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Unfair Discrimination

Feb 6, 2009
Henderson NV
When people hear the word Muslim, they often think of men who wear turbans and men who kill themselves and other people in the name of “Allah.” What they do realize is the ignorance behind their mentality; their “lack of knowledge.” I have been called a Muslim many times in my life. Not for how I talked or my beliefs, it was mainly because I wore a turban. The truth behind this accusation is the fact that I am not a Muslim or a submitter to “Allah”, but that I am a Sikh.


The way the media portrays Muslims today is so ludicrous that Sikhs are being harassed and assaulted daily in the United States because of their turban and how they look. Many ignorant people today, are under the impression that any man with a turban is affiliated in some way with terrorism. After 9/11, there were numerous hate crimes against Sikhs that took place in the United States. There were also many school kids in cities around the nation facing discrimination in their classrooms because of their faith. I, unfortunately, was one of these unlucky victims of hatred.

It was 6:50 A.M and I remember crying when my mother pulled in to the street of my new middle school. I was just about to start 6th grade and I was scared. I didn’t know exactly how I would fit in, or if I would fit in at all. I was eleven years old and I did not understand the world as others did. I remember walking through the hall ways of my middle school and being called a terrorist or sometimes Osama Bin Laden. I would always say that these things did not affect me, but the truth was that I was deeply hurt.

At the time, I never understood why these things were happening.“Why is this happening to me and not the real Muslims?” I would ask myself. The main thing that bullies don’t understand is that being called something you’re not brings down your self-esteem tremendously. I remember being reluctant to do my homework because I lost my motivation for school. I remember crying myself to sleep every night, wishing to transfer to my zone middle school where all my elementary school friends went who understood me. This discrimination didn’t fully stop until I entered 8th grade, where I had built my reputation and made close friends.

During my last year at Roy W. Martin Middle School, something indescribable happened to me. Some people may call it a “spiritual awakening,” but I consider it opening my eyes to the world. One day, I realized that all these years I have blindly told people that I am not a Muslim, without actually knowing what a Muslim is. I frankly, did not even know the difference between the words Muslim and Islam! From that moment, I then made one of the best decisions of my life. I decided to study Islam and find out what I was really being called all of these years.

My study concluded in the August of 2009, when I decided to drop Islam all together. I felt that there was nothing more for me to explore in Islam. From this one year intensive study, I am able to understand religion in a whole new way. I knew that discrimination, would no longer affect me in such a huge manner, now that I know what I am truly compared to.

Over the summer, I began to think of my future, high school specifically. I thought to myself, “With this new knowledge and information, how exactly will my first day of high school play out to be?” I hoped that it would be the complete opposite of my first day of 6th grade, where I was in complete fear. It turned out to be the best first day of school I ever had. Not because of the fact I wasn’t made fun of, but because I knew after the first day of school, that I was capable of handling any discrimination in the best way possible.

The above text was an essay that I wrote for my English class.
Last edited by a moderator:

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.

You have shown everyone with your essay, irrespective of their age that educating oneself is the best way to combat ignorance in the self and in others.

Good job done!

Allow me to toot a bit of horn as a blessed dad. Trimaan is 14 and is a freshman at Advanced Technologies Academy, a Magnet school where he is a straight A student and is loved by his teachers.

He has been the only visible Sikh since his kindergarten- The lone ranger.

He is a great debater as well.

In his first debate in the middle school he participated in two categories.He was sick all week long which made him miss the school and then had to change his partner in one of the categories. The second was the individual kind.They met 30 mins. before the debate.

Trimaan was the only student among all the middle schools that won 2 trophies- for being the first and the second. Rest of the participants either got one and a certificate.

His team was chosen to participate in the National debate competition in San Antonio. TX.

In his freshman year at high school where the competition is very fierce, he has participated twice in the debates so far and won 3rd place both times.

After his first debate as a freshman in High School, we got a handwritten note from his debate coach which I would like to share with you all.

"Re: Trimaan Malik:

As the Coach of the Forensics team here at the Advanced Technologies Academy, I want you to know how pleased I was with the success of Trimaan and his partner at the Green Valley Tournament this weekend. To reach the semi finals in his first tournament, while working with a new partner was a great accomplishment. I believe Trimaan will be able to build on this effort and achieve greater successes.

Ms. Rud"

A blessed dad.

Tejwant Singh

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Wow! these good old memories give me goose bumps.

Trimaan 22, is in his last semester of Physics at UNLV and will be pursuing master's in the same after. Since Jan 2010, he has been the national debate champion twice in High School besides winning other trophies.

