Sikh Author Wins Mind Book of the Year Award

77.jpgLast year we discussed Satnam Sanghera’s memoir, If You Dont Know Me By Now: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhamptom, and dialogued aroundthe issue of mental health in the Punjabi Sikh community. The memoir was recently awarded the MindBook of the Year Award for its literary contributions to raising awareness around issues of mental distress. The Boy with the Topknot, as it is now known, was picked from 110 entries by Mind, a non-profit organization in the UK committed to creating a “better life for everyone with experience of mental distress”.

On winning the award last night, Sathnam Sanghera said:”It was such a strong shortlist, and this award is judged by some of the greatest authors in the UK, so this is a real privilege. There are hardly any books about Asian communities’ experiences of mental health problems, so I hope people read this book and it leads to more understanding.” [link]

I would highly recommend this book as I found the story to be sincere and enlightening. However, I would add that while it is important to provide this type of insight to the English-speaking literary community, itis just as (or perhapseven more so)important to ensure this type of literature is accessible to the Punjabi-speaking community. Perhaps we can strive to have these types of memoirs translated into Punjabi or madeavailable viaaudiorecordings?


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39 Responses to “Sikh Author Wins Mind Book of the Year Award”

  1. marine kaur says:

    Never judge a book by its cover. And don't get blinded by an award, like the bloggers on the Langar Hall.

    What does the title and the cover have to do with the story inside the book? Except for one chapter in which he talks about chopping off his topknot, the rest of the book is about his and his family's mental illness.

    If you noticed, Sanghera changed the original title to 'The Boy with the Topknot'. This usually happens when authors and publisher want to make the book more marketable. I am very angry with Sanghera for using this image for personal gain.

    What kind of an image does this create for the mainstream public of Sikh boys with topknots?

    So, good for him, he wrote an unusual and entertaining book and got an award from the mainstream. But let's be clear, he has done nothing for the faith he left behind, except paint a tragic image of its young boys.

  2. marine kaur says:

    Never judge a book by its cover. And don’t get blinded by an award, like the bloggers on the Langar Hall.

    What does the title and the cover have to do with the story inside the book? Except for one chapter in which he talks about chopping off his topknot, the rest of the book is about his and his family’s mental illness.

    If you noticed, Sanghera changed the original title to ‘The Boy with the Topknot’. This usually happens when authors and publisher want to make the book more marketable. I am very angry with Sanghera for using this image for personal gain.

    What kind of an image does this create for the mainstream public of Sikh boys with topknots?

    So, good for him, he wrote an unusual and entertaining book and got an award from the mainstream. But let’s be clear, he has done nothing for the faith he left behind, except paint a tragic image of its young boys.

  3. Mewa Singh says:

    Marine Kaur,

    He wrote his book as it is his story. It is his own image. It is his picture as a child; he should be able to use his own picture in any way he desires.

    I haven't read the book yet. However, I am not sure how he could paint a 'tragic image', it is his own story. Maybe for him, it was tragic.

    I eagerly await your book.

  4. Mewa Singh says:

    Marine Kaur,

    He wrote his book as it is his story. It is his own image. It is his picture as a child; he should be able to use his own picture in any way he desires.

    I haven’t read the book yet. However, I am not sure how he could paint a ‘tragic image’, it is his own story. Maybe for him, it was tragic.

    I eagerly await your book.

  5. Joo Kay Singh says:

    I don't have anything to comment on right now, but I did recently read an email on the e-groups, which I'm sharing below, by Indarjit Singh, and it also resonates more with Marine Kaur's comments:

    "It was more than a year ago that the Times sent me a copy of this book requesting that I review it for them. I read the book and then declined to write a review because I felt the book was insulting to the Sikh faith. Let me explain why.

    The story is in essence that of a boy disadvantaged (in the authors view) by being born into a Sikh family and then going on to overcome his handicap by cutting his hair, living with a non-Sikh girl and becoming a successful journalist. He sneeringly describes assorted suppressions and cultural practices in his family in a way that suggests to the general practices that

    these are a part of Sikhism– and therefore justification for him to remove his top not and become civilised.

    I am saddened that Amandeep Madra finds the description of the author's cutting his hair 'as hilairious'.Like Mr Madra, I found the cover picture of the small boy with a joora very appealing. The message of the picture however is 'look at the background of where I came from, and read how far I've got.

