KAFIR

If we all can passionately advocate that this world is a bouquet of coexistence then differentiating words like ‘Kafir’ that breed one-upmanship can hopefully lose relevance? ‘Kafir’, a derogatory word has its origins in the Arabic culture and applies to anyone who...

KHYBER TREMBLES

Standing at the Khyber Pass, I could feel the energy of Hari Singh Nalwa. The feeling was indescribable as my mind resonated with the qawwali of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Ali Ka Naam Sun Kar Ab Bhi Khyber Kaanp Jata Hai Hearing the name of Ali, even today the Khyber...

FEARLESS MIND

North-West region was in news because of Taliban infestation when I first travelled to Pakistan in the year 2014. However I had a strong desire to visit the Jamrud Fort that was built by Hari Singh Nalwa to guard the entrance to the strategic Khyber Pass. At Peshawar,...

ACCIDENT

As I roll back in the memory lane, the becoming of an ‘ACCIDENTAL’ author has been the most fulfilling. Even for many of the readers, the books are a deeply emotional ‘ACCIDENT’. Of the many who reach out to me regularly, one such ‘ACCIDENTAL’ reader wrote, “I got a...

ILLUMINATE

Nanak sang the songs of love to ‘illuminate’ the hearts of mortals! However today, ironically, at a short distance from the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan where Nanak breathed his last, a barbed wire along the Indo-Pak border remains ‘illuminated’ with high...

AROSE FROM THE DEAD

A visit to the Hassan Abdal Railway station in Pakistan was very important for me to relive the inspiring story of Dayal Singh, my maternal grandfather. In Gorakhpur, as the body of Dayal Singh was being lifted for cremation, there appeared a twitch in the face and he...

WE ARE WITH YOU

Nanak once sang the song of love to bring together mankind. He was the pied piper of 15th century, with whom the masses associated. Till the early 20th century the followers of Nanak belonged to a wide array of sects, loosely termed as Nanakpanthis. Then some decided...

TUMULT OF EXISTENCE

A journey across the salt range in Pakistan enabled me to reflect on the tumult of human existence, our daily battles between the realms of spiritual and existential desires! From the abandoned remains of Choa Baba Nanak Gurdwara (left picture), where Nanak spread the...

TAMASHA

The insane passion to research the remains of the abandoned Sikh legacy across Pakistan has taken me across the length and breadth of the country. Rationality cannot explain this quest which I have taken upon myself to document because the subject has not been dealt...

TRESPASSER

On 15 August 1947, Nehru proclaims in Delhi, “A new star rises, the star of freedom in the east, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes.” On 14 August 1947 Jinnah declares in Karachi, “…..after he conquered them. He showed to them utmost...

MAKE LOVE

Every nook and corner of the Baba Sahib Singh Bedi Gurdwara at Gujranwala in Pakistan is occupied by migrants from India who moved here during the partition of 1947. Cautiously, I asked to be permitted inside the private room of a couple. This room, which is now their...

RESPECT

Meharban Singh, a famous personality of Singapore, during his visit to Pakistan in the 1970s had called on General Ayub Khan, the second President of Pakistan who had studied at Khalsa High School in Haripur (Pakistan) before the partition of India. At dinner in his...

PRISONERS OF FATE

At Sahiwal (Mandi Montgomery) in Pakistan, I was led by two boys to view the remains of an abandoned Sikh site. With much hesitation, I followed them inside a police station only to realize that this is the premises of an erstwhile gurdwara! Introducing ourselves to...

STRANGE STORY

Just before the advent of British, Delhi having been ruled for centuries by Central Asian dynasties was a culturally rich Islamic city, while Lahore having become the capital of the Sikh Empire, had gathered a unique Punjabi footprint. Having seeded divide, as the...

I CAN’T BE IMPRISONED

It was at Mangat village in Pakistan that the Guru Granth Sahib, the scripture of the Sikh faith was first replicated from its original. In its pages, the verses of Sufis, Hindu Saints and the Sikh Gurus symbolize the interfaith universality of humanity! Mangat, once...

MORTAL

At Okara district in Pakistan, I visited the remains of an institution that was established in the early 18th century by the Udasis, who were the followers of Guru Nanak but their syncretic inter-religious belief systems spanned across Sikhism, Hinduism and Sufism. As...

YOU SAW NOTHING

Jamrud Fort (Pakistan) is under the control of Pakistan military and out of bounds for public. During my trip in October 2014, I remained unsatiated as I could not enter the fort which was built by the famous Sikh general, Hari Singh Nalwa. In silence, I had returned,...

PARADISE, EXILE & DEATH

From the northern reaches of Indus to the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, I have traced the existence of 27 forts that the Sikh Army had built in the early 19th century. Hari Singh Nalwa, the western commander of the Sikh Army had engaged in tough battles against Paindah...

GROUND REALITY

To support my quest for the field research of my sequel book for which I travelled deep across the north-west frontier region to explore the abundance of the vestiges of the Sikh legacy, I owe immense gratitude to the Government of Pakistan for embracing my madness!...

SAMOSA

Travelling in a remote region of Pakistan to research on the abandoned vestiges of the Sikh legacy, I spotted a roadside vendor selling samosas. Due to hunger pangs, I decided to take a break. Savouring the samosas, I could not help but reflect that its triangular...