Do you ever imagine being at that very exact place in Sikh history where our Sikhi was accounted for as an individual/community, and wonder what you would’ve done in the situation?
And still do many times as I live my life as a daughter; a wife; a mother; a daughter-in-law; a professional pilot and most importantly as a Guru’s Sikh.
Several historical realities have come to mind during different stages in my life. The one that always stays with me though, is of Bhai Jaita ji (formally Bhai Jivan Singh ji) taking ownership of Guru TegBahadar Sahib’s sis (head), when no one showed courage.
This particular incident has given me the strength and courage to accept ownership and embrace the ‘Jewel,’ given to all who proudly call themselves as being the Sikhs of Guru Nanak – Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Granth and Guru Panth.
The commitment and discipline it takes to live with my ‘Dastar’ has made me realize the courage it took for Bhai Jaita ji on the day of Guru TegBahadar Sahib’s Shahidi (martyrdom).
My Dastar for me is not merely a piece of cloth wrapped around my head but a continuous journey I attempt to live and learn as a Sikh…..
As a daughter, Dastar has taught me to speak up for what I believed in, while respecting my Mother’s fear of her daughter not being able to get married while wearing a Dastar;
As a wife, Dastar has taught me that I should always feel just as equal and respected amongst my Husband and other males;
As a mother, Dastar has taught me to walk the talk and set an example to help my children in following Guru’s path;
As a daughter-in-law, Dastar has taught me the art of patience and compromise and to be able to live together and reap the benefits of my elders;
As a professional pilot, Dastar has taught me that there is nothing in this world I am not able to achieve as a Sikh when I put my heart and soul into it;
And as a Guru’s Sikh, Dastar has taught me strength, resilience and an unbreakable faith in my Guru.
I am forever in debt to Bhai Jaita ji for the ownership of Ninth Nanak’s sis and for Dasam Patshah for institutionalizing the ‘Jewel’ of my life.
Arpinder Kaur is a Commercial Pilot with Envoy Airlines, formally American Eagle which is regional for American Airlines. She lives in Dallas with her family.