    I am appalled that Amandeep Madra should suggest that the book 'is an inspiration foe a younger generation of Sikhs'. I am also saddened that Mr Tiwana should have publicised this on the Learning zone.

    Indarjit Singh UK"

  6. Joo Kay Singh says:

    I don’t have anything to comment on right now, but I did recently read an email on the e-groups, which I’m sharing below, by Indarjit Singh, and it also resonates more with Marine Kaur’s comments:

    “It was more than a year ago that the Times sent me a copy of this book requesting that I review it for them. I read the book and then declined to write a review because I felt the book was insulting to the Sikh faith. Let me explain why.

    The story is in essence that of a boy disadvantaged (in the authors view) by being born into a Sikh family and then going on to overcome his handicap by cutting his hair, living with a non-Sikh girl and becoming a successful journalist. He sneeringly describes assorted suppressions and cultural practices in his family in a way that suggests to the general practices that
    these are a part of Sikhism– and therefore justification for him to remove his top not and become civilised
    .

    I am saddened that Amandeep Madra finds the description of the author’s cutting his hair ‘as hilairious’.Like Mr Madra, I found the cover picture of the small boy with a joora very appealing. The message of the picture however is ‘look at the background of where I came from, and read how far I’ve got.

    I am appalled that Amandeep Madra should suggest that the book ‘is an inspiration foe a younger generation of Sikhs’. I am also saddened that Mr Tiwana should have publicised this on the Learning zone.

    Indarjit Singh UK”

  7. Mewa Singh says:

    I definitely understand the sentiment Joo Kay and Madra's comments (as per Indarjit's characterizations) seem silly and maybe even inappropriate.

    Still let us as a community invest in fiction by Sikhs. The Sikh community, to my knowledge, does not even have a press to promote such young writers. We could even just start with an English-language literary magazine that promoted poetry, short stories, etc.

    If we promoted such excellence in writing as a community, some of the best would shine through. Unfortunately most Sikh writing, especially fiction seems rather didactic and thus does not impress most. However, good writing is good writing and the more we have of it, it will get better.

    Without any such promotion from Sikh channels, the only outlet for success is in the mainstream reading public. This audience has certain pre-conceived ideas and many ethnic writers will probably know their audience and write to that audience. It is completely understandable and the route to accolades.

    I just feel on some level our complaints against Sanghera for his book is the complaints Sikhs often level against Hindi movies. They are not 'required' to write your story. Write your own story.

  8. Mewa Singh says:

    I definitely understand the sentiment Joo Kay and Madra’s comments (as per Indarjit’s characterizations) seem silly and maybe even inappropriate.

    Still let us as a community invest in fiction by Sikhs. The Sikh community, to my knowledge, does not even have a press to promote such young writers. We could even just start with an English-language literary magazine that promoted poetry, short stories, etc.

    If we promoted such excellence in writing as a community, some of the best would shine through. Unfortunately most Sikh writing, especially fiction seems rather didactic and thus does not impress most. However, good writing is good writing and the more we have of it, it will get better.

    Without any such promotion from Sikh channels, the only outlet for success is in the mainstream reading public. This audience has certain pre-conceived ideas and many ethnic writers will probably know their audience and write to that audience. It is completely understandable and the route to accolades.

    I just feel on some level our complaints against Sanghera for his book is the complaints Sikhs often level against Hindi movies. They are not ‘required’ to write your story. Write your own story.

  9. Friends,

    You can read my full review here:
    http://www.punjabheritage.org/content/view/1346/3

    You will note that I wrote that the haircutting chapter was "heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure" – I'm not sure how Indarjit got inside my mind and figured that I found the haircut bit hilarious rather than heartbreaking?

    Many of us have faced the situation of a friend/ family member who has sadly cut their hair and we've equally faced a series of incomprehensible mumbling grunts explaining why this has happened. Sathnam Sanghera – a supreme communicator and a fabulous writer – articulates his reasons very well & whilst I don’t agree with them at all I do believe that as Sikhs, especially as parents, we need to hear these voices.

    This book is a great read on many levels and across many different issues. There is such a dearth of great literature by and about young British Sikhs that I would recommend that readers make their mind up by grabbing a copy and reading it for themselves.

  10. Friends,
    You can read my full review here:
    http://www.punjabheritage.org/content/view/1346/33/

    You will note that I wrote that the haircutting chapter was “heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure” – I’m not sure how Indarjit got inside my mind and figured that I found the haircut bit hilarious rather than heartbreaking?

