Dinesh and Bawa

Dinesh and Bawa


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Punjabwich Chronicles

I am finally initiated into the blogging rite; after lots of coaxing and cajoling, warnings and threats, bribes and brickbats, mild protestations and wild insinuations, having my ego pricked or pumped, dropping hints and offering bargains (the last one by Natalie – “if you commence blogging, I will start my 8 minute Ab exercises which I had taught them in california).

I must say, it feels good though, being here, being back, going forward with you all…

Bawa with his superb Spiderwicky narration inspired me to post one on Punjabwich Chronicles. (wich in Punjabi language means ‘in’). Punjab truly is the land of the lions. All men put a Singh at the end of their name which means lion. Even the women are extremely strong (though they add a Kaur at the end of their names); you can’t but be strong if you have to make so many parathas (the best and healthiest Indian rotis on the planet) everyday and work in the fields. Farming is the primary occupation of the state and dancing comes a close second. Laughter comes under preoccupation.

We stayed at Prince’s (he is a guy, in Punjab they have names like that, montoo, prince, honey, silky, etc, their dogs are called rajesh and deepak) place. Now this guy has a heart of gold (24 carat). He and his sister Minie (well, you are not a punjabi if you don’t have a nickname), infact his entire family welcomed us and the rest of Jalandar in their farmhouse with the love and hospitality that is truly the hallmark of rural India. I felt like doing yoga at soon as I reached his house – I figured out soon it was ‘cos the ride to his house (thanks to the road) was like a proper pre-yoga warm up and loosening up of all joints. At his house, one had a choice of the pool outdoors or a pool table indoors. Avinash taught me tricks on the table and I was soon pocketing balls left, right and centre. In between volunteer meetings, Guru story sessions and paratha parties, Mr Ravishankar (imagine having that name!) taught us dance - some classical Indian and Bhangra (traditional Punjabi) with lots of humor and style. Raviji was mentioning a conversation in one of his dance classes where someone remarked Punjab having no culture. He said, “No, we have one. Its called agriculture. We agree with everyone’s culture”. Ha ha ha (3 minutes laugher). The Sardars(the Sikhs, I think it means commanders or warriors) are the butt of most jokes in India. They enjoy a special place in Indian joke-dom like the Irish, or the Jews, or the Germans, or the blondes... do elsewhere.

The Sikhs have contributed immensely to Indian ethos. They valiantly resisted the Mughal Invaders’ conversion drives and the subsequent genocide (done in millions; the Jewish holocaust or Spanish Inquisition pales in comparison). The Sikh gurus combined spirituality and the fighting spirit (to defend their country and faith). Avinash (a Kashmiri Pandit himself, one of the 3,50,000 Hindus driven out of their homes in Kashmir – one of the worst human rights violation in the world in modern times) mentioned that had it not been for the Sikh Gurus, the Kashmiri Pandits would not have existed today.

Shakti and Bhakti (Strength and devotion) runs thick in the Sikh blood. Seva-bhav (the spirit of service) is deeply ingrained in their consciousness. Many a times you see a Sikh getting out of his Mercedes and taking care of people’s shoes at the Gurudwara temple. Besides, the Sikh feed people in the thousand on festival days or holidays.

One saddening part is that because Punjab was the epicenter of the Agriculture revolution in India, its prosperity grew quickly. People ended up with pots of money and lots of time, not knowing what to do with it. So, many youngsters gravitated towards cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Even today, it remains as a major problem. And the solution in sight seems to be a revival of spiritual values in the land. Thats where Art of Living steps right in, with the YES!+ and Utsav course. Our first Utsav in Jalandhar had close to 3000 young people in rapture.

Utsav Act I: Feel more alive. The tag line seemed redundant for Punjab, the youth embodied life. It didn’t take much to get them on their feet and into action. In Satsang, before the first word of the song escaped the tongue, they would be up and about, dancing. Nothing deterred them, not even the fact that at times we had not so good (read horrible) singers. Which made Bawa comment, these guys would dance to anything, they dont need music, just put an electric generator on...

The Golden Temple was a treat, to the mind and the soul. Bawa wrote all about that... We got treatment usually granted to saints. I truly felt like an ambassador of Guruji.

Overflowing with gratitude and contentment we moved on to Delhi and then to Mumbai...  

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Shavina said...

Hmmmmmm...well saints should get treated like saints.....

I am at a loss for words.....can u imagine me, the quintessential loud n verbose punjaban, being 'wordless'??????!!!!

