“When I think of being a Kaur, I visualize being courageous. This is central to what the tenth guru wanted Kaurs to uphold as part of our identity. Ultimately, to give roots to being courageous and grow from there. To me, essentially Kaurs are the glue that tie our households together.
There is really no one way to be a Kaur. There is no one answer, its not that easy or finite. Its simply not black and white. Every Kaur has a different journey, with different barriers. The key is being committed to a path and allowing things to manifest in their own way. I think this connection to Sikhi starts from within, a seed that gets planted and somewhere along the line, it grows into something, a journey starts. Where you are on that journey doesn’t matter, its not a competition. All that matters is that you stay the course.
I believe that Sikhi wants us to shine bright with our identity and foundations. Sometimes that is a challenge among so many external expectations. Sometimes, I feel as a Kaur I have not been at a point to fully take on an aspect. I think to myself how am I supposed to behave courageously, I think its at that point I realize I am in a learning stage and I need to remain committed to my journey/path and everything will fall into place when the time is right.
From a spiritual perspective, Kirtan is something that grounds me. I was fortunate to grow up doing Kirtan with many different mentors. When I was young, I remember my Dad taking the time to explain what the shabads mean. At the time I didn’t understand why he was spending so much time trying to explain it to me. Now I am grateful for him doing this and inspiring me to take this direction, as studying Gurbani is the greatest gift he gave me as a father. Grade six is when it really drew me in, I’d take out my vaja (harmonium) and play shabads. Eventually, I studied the language of gurbani and it became the source of my power. Singing shabads, connecting with sangat, this what I seek when I am challenged by life.
Besides my dad, Uncle Prem Singh ji was a great role model. He inspired me to do kirtan with love and provided an environment with no judgement or pressure. There was this sense of acceptance and mobility to connect with gurbani on my own level. In a way, he taught that myself and other youth in our sangat were enough and encouraged us to study and excel in learning and singing gurbani. It is this same philosophy and way of teaching that lays the foundation of how I teach my students.
It is such an honour to connect with them and perhaps make a difference in one or few of them. To be able to provide them with the ability to see something in themselves and make a difference that is something I strive for, this is how I see myself as a sevadaar.
I realized I don’t need to be making a lot of money, I need a comfortable life, but having a career that makes a difference, that’s truly rewarding. I am fortunate to bring aspects of culture and history into my teaching of Punjabi to my students. Giving them opportunities to draw connections with where they came from, our collective journey, and giving them tools to understand their heritage is an honour.
When it comes to my identity within family life, I identify as more of a learner. There are many aspects that I am in the observation and soaking in this part of life. I always knew I wanted to live my life enriched with Sikhi, after my Anand Karaj, it was reaffirmed. I think taking this step makes you more aware of how you will be taking the next steps. These steps including aligning your individual values with another person and how in turn you will model them to your children. For me, I am currently in the process of observing, learning, and understanding how to impart values of Sikhi to my future children. I am lucky that I have a sister-in-law that is an amazing role model.”