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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

First Steps

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that my baby has taken her first steps. Well, kind of. C has made her first attempts to make the best of Indian cuisine namely Chicken Tikka Masala. The bad news is that I will have to now make her Chicken Parmesan. Anywho, focussing on the good news. Can you imagine my joy when she brought a bowl full of juicy tender pieces of CTM that she had cooked herself ? My joy was kind of similar to the joy of a parent at the sight of his baby uttering the first word or walking the first step. Ok, not really like that of a parent but you get the idea. And even though C did not think she did a good job, I think it was all worth it. I mean there is always room for improvement but I really really respect the sentiment. I hope I can reciprocate although I think being a guy and a MCP, I should be given more chances to cheat (like getting half cooked CP and heating it at home etc). We will see about that. Hopefully, C will continue to hone her cuilinary skills and I will continue to exercise my palate.

Other things. I am rather disappointed by some of the comments made to last post. First of all, I must make it clear that I value my privacy a lot. I had never wanted to reveal what I do for a living as it is immaterial. But that particular experience was so emotionally overwhelming and so germane to the theme of this blog, I felt I had to share it. People can put on any style of malice-goggles and twist things around to make whatever point that they want to make. It does not matter.

Even more disturbing is the confession of a young Sikh guy who feels disenchanted with the turban to the point of thinking of getting rid of it. The blog was started to celebrate the Sikhi swaroop and to let people know how some of the things they say or do can hurt others. I know I can sometime sound pathetic but trust me I am not. I might be self-effacing but I do not indulge in self-pity. "Bahut Janam bichre re Madho, eh janam tumhare lekhe" (I have wasted many a lives, my Father, this one I surrender at your feet) is my guiding principle. While it hurts me how the thinking of Sikh youth is changing, I think turbaned Sikhs are strong enough to endure the change. In an earlier post, I had alluded to Robert Frost's poem A Road less taken. The path is ardous and there are bristles and thorns on the way but serving one's Father is worth it. And usually these efforts don't go waste. Believe it or not, there is still Natural justice out there.

And trust me, it is probably not that hard to find "a" wife with or without a turban. Had it been upto my parents, I would have been married at age 2 years. But I am a hopless romantic and just wanted to fall in love with somebody. Unfortunately, in my profession. there is not enough time to roam around and find someone. And there are not enough young single Sikh women in the medical field. Anyways, my story is mine alone. Regardless, my position on the loss of respect of the turban is unchanged. It will be really sad if one more brother gives in to the pressure rather than taking it as a man. Turban stands for resilience against tyranny whether it comes from Mughals or from within us.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Puneet2 said...

Hi Harry, I'm back. I've been following your blog quietly for the last few weeks. I have a few things to say, both to you and to people who posted comments on your previous entry.
1) There are plenty of single Sikh women in medicine. Trust me, I know many of them. I was one of them until I met my husband (a fellow Sikh doctor-to-be, like me). I have several female Sikh friends in medicine looking for Sikh husbands. So don't "hate" Sikh women. We're looking and finding it just as hard as you turbaned Sikh men. And also, while this is not at all meant to be a dig at you, Harry, I will say that many of us find it discouraging that Sikh sardar men seem to be more interested in White women than us. (And again, Harry, this is not directed at you). I had Sardar friends in college who thought we Sikh women were too hairy, too nerdy, didn't put out enough, etc. etc. and so happily went drinking and partying with White women. Plus they thought dating White women was a status thing because it meant they could "score" with the most prestigious group in America -- i.e. white people. So if you guys are looking for Sikh women, make sure you stay open-minded about us and look actively.
2) I agree with you about how being a doctor is immaterial. While our community may think doctors have it all, finding the right soul mate has nothing do with a career. I don't think people should assume those of us in medicine necessarily have an easier time getting married. In fact, many people in medicine get divorced (overall, not just Sikhs) because the pressure of the job makes it hard to nurture a marriage and have a family.
3) Sikh men with smartly-tied turbans and clean beards are a hot commodity. I agree with another comment about this -- having a turban does not mean a man doesn't look good. Hey - for someone that's balding, a turban even makes him look better!
4) Honestly, the whole hair thing and other superficial attributes are just too over-emphasized in our community. I used to cut my hair, my husband doesn't. My husband is a vegetarian, I'm not. Some would say this match is crazy. But I adore him and he's the center of my life now. When you love someone and build the sort of relationship Guru Amar Das told us to ("ek jot, doi murti" - one light or soul in two bodies), it becomes based on a spiritual connection which is not about what you look like. And I think that many Sikh women would agree that outward appearances are not the most important thing -- thoughtfulness and a deep sense of spirituality matter much more.