    Many of us have faced the situation of a friend/ family member who has sadly cut their hair and we’ve equally faced a series of incomprehensible mumbling grunts explaining why this has happened. Sathnam Sanghera – a supreme communicator and a fabulous writer – articulates his reasons very well & whilst I dont agree with them at all I do believe that as Sikhs, especially as parents, we need to hear these voices.

    This book is a great read on many levels and across many different issues. There is such a dearth of great literature by and about young British Sikhs that I would recommend that readers make their mind up by grabbing a copy and reading it for themselves.

  11. ambi says:

    Indarjit Singh's attitude, quoted above, is unfortunately an example of a common phenomena amongst Sikhs especially of the older generation, who are in denial about the issues facing young Sikhs today. There is barely a young British Sikh who has not either gone through, or knows someone in his family or amongst friends, who has experienced what Sathnam Sanghera describes. The response by the reactionaries is to dismiss him as some kind of wicked 'apostate', when in reality he articulates REAL LIFE for Sikhs, not the bubble that they would like to believe Sikhs live like. In the 21st Century, their stance is untenable. Either listen to what young Sikhs are saying and experiencing and deal with it honestly, or stop denigrating and attacking them for speaking the truth about what the manifold experience of Sikhs in the diaspora is. You can live in a bubble all you want — you cannot stop people living their lives as they want to, and talking openly about it either.

  12. ambi says:

    Indarjit Singh’s attitude, quoted above, is unfortunately an example of a common phenomena amongst Sikhs especially of the older generation, who are in denial about the issues facing young Sikhs today. There is barely a young British Sikh who has not either gone through, or knows someone in his family or amongst friends, who has experienced what Sathnam Sanghera describes. The response by the reactionaries is to dismiss him as some kind of wicked ‘apostate’, when in reality he articulates REAL LIFE for Sikhs, not the bubble that they would like to believe Sikhs live like. In the 21st Century, their stance is untenable. Either listen to what young Sikhs are saying and experiencing and deal with it honestly, or stop denigrating and attacking them for speaking the truth about what the manifold experience of Sikhs in the diaspora is. You can live in a bubble all you want — you cannot stop people living their lives as they want to, and talking openly about it either.

  13. Kiran Kaur says:

    I agree with Marine Kaur's comments. This book holds no value, adds no insight. I suggested to my two younger brothers (who are now in their early 30s) that they should read this as they too like 60% of their peer group, cut off their 'joora'. It was heartbreaking for my mother for various reasons. But my mother's experience was fairly common. Years ago, I would read Sathnam Sanghera's business column in The Times – his column was rarely value adding, (the Lex column in the FT is far more informative). So I disagree with the assertion that he writes 'fabuously', yes he has good command of English and his writing style 'flows' – but this is hardly surprising given that he holds an English Literature degree. His business column is not widely read in the City, so he's not actually 'accomplished' or 'revered'.

    But aside from my brothers refusal to buy it once I sent them a synopsis, I kept an open mind and watched an interview that Sathnam gave post publication of this 'groundbreaking' book. And it only reconfirmed exactly what my experience of 'Indian Oxbridge' male university graduates (several of whom I met and one that I had the unfortunate experience of dating, during my search for 'the spouse') is that because only a negligible percentage of British Sikhs get an Oxbridge degree, the majority once they have transited through their three years in Oxbridge deny all their Indian roots, embrace the vastly more 'intellectual goris' and dismiss British Indian girls as inferior. Sathnam is challenged in his interview re: the derogatory comments he makes about British Indian women, and he can't come up with a satisfactory defense other than that he's very 'glowing' about his mother (rightly so, given all the sacrifices that this brave woman made). I think he's a disgrace to his mother and father – he talks about having to clear his London flat of his 'gori girlfriend's' knickers before she visits! who cares? why haven't you met (if not married) an Indian girl?

    There are thousands of bright university educated women who are completely balanced. Perhaps its because the 'intellectually inferior' British Indian girls are not interested in a guy who is in denial of his Indian roots (which he openly admits he was until recently in the interview) and that he had several failed relationships. The book is mostly an autobiography (yawn, yawn). If it had focused exclusively on his mother's bravery (as Sathnam certainly lacks it) I would have considered buying it. But narrating about cutting his topknot and then going away to Cambridge and being transformed into a 'normal' human being who now blows all his salary on expensive dinners with his girlfriend does not really make for interesting reading. The book should have started from when he discovered the schizophrenia medication for his father and gone from there.