When he entered UNLV (the 12th ranked school in debates) for his undergraduate, he applied for the debate team. The norm in the school is that freshmen get to join the JV team first year and then get upgraded to the main team the following year. Trimaan and a high school buddy of his got selected to the first team after the first mock debate held in his class in the first month. He participated in one competition and was 7-2.

As Physics is a very tough subject with many things to study, he decided to give up his passion in order to focus on Physics. He went to his Debate professor and talked to him about it. His debate professor was bewildered because as per him, students just drop out without informing their respective teacher. He urged Trimaan to stay in his class where he doesn't have to participate in debates but would get full credit. The same teacher recommended him to be a debate judge for High school debate participants.
Trimaan is a debate judge now and makes $250.00 for the weekend when the debates take place.

To say, I am a lucky dad would be an insult to Trimaan as a human being because of his caring nature to all.
All I can say is that I am a blessed dad.

Thank, Trimaan.

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
This is what I wrote on Trimaan's 18th birthday.

Happy 18th Trimaan!!
July 3, 2013 at 7:12pm

It seems like yesterday when you came out of your Mum's womb and it was rather quick as compared to your sister Jaskeerat who made your Mum groan for hours. It seemed like a never ending process till the early hours of the morning.

I had prepared for the same during your birth and even took a book with me so I could sit and read the book while Mum toiled. My only gripe with you is that you did not even let me finish the first chapter of it and fortunately for your Mum it was not that arduous as the first one. There you were in a couple of hours screaming to the world announcing your arrival. I had no courage to cut Jaskeerat's umbilical cord out of sheer fear laced with ignorance of a first time Dad.

This was not the case with you. I gleefully got hold of the clippers to cut your umbilical cord; the moment of freedom and bond for both of us.

We did not even know it was going to be you, Trimaan. We had not done any shopping because we wanted it to be a surprise for us as was the case with Jaskeerat. The next day Jaskeerat and I rushed to the store to buy clothes for you. It was the best shopping day of my life and a special one for your proud sister who wanted to buy the whole store for her little brother.

In the world we live in, the stark truth is the differentiation the world society has put between a male and a female. And the role the male plays in itself in a way where he has to prove that he has become a man many times over his life. It has nothing to do with the age but with one's mentality shone through the deeds.

Trimaan, you became a man, not today but many times over since the age of five. You may not remember this but allow me to share with you the events. We were in Ferozepore in 2000 where we went to see Ami ji- your Grandma. We were flying kites on the roof. When you had mastered the art of kite flying in a very short period of time, I left you there with the kids older than you to have fun. It was the first time for you. You looked the happiest person that day. And suddenly I see you rushing down the stairs angry at one of the boys who was a bit older than you were who had grabbed your kite from you. You went after him and got it back. For me, you became a man that day.

You became a man the day you walked back home on your own from Estes M. McDaniel Elementary school while your sister and I were desperately looking for you. Finally when we get home after looking for you all over, there you were with your manly smirk as if you had beaten us to our own game which you had done indeed.

You became a man when you chose to play the trumpet in the 6th grade and were selected to play in the senior band after a couple of tries. I had no idea how you played the trumpet so well. I could not even make it make a little sound while blowing in it by emptying my lungs.

You became a man again when you were in the 6th grade at Roy Martin Magnet School and were chosen by your math teacher to participate in a Science Fair at UNLV. Its cost was $800.00 but you were selected because of your math grades and did not have to pay a cent. You were ecstatic because you were going to spend the whole week at the UNLV campus on your own. I remember your Mum rushing to UNLV in the morning to do your joora (top knot) and as soon she was done with it, she was invited by you to leave because you wanted to enjoy that world of yours.

Your manhood showed up again when you helped a 7th grader and an 8th grader with their science projects with the aid of your lap top.

And what was the prize for that manhood?

You won the first prize and the two you helped won the second and the third.

Manhood is not counted by the number of hairs on one’s face but with one’s deeds which you proved in the camp at UNLV.

Manhood is all about caring, a quality that you have had since birth. A gift that you cherish and it showed itself once again during a basketball game at your middle school where your band played during the half time. You did not have to buy the ticket to get into the game being the band member but you spent $1.00 of your pocket money to buy it so you could get into the bicycle raffle. Luckily you won the raffle but there was a catch. You had to make a basket. And you succeeded in that too. You brought the bike home when your Mum went to pick you up.

Unbeknown to us you had other plans in your mind.

