Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Interview with Tarawati Sofat, Nairobi

(Courtesy of
Yes, this is a photograph of Babaji. That's how we called him, 'Honoured Father'. His proper name was Puran Singh. He lived in Kericho where he had a furniture-making business. How did we meet? My late husband Baburam Sofat, who had come to Kenya when he was fifteen, worked in the Labour Department for 40 years! He would go to Kisumu and Kericho to give out pay. He met Puran Singh in Kericho and by 1942 they were fast friends. No, my husband was not a Sikh like myself, he was a Hindu Punjabi. He was an astrologer and palmist, so he was known as Jyotshiji. He had very many people coming to him. Even many Europeans. They were crazy about him. He'd be busy from morning until 6 pm. He didn't charge when he started. He wrote to his Guru (in India) about this. The Guru, Swami somebody, allowed him to charge 20/-. When my husband first met Babaji, he said to him, 'I want to read your hand.' When he saw Babaji's hand lines he said, 'You are a saint.' But nobody' else knew it.

For full article, click here -

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday Dharam Joda Singh ji

Just wanted to wish Bhai Dharam Joda Singh ji(Shastar) a happy belated birthday who turned 27 on 20th June 2007. Hope you had a great time and may this year be as successful as was the last for you. Take care and be good. Three cheers for Dharam, "Heep Heep...Hurray!!! x3". Dharam is blessed with an amazing voice and can 'bring the house down' when doing kirtan with his melodious voice.

Article on Makindu Gurudwara by Lakhvir Singh

(Courtesy of Lakhvir Singh, Nairobi,Kenya)
Sikh Temple Makindu was built in 1926, though its roots are believed to have been present way before then. When the Uganda Railway was completed in 1902 at Port Florence (which is now Kisumu, Kenya), Makindu played a prominent role as a service point on the railway's advance from Mombasa . Dozens of artisans and train drivers were Sikhs and the station at Makindu became a place of religious fervour. Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims would gather together in the evenings and sing the praises of God. They did so under a tree, the spot where the current Gurudwara now stands. It is also believed that the Gurudwara was funded by non-Sikhs along with Sikhs.In the years before 1926, the Gurudwara was a tin-roof little hut where the Sikhs used to pray everyday, and the Guru Guru Granth Sahib was housed there. But when the Railway moved on from Makindu, the service point went into disuse and became unimportant. The Sikhs naturally moved along too, leaving the tiny Gurudwara behind, under the watchful eye of an African servant who would clean the Gurudwara. Sikh devotees who passed along the Gurudwara would leave offerings of money by dropping it through the locked Gurudwara's window.As the years rolled on and the Railway complete, the Sikhs settled in Kenya. Slowly, they began to contemplate the idea of reviving the small Gurudwara in Makindu. Akhand Paths began to be organised on regular weekends, with families travelling 200 miles or so, in rough murram red-soil earth. There, they would gather and pray, prepare langar and socialise. Over the years, the Gurudwara began to be developed. It is in 1926 that a solid foundation was laid. The Gurudwara then became a fully-functional one - with a langar hall, prayer hall and tiny rooms of accommodation for the gyanis and sevadaars of the Gurudwara. It also began to provide free food and rest for weary travellers who would stop by at the Gurudwara for a night or two on their journeys to and from Nairobi and Mombasa.

Legend have been connected to this magnificent Gurudwara. It has truly been referred to as the 'Harmandir Sahib' of Africa. It is so amazing that even now, as i pen these lines, an electric current runs through me, just thinking about the power of that Gurudwara.