    Stop 'capitalising' on your 'bravery' – the only brave person in your story is your mother. She must really look forward to growing old just with her husband – I doubt very much that your gori girlfriend is going to involve your mother heavily in your life and any future children that you might produce.

    Thanks but no thanks, I think I will pass on this one too. Much more important issues that need to be raised to the forefront in the Sikh community in the UK and this is not one of them.

  14. Kiran Kaur says:

    I agree with Marine Kaur’s comments. This book holds no value, adds no insight. I suggested to my two younger brothers (who are now in their early 30s) that they should read this as they too like 60% of their peer group, cut off their ‘joora’. It was heartbreaking for my mother for various reasons. But my mother’s experience was fairly common. Years ago, I would read Sathnam Sanghera’s business column in The Times – his column was rarely value adding, (the Lex column in the FT is far more informative). So I disagree with the assertion that he writes ‘fabuously’, yes he has good command of English and his writing style ‘flows’ – but this is hardly surprising given that he holds an English Literature degree. His business column is not widely read in the City, so he’s not actually ‘accomplished’ or ‘revered’.

    But aside from my brothers refusal to buy it once I sent them a synopsis, I kept an open mind and watched an interview that Sathnam gave post publication of this ‘groundbreaking’ book. And it only reconfirmed exactly what my experience of ‘Indian Oxbridge’ male university graduates (several of whom I met and one that I had the unfortunate experience of dating, during my search for ‘the spouse’) is that because only a negligible percentage of British Sikhs get an Oxbridge degree, the majority once they have transited through their three years in Oxbridge deny all their Indian roots, embrace the vastly more ‘intellectual goris’ and dismiss British Indian girls as inferior. Sathnam is challenged in his interview re: the derogatory comments he makes about British Indian women, and he can’t come up with a satisfactory defense other than that he’s very ‘glowing’ about his mother (rightly so, given all the sacrifices that this brave woman made). I think he’s a disgrace to his mother and father – he talks about having to clear his London flat of his ‘gori girlfriend’s’ knickers before she visits! who cares? why haven’t you met (if not married) an Indian girl?

    There are thousands of bright university educated women who are completely balanced. Perhaps its because the ‘intellectually inferior’ British Indian girls are not interested in a guy who is in denial of his Indian roots (which he openly admits he was until recently in the interview) and that he had several failed relationships. The book is mostly an autobiography (yawn, yawn). If it had focused exclusively on his mother’s bravery (as Sathnam certainly lacks it) I would have considered buying it. But narrating about cutting his topknot and then going away to Cambridge and being transformed into a ‘normal’ human being who now blows all his salary on expensive dinners with his girlfriend does not really make for interesting reading. The book should have started from when he discovered the schizophrenia medication for his father and gone from there.

    Stop ‘capitalising’ on your ‘bravery’ – the only brave person in your story is your mother. She must really look forward to growing old just with her husband – I doubt very much that your gori girlfriend is going to involve your mother heavily in your life and any future children that you might produce.

    Thanks but no thanks, I think I will pass on this one too. Much more important issues that need to be raised to the forefront in the Sikh community in the UK and this is not one of them.

  15. Kiran Kaur says:

    One of the ‘more important’ issues that I feel needs to be raised to the forefront is ‘Why do marriages of university educated, professional couples fail in the Sikh community? Particularly those in which the wife resides with her in-laws. Why are the plots, drama and egos within Indian families on a par to Dallas and Dynasty? Why can’t some mothers and sisters let go of their sons/brothers? Why can’t they accept that they are no longer the no. 1 woman in their son’s life? Why does it have to turn into a ‘turf war’ ie. The newly married son has to remain your son first and foremost , secondly as a brother and thirdly as a husband. No marriage is ever going to survive in these circumstances, regardless of where the couple are living.

    And why are sister in laws a bigger headache than the mother in law to deal with? The answer is that ‘green eyed monster’; jealousy. Joan Collins would seem tame compared to some Indian sister in laws! Its all about ‘outwitting’ each other, in the ‘competition’ of who is the slimmest, the most intelligent, the most successful in their career and the most beautiful. I think I may well marry a ‘gorah’ the second time round (my marriage failed spectacularly much to the delight of several ex sister in laws). The only reason I didn’t marry a gorah was because I firmly believed that Indians have ‘higher’ family values, and that ‘divorce’ is largely a Western disease. How wrong I was!

