ਅਕਾਲ ਹੀ ਅਕਾਲ ॥
Satnam Siri Waheguru Jio
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How I became a Sikh in a nutshell

It all started after September 11th 2001. I thought all people wearing turbans were Muslim. I was always wanting to hear music from"the turban guys", so I downloaded on the internet a couple songs, and listened all the time. Even my room mate would sometimes listen with me.{I guess I liked the tabla and sitar}. Then I was flipping the channel and stummbled on Sabh Rang{All Colors} which is a Sikh t.v broadcast of Kirtan and music videos. I really liked seeing the Hazoori Ragis playing at Sri Harimandir Sahib but after that I would turn the channel cause I didnt care for the music videos. Then my room mate started scamming me so I moved out and to a town away.

I was a few years later working with my step dad{doing construction, Framming ,sheeting, pick up, finish work etc} at the Stockton,Ca Gurdwara. I walked on the job joking rudely how "these are the guys who bring in the herion to the U.S". When in fact they are against any intoxicants. Well a few guys told me to shut up and that Sikhs are nice and they were cool people.They said they might be different but thats how the were raised and thats what they know.{They met them{{Sikhs}} and were there already for a few weeks}I then never said anything bad against them because the guys that told me to shut up were racist and oakie rednecks, but all of a sudden opened their mind up to get past the predudices that they didnt know of{ we thought all that wore turbans were Muslims }. I was thirsty and and Old man kept offering water and orange juice.{this was weird because old men are supossed to be grumpy and mean}I really liked his kindness. Well I built the living/visiting quarters at the Gurdwara, and at the end of the job I was told to cut my hair or I would be fired. I was fired from my own step dads job, from him.

Two years later after not being able to get a job because of having dreadlocks, I was at home and saw Sabh Rang again. This time it reminded me of the old man that offered orange juice, and his purity. I then thought how do I become happy like him. I found out I was addicted to Sabh Rang and would program the t.v to play it whenever it came on.{Fridays and sometimes Wednesday} Over a few months I wasnt able to watch Sabh Rang and felt like I was missing out. The whole day all I thought about was watching the Ragis play Kirtan. I then was handed a little white book explaining Sikhi. I read it 10,000 times over 4-5 months. I then went to the store right by my house and noticed the Khanda Sahib and a man wearing a Kara. I asked him if he was a Sikh. He said yes. I said if he is Sikh then why does he cut his hair and shave. He didnt know what to say. After a very very long pause he said he used to have a long beard and a turban but when he moved to the U.S people called him arab and Muslim and out of fear of his life shaved. So I asked him where I can get a turban,Kara,Kirpan,Kachera, and a Kangha. He then told his nephew to bring me one the next day. I was there the next day but he forgot to bring a Kara. I was there the next day waiting, but he again forgot. This went on for a week. They finally realised Im not going to stop until he brings me a Kara.He gave me a Khanda and a Kara so when I go to the Gurdwara they dont think Im a vandal or something. I went to the Gurdwara to clean all the bathrooms and they kept asking why I was cleaning and what for. I said "so I can use the building". He then directed me to someone who got me a Kirpan in Sacramento. I already wore kacheras just not punjabi cut/sown ones. I also had not cut my hair since I was 13. In school most people would say things about my hair but never to my face so I could know who said whatever they said.They always did after they passed me and in a big crowd someone would feel brave enough to remark. I always stopped and called out to who ever said anything to show their cowardly face. No one ever did, but it did stop after a while people started to like my hair for it looked alot better over time. All I needed was a turban to wrap my hair up in order to preserve my locks of hair and keep them clean from people wanting to touch them. The man at the store said he would get me a turban the next time he went to the Indian store, but after a few weeks I was tired of waiting and got enough strength to walk somewhere that I never had been before and asking for something that I had no idea of, I also got a Kangha{but I cant comb my hair, I only can through my fingers}[but I still needed a Kangha regardless of my sitch]. I walked into the store with a turban on and they were stunned and said it looked very good for someone who never wore one and never tyed a turban before. After a week or two a man gave me my first pair of Kurta Pajamas.{Im wearing that pair right now as a matter of fact} So I wore them around but the next day I needed to wash them so I needed a weeks worth. I went to the store and got a weeks worth. I slowly collected about 10 sets and wear them only. I had bags and bags of regular clothes which I donated some to the School for retarded children.

Now I looked like a Sikh but didnt know where to get the Banis to read. I just knew when to read them. The only place I knew was the Gurdwara where Banis are recited. I went everyday for 6 months, and finnaly Granthi Harnam Singh Ji gave me my first Nitnem Gutka. I cherish it even to this day, but have bought two more since then. I have one downstairs,in my bedroom and have a Sunder Gutka in my now turned Gurdwara darbar upstairs. I used to sleep on the floor in the Sukh Asan part of the room for a long time with no pillows or blankets until I got really cold and wouldnt sleep very well{ I did that in rememberance of Guru Arjan Dev and Mata Gujari and the younger Sahibzadas}. I really wanted to have Sri Guru Granth Sahib reside over my house so I got one with English translation so I could follow what was read at the Gurdwara.{I would and still do ask what Rag and page GranthiJi reads from to go home and study GuruJis Hukams} So every new turban I buy, I buy a new Ramala for GuruJi. BabaJi also gives me Ramalas also.