A copy of the Guru Granth Sahib that survived a mysterious fire which burnt down the whole Gurudwara (probably before 1926) is still there today. I was fortunate to obtain the darshan of the Guru Granth Sahib at a Sikh's residence in Mombasa. On it's first page, the then-Granthi of the Gurudwara recorded, in his own handwriting, exactly what had happened that day, and how miraculously, the Guru Granth Sahib was untouched by the tragedy to the Gurudwara.An African sevadaar of the Gurudwara once claimed that he saw, in the night awoken from his sleep, a figure on a white horse. The horseman approached him and spoke to him, telling him not to speak to anyone about the incident of his visit. The startled and shaken man could not believe his eyes and was so scared that he he told the first person he saw the following morning. Asked who the man on the horse was, the African man pointed to a painting of Guru Gobind Singh which was displayed in the Gurudwara and said, 'That was him! Exactly like the was is there and so was the white horse!' The incident spread through the Sikh community like wild fire and soon people began to come more often to the Gurudwara, regardless of the miles that separated them from it. The incident also prompted the Sant Baba Puran Singh Kerichowale (founder, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha) to lead Gursikhs to gather at the Gurudwara regularly, and serve it by prayer, langar and cleaning. The Gurudwara had been almost forgotten and neglected when Guru Gobind Singh's incident occurred.That was not the only incident of the darshan of Guru Gobind Singh at Makindu Sahib. People claim to have have heard, in the silent of night, to have heard the approach of horses, just outside the Gurudwara. The sounds were akin to an army, stopping for the night. They claimed that they heard sounds of a kitchen being put in place, like langar was being prepared. Evidently, the incident was believed to be another darshan of the Guru, stopping by the shrine.
In yet another event, an amazing first-time encounter happened with a member of the Istri Sabha during the early years of the Gurudwara. A lady who was reading the Guru Granth Sahib in the night, lit by only a kerosene lamp (there was no electricity there then), witnessed in the shadow falling on the Guru Granth Sahib. The figure, she recalled, was of someone doing the 'chaur' over the Sikh Scriptures. The figure was, by description, none other than Guru Gobind Singh.The Gurudwara today is among one of the most unique and beautiful ones outside India . Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike describe the same feeling when they step into the Gurudwara - that of peace. It is an indescribable peace and bliss. A aging European stranger i met at an art exhibition just the other day, began talking to me about the Gurudwara when she saw me wearing a branded jacket of the Gurudwara. 'Oh, I've been there,' she told me, 'a beautiful temple, i must say.' She explained how a decade ago, she had stopped there for the night on her journey from Mombasa back to Nairobi, and said she had never felt so peaceful in her life before. She even felt the presence of someone seated in the passenger seat as she prepared to drive on the following morning. 'I'm not sure who that was, but I am certain there was someone there,' she explained. 'I didn't get scared, though, I took it as a good omen, like someone was keeping a protective watch over me as i embarked on my journey.'Like this lady, there are thousands of people who stop by the Gurudwara on their journeys along the busy Mombasa Highway. The Gurudwara attracts people of all races and colour - Hindus, Muslims and Christians. They all drive in like it was home. They always find a meal waiting for them and accommodation to take rest in. They feel no discrimination, or even the slightest hesitation that they are walking through a Sikh temple. It's a power there, I believe, that brings them here - a power that sees no differences. All feel the same bliss, as though they are visiting a Sikh Temple, but walking through God's very own garden.
As for the Sikhs, it is a favoured Gurudwara. Politics have not touched this Gurudwara. Here, even the Managing Committees have been known to be part of the sangat and sevadaars. Every weekend, there is someone or the other, making their journey to pay their homage to the Gurudwara, or simply to be at one with the Guru. Whole families travel there, unlike witnessed in Nairobi. Sikhs from not only all over Kenya, but from as far as Uganda and Tanzania who make regular trips to this beautiful Gurudwara, built on the common African soil. It is to be believed by the individual, and there are plenty of testimonies, that whatever one asks for at this Gurudwara, it is granted. Wishes have come true, prayers have been answered, if you come with a clean heart, cloaked in humility. Akhand Paths are regularly done there, and requests come from as far away fro Europe and Australia where ex-Kenya Sikhs are now settled, and yet remember the beloved Gurudwara they had to leave behind. Had it been in their grasp, they surely would have taken it with them!
The setting of this Gurudwara is indeed a wonder. It is set in the wilderness, deep in the wild. Settlement has only recently sprang up around the Gurudwara. It is about 200 kilometers from Nairobi and yet you will find Sikhs gathering at the Gurudwara almost every weekend. Here they spend the whole day, resting, praying and simply witnessing the still air in its extremely well-kept gardens. Right across the road is the new Sikh Hospital - Mata Veera Kaur Hospital - which is a community establishment, serving the locals who have no immediate professional health care for hundreds of miles around.
On my most recent visit there in 2001, I could see the Gurudwara through the thorn bushes at the Railway Station. The sight was one to behold. There, right before you was a white structure, in the midst of all the browns and greens of the wilderness, standing tall, yet humble. The Gurudwara stands like the lotus flower that grows in the mud. The only was to describe the sight when I saw it was 'Bliss in the Bush'.