12:46 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Turban stands for resilience against tyranny whether it comes from Mughals or from within us.

Probably sums everything up right.
Turban is not a symbol. Its resilience personified.
Poster1 of last post- you should first figure out whether you wear turban as a principle or not. If you are just doing it because daddy told you to, you should get rid of it..and I will pay the barber.

THINK HARD. just ONCE. Would you really be able to live a normal life after that? Maybe you might think you have improved your looks, but you would have lost your self confidence in the process.

Concentrate on being a better person. A better Sikh. A great Sikh. Somebody who generations would look back on and say, yeah, I am proud to be a sikh because of him. Like I said in a previous post, be a full Sikh. Live life, contribute to the society, be known. Be a milkha, a manmohan singh. Be someone.

I am a graduate student, like you. Turbaned, like you. I probably make less money than you (dont tell my advisor).
What legacy could be more beautiful than sikhism? It teaches you humility, it teaches you courage, it teaches you to share. More than just plain bookish talk, many sikhs have been examples on how to follow the principles.
If only I could do a fraction of what they did-my life would be worth living.

There are certainly sikh girls who are sikhs by birth, not by choice. By turning you down they are doing you good, because they are not good matches for you anyway. Yes, I have had trouble finding a girl to spend my life with, but I know eventually I will find someone- there are too many good ones around.

1:07 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

harry just doesn't get it. You're putting yourself out here, in public. If people choose to make remarks you better have the same amount of respect for them (the degree of anonymity is the same, "harry") as we do for yours.

I think we truly hit on the heart of this blog with that comment in the last post. If you were any joe schmoe engineer/software/lawyer type, it'd just be a case of "it's hard to find a wife". But no, you're a doctor! It must be because of the turban!

1:41 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry:
When will you stop blaming Sikh Women?
You are Sikh (you think so) and you have no clue Who Sikh Women are?
Puneet is right. There are plenty of Sikh Women in medicine. If you don't see them - that does not mean they don't exist. Don't you think it is time now for you to concentrate on being a better person and a better Sikh.
Harry you are not going to save Sikhi (I don’t even think Sikhi is anywhere near the verge of extinction). How can a religion with such universal appeal can ever extinct? Just save yourself and that will be good enough.

2:54 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous tyrannical sikh woman fo' life said...

we have had a meeting and gathered all of the sikh women all round at the TYRANNICAL SIKH WOMEN'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE. we decided, by joint decision, that we should reject you, leave you dejected to mope about and explore every insecurity you have ever felt. this was a deliberate decision on our part, so that the sikh turban could be made ridicule and considered another burden which you have so bravely born out, in complete sacrifice to our tyranny. our sikh-women-in-medicine contingent passed a resolution to disperse themselves around the planet and confuse you about their existence by becoming an underground secret society contingent of the TYRRANICAL SIKH WOMEN'S CONFEDERATION. we are at the helm of the destruction of the sikh faith and we are taking it one step at a time, starting with you Harry. we are out to get you.

6:08 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TYRANNICAL SIKH women has nothing better to do in life , other than read Harrys blog and Haunt or Hunt him for the rest of her life.. In short Tyrannical SIKh women has dedicated her life to Harry, e .. or maybe a CRUSH.. SHe is in LOVE with HARRY ...
And she probably Is jealous.. 'cause Harry's got "C" and she has no-one to "B"
..
..
..
with

I got the "with" here 'cause the above sentece kind of rhymed a little.. heheh

OAS (Option Adjusted SPread)

9:12 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon:
You must be kidding. How can anybody have crush on somebody they have never met or saw.
Also. sarcasam does go over your head. Do change your viewpoints about women.
It is men who need women. Not the other way around. So how can a woman be jealous of another women?
Show me one positive commment about women on this blog.

