people have. But I firmly deny all requests to stock the Guru's idol for sale." Singh hopes to open similar stores across India to spread the words of the Guru, along with a campaign against Sikhs being made the topic of jokes in our country. “Sikhs have always been known to help people in distress. How can we be mocked at? I am forming a committee to fight against such humiliation,” Singh declares.




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