    [If you want to continue a conversation on this thread, keep it related to the original post, otherwise we'll close this thread. ~ Admin]

  16. Kiran Kaur says:

    One of the more important issues that I feel needs to be raised to the forefront is Why do marriages of university educated, professional couples fail in the Sikh community? Particularly those in which the wife resides with her in-laws. Why are the plots, drama and egos within Indian families on a par to Dallas and Dynasty? Why cant some mothers and sisters let go of their sons/brothers? Why cant they accept that they are no longer the no. 1 woman in their sons life? Why does it have to turn into a turf war ie. The newly married son has to remain your son first and foremost , secondly as a brother and thirdly as a husband. No marriage is ever going to survive in these circumstances, regardless of where the couple are living.
    And why are sister in laws a bigger headache than the mother in law to deal with? The answer is that green eyed monster; jealousy. Joan Collins would seem tame compared to some Indian sister in laws! Its all about outwitting each other, in the competition of who is the slimmest, the most intelligent, the most successful in their career and the most beautiful. I think I may well marry a gorah the second time round (my marriage failed spectacularly much to the delight of several ex sister in laws). The only reason I didnt marry a gorah was because I firmly believed that Indians have higher family values, and that divorce is largely a Western disease. How wrong I was!

    [If you want to continue a conversation on this thread, keep it related to the original post, otherwise we’ll close this thread. ~ Admin]

  17. squeez singh says:

    kiran kaur,

    [edited by admin. keep it civil.]

  18. squeez singh says:

    kiran kaur,

    [edited by admin. keep it civil.]

  19. Sundari says:

    Kiran, I think you have some very pertinent thoughts on the issue of marriage within our community. I do think these issues are valid and we started another discussion about the need for premarital counseling prior to marriage in the Punjabi Sikh community. I'm not saying that premarital counseling would be a solution to all the issues you mentioned – but i do hope it would open the dialogue between a husband and wife on how mother/son relationships, living with in-laws etc would impact a marriage. Let's continue this discussion on the other thread.

  20. Sundari says:

    @ Kiran: I agree with Marine Kaur’s comments. This book holds no value, adds no insight. The book may not hold insight for you or your family, but i think the book has been valuable to several individuals who have read it. Like Mewa Singh said, this is the author's story – who are we to judge that story? We each have different experiences and make different decisions. If our community continues to judge and criticize each other for the decisions they make, then we (as a community) will never move forward.

  21. Sundari says:

    Kiran, I think you have some very pertinent thoughts on the issue of marriage within our community. I do think these issues are valid and we started another discussion about the need for premarital counseling prior to marriage in the Punjabi Sikh community. I’m not saying that premarital counseling would be a solution to all the issues you mentioned – but i do hope it would open the dialogue between a husband and wife on how mother/son relationships, living with in-laws etc would impact a marriage. Let’s continue this discussion on the other thread.

  22. Sundari says:

    @ Kiran: I agree with Marine Kaurs comments. This book holds no value, adds no insight. The book may not hold insight for you or your family, but i think the book has been valuable to several individuals who have read it. Like Mewa Singh said, this is the author’s story – who are we to judge that story? We each have different experiences and make different decisions. If our community continues to judge and criticize each other for the decisions they make, then we (as a community) will never move forward.

  23. I have not read the story but the shear fact that the book gained

    "Sikh Author Wins Mind Book of the Year Award" is strength to the fact that … when someone is "inspired intuitively" to take ACTION, they should do it, despite what the "noise" is saying around them. All great leaders have listened to their inner voice and taken action. The question then is, who inspires one to take action!

    Life was looking for this book to be born and the result was the award. Period.

    As a community, we have been blessed with a special gift to have strong faith and then demonstrate leadership with action. If you know of someone who has mental issues, reach out with LOVE and help them heal. The "gift" of life comes in different disguises, waiting for the right action takers to be of great service.

    "Conquer Your Mind, Conquer The Universe" – Guru Nanak.

  24. I have not read the story but the shear fact that the book gained
    “Sikh Author Wins Mind Book of the Year Award” is strength to the fact that … when someone is “inspired intuitively” to take ACTION, they should do it, despite what the “noise” is saying around them. All great leaders have listened to their inner voice and taken action. The question then is, who inspires one to take action!

