Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Episode 1 India Trip: Arriving in India

(As requested) Daas will share some experiences and photos from my India trip this year:


In February, my mother and I went to India. I planned to visit Sri Harimandir Sahib and have darshan of Gurmukh Pyaare in Panjab.

We travelled on Air India (for the first time!) from Heathrow. In the departure lounge an elderly Singh and his wife came and sat next to us. I shared Guru's Fateh with the Bhai Sahib. We then started talking. I was suprised that the elderly Amritdhari Singh talking to me was the first Sikh judge in the UK and was a retired High Court judge. He told me that he became a judge in the 1960s! It was amazing that someone achieved so much in such a short time when coming to a new country.

The aeroplane journey was suprisngly comfortable. I was bit apprehensive about flying with Air India because I had an image of rude air hostesses, uncomfortable seats, and a lack of space. Surprisingly when we entered the aeroplane the air hostess smiled, put her hands together and said "Namashkaar". When we got to the seats, it wasn't the uncomfortable tight seats I had expected, instead the seats were very clean and spacious! The journey was very comfortable and the airline staff were very respectable to everyone and were courteous!

When we arrived at Delhi Airport we got through the checking very quickly. But it took TWO HOURS to get our luggage. I was shocked how long it took! I think if you check in your luggage early when departing, you luggage comes last when you arrive!

When we got our luggage, I put my Kirpaan on and went to the bathroom to re-tie my dastaar (as it had been a long journey and my pagh looked a bit of a mess!). I noticed that in the bathroom there was a shifty looking man just sitting on a seat near the door offering people toilet paper and hand towels! It just looked bit strange. I thought perhaps this guy is doing some sort of Sevaa. The guy watched me tie my Dastaar and offered me a hand towel (when I didn't need one). I kindly declined his offer. He was also "advising" people on where the vacant toilets were (which weren't exactly hard to spot anyway as the vacant toilets had their doors open!). Chalo, I thought perhaps the man is employed to do this! (Waheguru! Wonder what the job title is?).

I came out and my mum went to the ladies bathroom to freshen up. Whilst she was in the bathroom I started to do Japji Sahib. When I had finished reciting Paatth, my mum came out. She smiled and said, "It is weird, there was a lady standing in the bathroom giving people tissues and telling people where the vacant toilets were, and she was asking people for money." The funny thing was that the lady asked my mum for money and instead my mum ended up giving her a bag of BISCUITS! Sat Naam, Waheguru!

The worst part of the story is that the biscuits had got bashed up in the aeroplane and so the biscuits were more than likely broken up! Anyway, there were still "Blait de Biscuit". My mum gave the lady the biscuits in good will and told her that they were made in France but baked in England (I doubt that lady understood a word and probably didn't care whether they were baked in France or Panjab!). The lady took the biscuits and stared at my mum in shock (must be the first time in her life that she has received a bag of biscuits from someone whilst standing in a public bathroom! lol). Waheguru!

We eventually came out (at last!). The journey from Delhi to Panjab was painful! After 8 hours of sitting down in the car on an uncomfortable seat and with no leg room, I was glad to get to the pind and sit on something more soft! Waheguru.


To be continued...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

dear manvir ji satshri akal, you are doing a great job to promote sikhism. My name is jagmeet samundri and i am based in mumbai right now i am in london and i came to know about you through jagmeet singh who is from germany. I have made a 43 mins documentary called THE RISE OF KHALSA. Its first of its own kind documentary on khalsa, we have promoted it in california, chicago,newyork,toronto , indiana.Now i am here to do so . To view a small presentation of 3 mins 45 secs you can click on this link www.tinyurl.com/theriseofkhalsa . do get in touch with me at jagmeet_sam@yahoo.com thanks and keep up the good work

tejikaur said...

gurufathe veer g
pray for me
saturday is amrit sanchar
n well u know

Prince George Sikh Youth said...

Satnam

I am so envious that you only have to travel 8 hours to get to India. I live in BC canada, so if I were to travel to India it would take close to 24 hours!

Anonymous said...

waheguru ji khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh. Thx veerji ive missed your storys and I was wondering do you have to take your kirpan before boarding an aeroplane? please get back to me:)

waheguru ji khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh!

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Legally Sikhs are not allowed to wear a Kirpaan on any airline flight. However, with Guru Jee's Kirpaa I am aware that some Sikhs are putting forward a case to get this changed (may Guru Jee help in the cause).


Most Panj Pyaare give Hukam that in the case of travelling abroad the law compels us to take off our Kirpaan. In this situation the Kirpaan should be taken off at the airport (before checking-in).

1. An Ardaas benti should be done and then the Kirpaan should be placed into the luggage that is going to be checked-in.

2. Whilst the Kirpaan is not on the body, one should not drink or eat anything for the sake of our mind remaining strong in Sikhee and pyaar for our Kakkaars.

3. When arriving at the destination, the Kirpaan should be put on and an Ardaas benti should be done. Some Gursikhs also advise doing Japji Sahib da Paath. Depends on one's personal devotion and what the Panj Pyaare instructed them.

The main point of not eating whilst the Kirpaan is off the body or doing extraa Paatth when the Kirpaan is back on is to keep the mind in Chardi-Kalaa. It is very easy for the mind to go down or feeling low with the Kakkaars off our body, so these small steps help to overcome that.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

(Waheguru! Wonder what the job title is?).

lol u are soo funny!!

Anonymous said...

I actually ended up giving 5 bucks to the lady in the bathroom. Sadly! And even after such generous donation, she forgot to hand me the tissue. Plus she kept calling me Madamji, which annoyed me beyond words. Oh well...

So when are yeh continuing? *just curious*