5:53 AM, April 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this blog indirectly praises sikh women and our society--sikh women are free to make their choice, choosing non turbaned sikh men over turbaned men.

So, you are empowered...you and choose the best mate you can, and no, dont worry about the turban, because turbaned men are just fanatic, and MCPs.

Thanks
The association of the sikh Dodos.
(read turbaned sikh men)

10:03 AM, April 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Tyranical Sikh Women says that its "Men who need women, not the other way round".. Well trsut me women either u are Gay, or if not then u are nothing .. U have no sexual orientation.. and well and I dont know what word best describes people with no sexual orinetation .. U being a doctor would actually know better/
Period!
OAS

6:45 AM, April 28, 2006  
Anonymous tyrannical sikh woman fo' life said...

anonymous OAS, my comment to HARRY was social commentary on his post. if you cannot understand what i have clearly framed as a sarcastic diatribe to rebuke his own sermons on turbanned men as victims to sikh women's supposed exaggerated tyranny/oppresion/cruelty, I CANNOT HELP YOU! please, learn to read (and write, and for that matter, think) with some coherency!

12:09 AM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visisted a Gurudwara and as I parked my car I saw a white couple park their car beside mine. The man had a long brown beared, had covered his head with a patka and had worn a baseball cap. The white lady had short hair and wore a long skirt. Not the kind of dress code you would associate with gurudwaras almost anywhere. We excahnged greetings and went inside, by this time the white male had removed his cap, so was in a Patka. During the next one hour both of them pretty much sat right in front of me, meditating with their backs straight, listening to everything , it was a sight I had never seen before, such phenomenal unwaivering dedication such aura ..
I looked around and saw my fellow brown people waiting for FOOD.. and i guess the opportunity to chit chat ...
Now the white sikh male had his cap in his hand but was not wearing it.. now this Phaiji comes up to him and asks him to get rid of teh cap.. I felt like getting up and giving the Phaji one kick in his BUTT...

I am not sure if I made a point here .. it was just a narrative !!

~A

9:32 AM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous hadrosaurine said...

A Sikh man who refuses to conform in the face of adversity, what must be his mentality be about? Either he could be oblivious to society's scorn of looking different, perhaps he waves the banner of acceptance for all, maybe he is so in love with the Guru that what other people think no longer matter, or perhaps he is a stubborn man who would defend his faith of birth no matter what or who he was.

Since this blog is about Harry, and since others have already begun to analyze the man himself, let me throw out some theories of my own for enjoyment.

I say that Harry is the latter of my descriptions. He is a man who probably hates to lose. Becoming a doctor requires a great deal of dedication but also requires you to thrive in a competitive environment to get through all the hurdles put before you. He wants to be a winner and a champion and in addition, to be desired by women.

It is not enough that there are some women out there who want Turbaned Sikh men. We all know that these women exist. What bothers Harry is that more women do not want him, and this is understandable b/c all men want more women. Don't get me started.

And here lies the Dilemma, Harry loves the Turban, in ways it is another symbol of his victory, despite the pressures, he still wears the turban. Nobody has been able to remove it. Yet at the same time, in his heart, he knows that it limits his potential as a chick magnet. Sigh. What to do? Why can't girls just look past the turban...this is what Harry hopes was true.

A Sikh man who conquers the odds, keeps the turban, becomes a doctor, hell he will want the best! And rightly so, he has kept the faith(pleasing the guru), and is educated(pleasing indian culture). When the best is not being thrown before you, such a person is bound to be disturbed.

I may be totally wrong, just keepin the debate goin hoping to be attacked by the tryrannical tyrannosaurus type.

5:01 PM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with the last poster. Its more complicated however, he is not really the one who is wrong here. Anybody half decendSHOULD like someone well educated, eloquent, and open minded person (like harry). Hence, he is trying to find reasons why- and he has pin pointed it to the 6m of cloth.

Keep going harry, sensitive issues are bound to raise evocative comments, you have the talent to express them well.

6:43 PM, April 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, it could be your self-centred, self-pitying ATTITUDE that makes Sikh women get turned off and not your turban.

5:54 AM, May 01, 2006  

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