A note to make here is that there not a single Sikh family resident in Makindu and yet the Gurudwara continues to flourish, through the goodwill of non-Sikhs, the devotion on its Sikhs and abundant blessings of the Guru, who ceaselessly watches over this shrine that was built on the foundation of sincere faith, love and dedication to the WORD of GOD. And yes, do visit this Gurudwara, no matter what part of the world you come from, and you will experience all that we have, and who knows, the Guru awaits you too!

Lakhvir Singh, NAIROBI, KENYA
Read the full article: www.sikhnet. com
Some pictures taken from

Friday, June 22, 2007

Trekking with the Singhs - Dublin, April 2007

I know its been a while since I written anything about our hockey trip, but as they say, better late than never. During the Easter weekend, Plashet HC drove across to Dublin to play in the Corinthians Hockey Tournament. We all stayed at Dublin Internation Hostel thanks to Daljeet Cheema. All sleeping in one room, in bunk beds, one can imagine the amount of 'pange' that a bunch of boys can get up to. I would even talk about the

I have to admit that it was a great choice to stay as we had the chance to bond with each other and get on each others nerves. Not to mention AJ's flaky feet or Tej's sleepathon. During this trip, we managed to find a Gurudwara, Guru Nanak Darbar, in Dublin to thank guru ji for a successful trip. We were well looked after by the local 'sangat'. It happened to be a public holiday and the birthday of one of the local lads. As a treat, the 'sangat' had made 'alloo wale prontey' for breakfast and mushy paneer, egg plant 'subji' and yogurt for lunch. It was definitely a delight after having to eat junk food for 3 days.

As we had some time to kill before our ferry back to England, the local lads decide to take us out to do some sight seeing. They were all really kind people and took us to a place where we would never had thought to go. I managed to take some videos of the trekking we done with the singhs in Dublin.

In the video above you can see that the nerves kicking in when just about to go down the cliff.

To be continued...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Panesar climbs to new career high

(Courtesy of BBC Sport)
England's Monty Panesar has broken into the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time after his superb display in the victory over West Indies.

The left-arm spinner, 25, took 5-46 to help set up England's seven-wicket win and finish the series as England's man of the series with 23 wickets.

click here to

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fauja Singh ji in Edinburgh 2006

A collage of pictures that I took at the marathon.

In the above picture from you can see the group having a picture taken by one of the press photographers. I thought I would seize the opportunity and pretend to be a paparazzi by getting a few shots for myself.
Above is a picture of myself with my Kenyan Brothers. The one wearing a grey top at the left won the race in 2hrs 11 minutes while the others came second and third places.
Above is a picture from left to right : Myself, Karnel Singh, Fauja Singh, Nirmal Singh. This was taken by a press photographer as we were going to the car. It was a great day and was really good to see the amount of respect that other non sikhs have for Fauja Singh ji.
Fauja Singh ji and Ajit Singh ji having a bite to eat after the long run. It was really hot outside and it was really nice to sit in the shade after the long run while helping ourselves to delicious snacks courtesy of the organisers to their VIP guests.

Here is a video I discovered from the archives of Fauja Singh ji(96) running in the Edinburgh Marathon. It was a relay race which included other great sikh runners ; Ajit Singh ji(76), Amrik Singh ji(75), Karnel Singh ji(?) and one other whose name I cannot remember. Their combined age was over 400 years.

