Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Sikh sister's journey of keeping Kesh...

In today's world keeping Kesh (hair) has become an issue for some men and women. However, our sisters struggle the hardest to maintain Sikhi saroop in this western society whilst dealing with the images bombarded by the media all around us of what an ideal woman should look like. No longer is it seen natural to have hair on your arms and legs. I have even heard non-Sikh young men saying it is disgusting to see men have hair on their chest and arms, which I found shocking. People are becoming more and more insecure of themselves, moving away from natural beauty and inner grace to conforming to peer pressure, fashion fads and idolising celebrities. For this reason it is an honour to see young men and women keep their Kesh, shine in the glory of Guru Gobind Singh jee and lead the world rather than follow the world.

Bhenji Navrup Kaur jee from UK, a dedicated sevadaar who promotes Sikhi in local Gurmat classes and camps wrote an article about her personal story of keeping Kesh and dealing with excessive facial hair (which is a taboo subject). She has also held workshops on the issue of bibiaa and kesh. This post was originally posted on www.SikhAnswers.com on a question about some women having excessive facial hair and how to cope etc. I know it is a sensitive issue, however I think the Sangat will find it inspiring, Singhs and Singhniaa will appreciate the challenges our sisters face and also encourage sisters to find support from fellow sisters. Bhenji Navrup Kaur has given permission to re-post on this blog:


Vaheguru Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Jee Kee Fateh

All my life I was told that it was wrong to cut the kesh on my head but the kesh on my body – underarms, eyebrows, upper lip etc was okay in Sikhi. I was SO paranoid of my kesh that I wasted thousands of pounds on hair removal… for what? To be free. Thing is, I would get some sort of expensive AND painful (I might add) hair removal treatment done and would have this temporary feeling of beauty because one week later I would start to see the kesh growing back.

I would hate myself and think, why can’t I look like the women on TV. Then I heard of the miracle treatment called Lazer hair removal. I was told that the kesh would NEVER return… how amazing is this. So I went for a consultation in Central London. I was told the kesh would never come back if I come for a minimum of 6 treatments over 5 months. This would cost me about £600. So I did it, and it was shocking that the kesh came back… I was so disheartened but continued with the hope that one day the treatment may work. Others that went with me for treatments (with not even close to the amount of kesh I had) also found that the kesh kept returning. After finishing university I really wanted to get into the film industry and as a freelancer was not able to afford the treatments so I was waxing and shaving my face instead. Vaheguru :(

In 2007, I went to India. There my life changed and I made a commitment to walk the path of Sikhi… I stopped meat, cigarettes, sharaab that very day but kesh… it was too big a step to take. I tried to grow the kesh on my face but it would hurt me to look in the mirror, plus friends and family would harass me. I tried to be clever and bleach but a Gursikh (male) said to me, don't do that – it looks worse. I got electrolysis done and that was really expensive but I felt it was working… surprise surprise until the kesh came back.

One day at a gurmat camp, the question of kesh came up and a male gursikh said, "have you ever thought to yourself, that if it keeps growing that its meant to be there?" Vaheguru it was so logically, what was I doing… Guru wanted me to look this way. After that I let go and accepted myself. Months later, Guru blessed me with His Amrit. It was at this point that I visited the doctor who said, "I think you have PCOS and I want to cure this naturally".

So I was exercising 3 times a week, eating lots of fruit and veg and was cutting out crisp chocolates cakes etc… within the space of 4 months, I went from a size 16 to 12. My monthly cycle was somewhat normal. And the kesh miraculously had thinned out so much that a fellow Gursikh questioned if I had done something to my kesh. LOL

After I had my baby, my PCOS spiked again and the kesh is back but this time, I am on Metformin and regularly visit my doctor to keep any eye on the condition – this method to is working.

I worked for 7 years in the film industry. I sat across the table from movie stars and high level executives and they respect you more – because you have the ability to do what they cannot… be you. Be natural. Not be a slave to the outside worlds expectations of what is beautiful.