    Life was looking for this book to be born and the result was the award. Period.

    As a community, we have been blessed with a special gift to have strong faith and then demonstrate leadership with action. If you know of someone who has mental issues, reach out with LOVE and help them heal. The “gift” of life comes in different disguises, waiting for the right action takers to be of great service.

    “Conquer Your Mind, Conquer The Universe” – Guru Nanak.

  25. Rana says:

    http://kitaban.com/

    Books in Gurmukhi, not as random as it sounds…Bout time the west dealt with Sikhs in Literature..only know of Balwin's What the Body Remmembers and The English Patient, unless you count Star Trek and Khan Singh Noonian as a Sikh!!

  26. Rana says:

    http://kitaban.com/

    Books in Gurmukhi, not as random as it sounds…Bout time the west dealt with Sikhs in Literature..only know of Balwin's What the Body Remmembers and The English Patient, unless you count Star Trek and Khan Singh Noonian as a Sikh!!

  27. Roop Dhillon says:

    I love English Language and Literature. I love reading and writing..however at the age of 30 I taught myself Gurmukhi and now enjoy Punjabi almost to the same level…if we want to close the generation gap between western raised Sikhs, and those from the Desh, than instead of writing our experinces and views for ourselves to navel gaze in English, we must write out view in Punjabi, so that the older generations understands us..this is vital..I have read what they say about our generation in Punjabi Literature..we are demonised..we need to write our perspective in that language..I propose the new western Generation of Sikhs start using Punjabi as well as English to create their own western Sikh Literature..just like we di with music 30 years ago..

  28. Roop Dhillon says:

    I love English Language and Literature. I love reading and writing..however at the age of 30 I taught myself Gurmukhi and now enjoy Punjabi almost to the same level…if we want to close the generation gap between western raised Sikhs, and those from the Desh, than instead of writing our experinces and views for ourselves to navel gaze in English, we must write out view in Punjabi, so that the older generations understands us..this is vital..I have read what they say about our generation in Punjabi Literature..we are demonised..we need to write our perspective in that language..I propose the new western Generation of Sikhs start using Punjabi as well as English to create their own western Sikh Literature..just like we di with music 30 years ago..

  29. Roop Dhillon says:

    ??? ?? ???? ????, ??? ???? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ??, ?? ????? ?????; ?? ????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ??????? ?????????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ????, ?????? ????, ????? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ????? ??????? ??? ?????? ’? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ??, ?? ????? ????????, ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????, ????? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ???

    http://rubru.ca/dunghapaani.html

  30. Roop Dhillon says:

    ??? ?? ???? ????, ??? ???? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ??, ?? ????? ?????; ?? ????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ??????? ?????????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ????, ?????? ????, ????? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ????? ??????? ??? ?????? ? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ??, ?? ????? ????????, ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????, ????? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ???

    http://rubru.ca/dunghapaani.html

  31. Maria van Oort says:

    Hello, I am Dutch and married to an Indian Sikh. I thought, I just add a comment from this side of the world to help you to stay mild in your opinions about gorees, and for me, to understand my husbands challenges, that he does not mention to me though – I suppose out of this wonderful, very unlike Dutch in general, attitude of not giving tension to others. My husband is a very good man and I thank God for the grace I married him. We have a wonderful son and I feel blessed every day seeing his love for us. Sikhs are totally unknown in The Netherlands and when wearing a turban, taken for fundamentalist muslims and approached as such with certain, hostile looks, or even laughed at, as here it seems like a Sikh just walked out of Aladin´ children´s book. This may sound shocking but this is the practise. Although I love the proud and distinguished looks of the turban and sometimes encourage him to wear it, I can see why he decided to put it of, after explaining and asking his mother the Dutch situation – off. We are not living in the greater Dutch cities with its international style. It is easy to judge others for what they do or not do. My life and upbringing is very different from Indian girls in Panjab. I have failed to learn how to make roti and I do not take pride in getting hands and fingers marked by burns of hot bread stoves. The shisha is of little relevance to me, as I never learned it should be relevant for my feeling of accomplishment. So here and there I might just do the wrong thing in some people´s eyes. I greatly respect my husband for being able in a very sweet and diligent manner to keep all sides happy, but most of all, true to himself. He is a very wise and balanced man. No book can change my opinion about him or Sikhs in general. But ofcourse, each community has issues to address, and it can be painful to be confronted situations that have not been challenged yet. I am totally puzzled of the habit to drink whisky and drive drunk with woman and children in the same car, in India. Some things Panjabi´s hold on very dearly, even more to than their wife and offspring, although its given to them by the English. The more so I was very impressed when visiting India, my husband refrained from drinking because I urged him so; there are very few Dutch men that would have the character and respect to just consider listening to their wives under that social drinking pressure. I just wanted to share this to show you it is in many ways Indians and non-Indians can bless each other, when they encourage what is good in one another and gracefully disagree.