In the video you will see running along side Fauja Singh ji are Harmander Singh ji who is his personal trainer and Sulakhan Singh ji who is a regular runner of Team Fauja. Sulakhan Singh ji ran the full marathon in 4 hours 30 minutes where he caught up with the other two and finished the race in style.

Scottish Trip May 2007 Cont...

So here are a couple more videos that I managed to upload from our Scottish trip in May of 2007. as we were cycling up one of the mountains in the Nevis range, we came across a herd of sheep. As I was equipped with only my phone , took a video on my phone. The second video is of the room I stayed at in Fort William.

To be continued...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lisbon March 2007 Cont..

I am just in the process of uploading videos I took in Lisbon from our trip in March. I know its been a while, but hopefully will share them with you slowly. I do recall the trip being lots of fun and it is always an honour to be around Bhai Fauja Singh ji.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Smashing on Wii

The video below is of Indie P and Jatlee having a smashing session of Nitento Wii tennis. The video is slightly dark as the lighting was quite poor. As you might know, I am known for taking videos on my phone, so I do apologise for the poor quality of the video.

Scottish Trip May 2007

I will be posting a few videos of when Binda, Bindi and myself went to Scotland in May 2007 and stayed at Fort William. The quality of the videos is not that great as I was using my mobile to take them.

to be continued...

Happy Birthday Davinder Singh!

Just wanted to wish Davinder Singh Ji (Boldielox) a 30+ Happy Birthday. Now you can enjoy the joys of becoming old and bald. Hope you have a good time. ENjoy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


kabeer thoo(n) thoo(n) karathaa thoo hooaa mujh mehi rehaa n hoo(n) jab aapaa par kaa mitt gaeiaa jath dhaekho thath thoo 204

Kabeer, repeating, ""You, You"", I have become like You. Nothing of me remains in myself.When the difference between myself and others is removed, then wherever I look, I see only You. 204

Friday, June 08, 2007

Fruits of Working Hard

If you hold onto your dreams for long enough, they just might end up coming true. A rikshawala's son does not necessarily have to be a rikshawala. Click here for full details

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Jakara 2007 - Fresno, Cali: 21-24 June

Join us at the 8th annual Jakara Sikh Youth Conference as we remember, revisit, and reignitethe spirit of the ‘Sarbat Khalsa: Discord in Harmony’.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Danger - Be Aware

Just wanted to congradulate Jatinder Singh ( Jatlee) on passing his driving test. I also wanted to warn everyone about the new terror allowed to roam the streets of Britain. Keep a fair distance whenever Jatlee is driving... (only Joking)

Enjoy and drive safely. Will be waiting for the road trip to Rockys :-)

Few Jokes

An Indian found the answer to the most difficult question ever -
What will come first, Chicken or egg?
O Yaar, what ever U order first, will come first.

A teacher told all students in a class to write an essay on a cricket match. All were busy writing except one. He wrote "DUE TO RAIN, NO MATCH!"
A person went into the office kitchen one morning and found a girl painting the walls. She was wearing a new fur coat and a nice denim jacket. Thinking this was a little strange, he asked her why she was wearing them rather than old clothes or an overall. She showed him the instructions on the tin, "For Best Results put onTwo Coats"

A man was drawing money from ATM, The person behind him in the line said, "Ha! Ha! Haaa! I've seen ur password. Its 4 asterisks (****). " The first person replies, "Ha! Ha! Haaa! U R wrong, Its 1258"

Monday, June 04, 2007


This Shabad is by Guru Angad Dev Ji in Raag Aasaa on Pannaa 463

mehalaa 2
jae so cha(n)dhaa ougavehi sooraj charrehi hajaar eaethae chaanan hodhiaaa(n) gur bin ghor a(n)dhhaar 2

Second Mehla:
If a hundred moons were to rise, and a thousand suns appeared,even with such light, there would still be pitch darkness without the Guru. 2