WAH Dinesh WAH!!!!....Wahe guru!!!!

Anonymous said...


dear dinesh bhaiyah!!!

Ha.... cute description very cute :):):):) South Indians are least aware of what north Indians actually do Esp. Sikhs!!
Look at it.. The usual santa banta jokes!! Those brave hearts deserve great respect! next time i am not reading one of those jokes :)(well technically i have to read to recognize one!)

hmm.... The dance part of it..:) i imagined you dancing.. haha :) :) :) i wonder how you will actually dance...


P.s: dance part extended. :):) haha..Kathkali!! i wonder when you people will learn that. i cant wait to see you guys performing it!! Dinesh bhaiyah and Bawa performing Kath kali... wow.. gracious and ferocious!! :) :) :)

Love you a lot........:) your posts are bring smiles!!and fulfillment.. that you are with us!! :)

kekuji said...

Bhaiyya thanyou very much for posting this ....

Its too good..


Manish said...


Your vocab was somewhat bouncer in the beginning, but it eased after that...:-) . Loved reading the post, and those words "messenger of guruji" kindled something somewhere inside.

Jyuthika said...

Bawa's comment, "these guys would dance to anything, they dont need music, just put an electric generator on..." Too good..
n i laughed for say about 2 mins.. (HA-HA- HA-HA-HA-HA-HA)!!! And the AgriCULTURE line is :P heheh i found it hilarious :))
Cool Dinesh bhaiyaa.. :) Keep posting..
Oh ji tussi Punjab di lassi ni piye kya :P
HE HE HE HE HE HE HE.. {i can hav another laugh here}:P but for few seconds only..

Jai Gurudev :)

Jyuthika said...

And i should THANK Natalie from the core of my heart :P

Vishesh said...

I will come to the advanced courses again and again , bawa n dinesh bhaiyya .... just vfor ur humour .... no other reason needed ....!!!!!

Seriously !!

Lots of love n gratitude,

pratiksha said...

dear bhaiya,

its really treat to hav bth of u so so clse practiclly.

it ws wonderful reading ur entries too...

kip writting...it gves d feeling tht u bth r thr alng wth guruji to tkcr...

love jgd,

Anupam Gupta said...

jai gurudev bhaiya

first let me tell u its THE most wonderful thing to have u posting here...
secondly..plz KEEP posting here...or u know we will bribe/cajole/blackmail u again..and again....

thirdly...awesome post...it really amazes me to know of the punjabi spirit..hats off to these guys...they make india proud...

and i loved the generator one by bau...classic bau..even the agriculture one was hilarious..i cudnt stop laughing for 2 mins here...

i really like ur style DA..of writing that is..hehe

its subtle simple and effective..just like u...
and it brings a smile to my face..just like u again...
so keep posting and cya soon...


ishan bhole said...

fundo description....that generator joke had me laughing for quite a while.

i sincerely hope one day the kashmiri pandits can return to their rightful homes with peace and dignity.

agree with streax...no more jokes on sardars.
keep posting

vinnie said...

finallyyyyy.... u got started on blogging... wht u wrote abt the punjabi culture and the yummy parathas is so true.... the other sad story is the vices of the rich youth there ... beside doing drugs they are also heavily into gambling.... they have so much money on them that they dont know wht to do ...well jai guru dev to that..

so happy blogging Dg ..

Ana said...

jai gurudev bhaiya
so great to see u finally post
we all miss u tons in punjab and are waiting for utsav act 2
in ur post u mention the word sikh meaning warriors. actually the word sikh comes from the word 'shishya' or one who learns. so sikhs were students/disciples of the guru (guru nanak dev ji). the last names -singh and kaur were added by the 10th guru- guru gobind singh ji which then made the sikhs lions and warriors.

ps- did u visit jallianwala bagh?

radheeka singh said...

dinesh bhaiya,
i just loved reading ur post.ur vocab is soooooooooooo good.n u r such o fantastic writer.keep posting more.
i really feel so happy when i read ur posts.awaiting to see more of them.
lots n lots of love,

Anonymous said...


Sonia (Anu)

Monica said...

hahaha. dearest Dinesh sir, very cool article. i immediately felt a bond with the golden hearted montoos, princes, honeys and silkys. and ofcourse, with deepak and raju. haha.
Bawa's generator waala comment was TOTALLY FUNNNY. hahaha.
I'm proud of the green and golden part of our country :)
keep writing to us :D
O chak de fatte!! ;D

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