So before I tool Amrit I lived as a GurSikh would anyway. I always asked where Amrit Chars were but people would lie and mislead me or straight not tell me.{ thats soooo against the way of the Khalsa } They would say its Gods will if I partake of Amrit but it was Gods will to have them Lie about Amrit Chars. Shame on them men. I only knew two guys that were Sikh but I figured they are not good company for they tried to force me things or tried to polute my mind with total radical ideas. So I dont talk with them anymore. Other than them I dont know of any other Sikhs except a Kaur had contacted me last night which was cool to conversate about Sikhi to another living being other than compounding food for my brain. It was cool to share things I knew to someone else that didnt know the info I knew. I really apprieciated her contact. Thank you and Waheguru bless her soul.

On Viaskhi 2006 I wanted to take Amrit but didnt dare to ask anyone about where or when. So I drove an hour up to the West Sacramento Gurdwara at 4a.m. I walked in and noticed GuruJi wasnt Prakashed yet so I sat to meditate and finally GuruJi entered the room and I listened to the daily Hukamnama. I was thinking how are they going to set-up the Amrit Sanchar in 10 min before the Sun rises. I then figured the ceremonywasnt happenning. Then GranthiJi went back into the Sukh Asan room and was carrying GuruJi on his head walking toward me. I followed them upstairs and saw Paalki Sahib and in front had white sheets on the floor with Iron bowls and an Amrit Khanda. I was soooo excited. I sat and listened to this Hukam and after about 10-15 Sikhs walked in and the doors shut with 2 Nihangs guarding the door. I was actually getting to partake of Amrit. I asked that after I was to be renamed for I was never named from the Guru. My new name is PRITAM SINGH KHALSA from kenneth timothy mcgill.

I have left out soooooooo soooooooooo much in order to not have an autobiography even though its almost considered one that I can see. Thats why I say its in a nutshell. I wish I could explain and descibe everything for this is soooo dear to me. I was totally opposite of a Sikh before I was given realisation. I am sooooo sooooo sooooo thankful to be allowed to live as a GurSikh. People ask me how I am doing and I cant explain in words but say Chardi Kala but thats not enough to explain this feeling. I hope other to be able to feel this love for WaheguruJi and GuruJIs light. My goal is to sing Sri Guru Granth Sahib at every Gurdwara that I visit and show people what GuruJi teaches if followed with love and devotion and apprieciate what former Sikhs have done for us and what they sacrificed for us to be allowed to be a Sikh of the Guru. Not just do Matha Tekna, getting Prashad, listeneing to sounds of someones mouth, eating Langar, coversating and then leaving only to come back the next Sunday. I understand weekends are easier to form a big Sadh Sangat, but other faiths have one day aweek for worship. Sikhs worship Waheguru everyday of their life and not just one day a week. What about after work on the weekdays? Or before? It is possible it just depends on what really matters or not. GuruJi didnt say they can only be seen on Sunday and on other days to only worry about family things. GuruJI was available any time. If you needed advise they were there. If you needed a blessing they were there. They never said to come back on Sunday when everyone else was there. Most Sikhs now-a-days dont try enough to uphold the true meaning of Sikhi. They just show up and then leave. Or dont even attend but still call themselves Sikhs and have no intention to become a Khalsa. I have sooooo much to get off my chest that I should do and Audio blog but then it would be as long as an Akhand Paath maybe more.{o.k not that long. heheheh}That would be cool but I dont know how to make and audio blog. It would save my finger tips and proof reading time even though there are still type-o errors are grammer errors but you get the pictorial.hehehe. If someone shows me how I would start an audio blog to make thing easier and get to learn things and share them with people who are interested in the topics.

My conclusion: I wasnt born a Sikh but I will Die a Sikh. My parents even disowned me, trying to get me to quit. Now they realise that Sikh is a part of me as much as I am a part of being a Sikh. I thought I lost my parents but never would dare to think that I could lose being a Sikh of the Guru. I have learned too much to fall away from the GurSikh way of life. That would be like giving your life savings to someone who didnt deserve it or trying to count wrong; Sikh way 123456789 I couldnt say 2645576177 or ABCDEFGHIJK and couldnt pretend that I dont know the alphabet in order. If you are a real Sikh then be a real Sikh. If you were born a Sikh and dont show devotion then dont go to the Gurdwara and go play your whole life and find out in the end how unhappy you really are. Remember if you forsake the Sikh way you cant just jump off your sinking boat and live, for you will drown. Dont pretend that you dont know Gurmat. Dont do that of which you will regret in the end. Dont wander in LahLah land and try in this world to keep your head on. I wear my turban to tie it on my body so it dosent fall. Too much to write. I will alway post blogs for if it changes even one person then I have done my part in blogging, myway of thinking and life might benefit someone who needs a jumpstart in being a real Sikh of the Guru.SatNam Bole so nihal. Sat sri Akal

WaheguruJi ka Khalsa WaheguruJi ki fateh!

by Pritam Singh Khalsa @ Tuesday, April 25, 2006