The important thing to know is that the kesh is apart of who you are once you accept that, then and only then will you feel content within your own skin - then everything will become easier. The hair removal adverts on TV use language to enslave you, such as "Free yourself", "Discover your true self"... I think to myself, they do not even know me. I am free... Why? Because Vaheguru knows me... and He knows 'I'm Worth it!' (((:-)

TIP: Regularly remind yourself of Great GurSikhs who obtained Shaheedi for Kesh... Read and watch the films. Talk about it over and over with Sangat. This will help to empower you! Also, if you are trying to keep kesh on a part of your body and you fall, just keep trying... Never give up giving up!

Bul chuk Maafhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

Vaheguru Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Jee Kee Fateh

Navrup Kaur
Email - navrupkaur@hotmail.co.uk

Related posts:
* Story of Kurbani Kaur (Part 1)
* Story of Kurbani Kaur (Part 2)
* FAQ: What should a woman do if she disturbed by abnormal and excessive facial hair but wants to live by Gurmat?
* Video lecture (Punjabi): Bibi Harpreet Kaur

Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!


Anonymous said...

This story was really inspiring, thank you for sharing.
I am a dastaar wearing bibi. Although I have never waxed/shaved in my life, I am finding it harder and harder to deal with having kes. I don't have much on my face and I don't have PCOS. However, its still there. What really irritates me is that although there are Singhs that say "oh you should never wax/shave, its not right" how many of them would actually marry a Singhnee who doesnt? Not many. Most Singhs are just talk. My own brother was one of them. He's even been a part of the Panj more than once. He married a monee. I mean, it was his personal choice, I love my sister-in-law to death and she is an amazing person but it just goes to show how not every "Singh" lives up to their ideals. Its rare to see a man who doesn't seek a woman for her looks. If you're a Singh with Pro-Kes ideals, don't be a hypocrit and make women feel bad about their decision to remove their kes, especially if thats what you prefer in a woman anyways. And if you are anti-kes, don't make a woman feel bad about keeping it, she already has to deal with a lot, she doesn't need your negativity.

Mr. Singh said...

Why always (or most of the time) Sikh Women worried about hairs? If you don’t keep unshorn hairs then how would Next Generation?? Oh..that’s why young generation is removing Dastar/Chunni and started keeping “hats/caps”???

Don’t look into crowd , if crowd becomes mirror for you ladies then how would you see Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji in yourself?
Today crowd is saying you looks bad/ugly in hairs..Tomorrow, crowd will say why would you keep “Dastar/Chunni” on your head..trim you hairs and keep them open..and day after they will suggest you to change your dress as its not go with your hairs, trimmed hairs…and so on..

Don’t become FM/Radio channel that everyone in crowd change/tune you as per their wish… Tune yourself on “Guru Granth Sahib ji” and practice “Sikhi” and then preach what you learn..so that you can tune crowd or atleast few in crowd as per your Guru..

Only few in millions walk on Guru’s path..and its natural that if only few are walking on that path..they feel/experience that they are walking alone and millions are following opposite path..experience that Guru is with you..you’re not alone..

If on an average human life has its worth upto 60years—then calculate if you have time to Tune yourself as per crowd. My calculation says we don’t have time at all.. as you may get Guarantee/Warranty of everything in life but not of human life….so Tune yourself..or get Tuned by crowd!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks bhai sahib for this post,ive just come across another blog spot which is also very inspiring!

please sangat jee check it out:

Anonymous said...

Vaheguru Ji!

Thank you for making this beautiful post. I used to check your blog almost daily, but somehow I just forgot about it around December! While on Sikhnet.com today, I found this article and then realized it was from your blog. I have so many posts to catch up on, so what a treat.

As a gursikh bibi with a skin condition, where I barely grow any hair (minus the hair on my head), it's always intriguing to read stories about my fellow sisters who are on the oposite side of the spectrum.

Thank you!

the publisher said...

Thanks for your grateful informations, I am working in, asian affairs news magazine.
Try to post best informations like this always
Sikhs in Britain: a community in flux