You wanted to win the bicycle so that you could give it to the special aids kid at your school who would not have won it because he would not have been able to swoosh the ball in the basket.

The next day, you took the bike back to school and told your teacher about your plan. I remember your smiling picture in your school newspaper for that wonderful gesture of yours. The happiness on the face of the kid was worth a thousand words of the photo itself.

But you know the best part of the story, Trimaan? You did not even tell him that you did this for him. You just said that you were too tall for the bike. This is what goodness is all about when it is shared in this selfless manner.

Remember the day of your first debate when you had been sick for a week and met your partner 30 minutes before the debate? You were 12 years old then and participated in 2 events. You won the first prize and the third in both. Hence started your manly journey in the world of debates where everyone seemed nervous except you. I know that because I have been told by your colleagues and I watched it myself once when I was a judge at one of the tournaments.

Then in the 8th grade in 2009, you had the opportunity to go to San Antonio, Texas for the National Tournament as a National Junior Forensic Leaguer, your first national tournament where you were a Quarterfinalist, a great feat for anyone.

This journey continued at The Advanced Technology Academy, your high school. The trophies you have been able to collect are fighting for the room to show themselves off to each other. You have been to two Nationals and won various other tournaments. The spirit of the man is not measured in just winning but to be able to play the game with the best of one’s abilities which you commendably have been doing.

As the old saying goes:

Our attitudes define life. If people start criticizing or hurting you, don't get bothered. In any game, the spectators make the noise, not the players... So play on.

And play on you did, in your own little way. Quietly.

Quietly you did play the same not too long ago when you saw one of your school mates doubled down on the floor in the hallway, throwing up while the throngs of the rest of the students just walked by, nonchalantly without even noticing the peril of the young man lying in a fetal position in front of all, unnoticed by them except by you.

You rushed to the next class room, called the teacher, stayed with the boy and took him to the nurse. You did all this quietly, just like you swooshed the ball in the basket to win the bike for someone else in the middle school.

This is the character of a man which cannot be measured by mere chronological years but by these kinds of gestures.

Trimaan, you turned 18 today but by the measure of the events you have gone through in these mere 18 years, they are larger than many galaxies you want to explore as a future astrophysicist, the subject you love.

Some of us just gaze up and try to count the stars. You, on the other hand, have all the opportunities because of your nature and character to touch them, get sucked into their gravity or bounce on them weightlessly.

This is just the beginning of your journey where the sky is not the limit in literal terms. With all your potential, you are capable of having this universe and many others on the palm of your hand.

Because the words of the famous astrophysicist Carl Sagan say so, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

Go for it Trimaan-The Star of My Galaxy!

Happy 18th, buddy.




Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
And this is my tribute to my kids on Father's Day

A Note of Gratitude
June 16, 2014 at 8:13pm
Dear Jaskeerat and Trimaan,

Yesterday was Father’s Day which kept me thinking how I can thank you two for making me the person I have become.

When your Mum and you wished me Happy Father’s Day, I realized that this would not have come to fruition without you three. It should be actually Dad’s day in my opinion because being a father is easy but it is awfully tough to be a dad which is a treacherous path with no manual, laden with lots of traps that can only be overcome with trial and plenty of errors. But thanks to you two, the path has been wonderful and the journey has been full of bliss.

On the other hand, Mums are fortunate to enjoy the journey for nine months which creates a special bond between them and their off springs unlike the dads who wait during the delivery reading a book while the poor mums toil to give birth, breast feed them to health and teach them the first words to utter, hence begins the life lasting dialogue, a conversation, a unique interaction which become the foundation of relationship between the kids, mums and dads for the rest of their lives.

My gratitude towards you two is exactly for the latter. After your Mum taught you the first words to express yourselves with, I joined in the conversation and the interaction which has fortified itself with the years. You two are way mature beyond your chronological years. We have no such thing as generation gap because all three of us can talk about anything and everything without any hesitance or any barrier for which I am truly grateful to you two.

The time filled with trials and errors have made us even closer yet creating a unique friendship between a dad and his two proud kids. Only a few dads can have that privilege that you have bestowed upon me.

Allow me to quote from a famous poet Khalil Gibran who writes about the children in a very thoughtful manner:

On Children by Khalil Gibran from The Prophet

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children." And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And, though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams,

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies so He loves also the bow that is stable. ,

I hope to be the bow in the poem and will do my utmost best to help you fly with your own wings so that you can soar the horizons of self-discovery on your own.

Thanks for giving me this great opportunity by making this day a memorable and meaningful one.



Trimaan,Dad & Jaskeerat

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