  32. Maria van Oort says:

    Hello, I am Dutch and married to an Indian Sikh. I thought, I just add a comment from this side of the world to help you to stay mild in your opinions about gorees, and for me, to understand my husbands challenges, that he does not mention to me though – I suppose out of this wonderful, very unlike Dutch in general, attitude of not giving tension to others. My husband is a very good man and I thank God for the grace I married him. We have a wonderful son and I feel blessed every day seeing his love for us. Sikhs are totally unknown in The Netherlands and when wearing a turban, taken for fundamentalist muslims and approached as such with certain, hostile looks, or even laughed at, as here it seems like a Sikh just walked out of Aladin´ children´s book. This may sound shocking but this is the practise. Although I love the proud and distinguished looks of the turban and sometimes encourage him to wear it, I can see why he decided to put it of, after explaining and asking his mother the Dutch situation – off. We are not living in the greater Dutch cities with its international style. It is easy to judge others for what they do or not do. My life and upbringing is very different from Indian girls in Panjab. I have failed to learn how to make roti and I do not take pride in getting hands and fingers marked by burns of hot bread stoves. The shisha is of little relevance to me, as I never learned it should be relevant for my feeling of accomplishment. So here and there I might just do the wrong thing in some people´s eyes. I greatly respect my husband for being able in a very sweet and diligent manner to keep all sides happy, but most of all, true to himself. He is a very wise and balanced man. No book can change my opinion about him or Sikhs in general. But ofcourse, each community has issues to address, and it can be painful to be confronted situations that have not been challenged yet. I am totally puzzled of the habit to drink whisky and drive drunk with woman and children in the same car, in India. Some things Panjabi´s hold on very dearly, even more to than their wife and offspring, although its given to them by the English. The more so I was very impressed when visiting India, my husband refrained from drinking because I urged him so; there are very few Dutch men that would have the character and respect to just consider listening to their wives under that social drinking pressure. I just wanted to share this to show you it is in many ways Indians and non-Indians can bless each other, when they encourage what is good in one another and gracefully disagree.

  33. Linden Singh says:

    It is a sincere story of his personal experience. He makes it accessible to the Western white audience by not over complicating it with too many Punjabi words. He shares his heart felt story in a genuine and real way- a brave thing to do. Just because he isn't an Amritdhari Sikh with a turban shouldn't mean we dismiss him. It is just such stories that need to be brought into the public arena for discussion. What I really admire about Sanghera is the fact that he is willing to challenge the delicate subject of the caste system, a truly Sikh subject that needs to be confronted in modern Sikhi.

    In short, while some will dismiss him as "moneh", and may accuse him of promoting his story for financial gain, some will see the merit and bravery of his work, bringing the subject of inter-caste marriage into the open. A superb work.

  34. Michael Gould says:

    I've not quite finished The Boy with the Topknot, but so far I've enjoyed it enormously ~ a graphic descrption of a human being, from a relatively early age, making a bid for self expression, self realization; simply striving to be himself & not what other people want him to be. An inspiration to us all! well done!

  35. nashartter haire says:

    nashartter singh- i have not read the book, so cannot comment or form an opinion.

    but as i also grew up in wolverhampton in the 70's i can relate to some of the chapters that of the book i have quickly read in waterstones recently.

    i also grew up in park village but as fate would have it was not lucky enough to attend college or university, but satnam has made some good observations in his book.

    i am ashamed to say that i too cut my hair, and as a sikh child that was criminal. but later on my family and friends realised that it is not what religion you are but who you are as a person that matters.

  36. Marine Kaur,

    He wrote his book as it is his story. It is his own image. It is his picture as a child; he should be able to use his own picture in any way he desires.

    I haven't read the book yet. However, I am not sure how he could paint a 'tragic image', it is his own story. Maybe for him, it was tragic.

    I eagerly await your book.

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