It is easy to tell people that our last name means princess, but actually living as that is very hard to do.  All my life, I have explained to people what Kaur means, but I think I never really understood it myself. Does a girl become a princess by perfectly styled hair, jewelry; make up, a gorgeous dress and an attitude to match? Or does a girl become a princess by her very presence and her words and actions?

What is more important look, actions or both?

I spent 20 years of my life chasing after the beauty queen look so I could be a princess just like my name. Fortunately (well, at the time unfortunately) for me my parents were against make up, cutting hair, revealing clothes and just about everything that I believed would make me glamorous.  Yes, my parents were against it, but that didn’t stop me from trying.  After all, I wanted to live up to my name. For 20 years I tried to do whatever was possible in order to look like a princess. But I never achieved anything more than becoming my daddy’s little princess, just like every other girl.

Then one day I met a true Kaur who showed me what being a princess is really all about.

She stood there, tall and proud, shining out in a crowded room and no one else could even compare to her. She was one of the three turbaned women in the room that day, but she was nothing like the others. She had on the simplest white bana, turban (with no ornaments) and an easy smile.

I knew immediately that I wanted to be like her and approached her to ask her secret;  how did she become a real princess? I asked question after question and she just smiled, laughed and answered each question. I quickly learned she had discovered Sikhi less than a year before and immersed herself so deeply into it that she wore her bana and turban at all times. I had been a Sikh for 20 years and had never worn the bana or a turban. She was going to take amrit after having been a Sikh for less than a year. I had been a Sikh for 20 years, considered taking Amrit but had never been so passionate about it, not like her. Talking to her that day, made me realize she was the true daughter of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and I was just an imposter. I wanted to be a princess, a true daughter of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and I knew I couldn’t do it alone.

I asked this princess to give me a crown, a turban of my own. The next week she showed up to Gurudwara Sahib with enough turban material to tie turbans on the whole Punjabi class. That day, only two students had the desire to receive the beautiful gift she brought; luckily I was one of them. After that she came just one more week and helped me tie my turban. In those two weeks the sangat got used to seeing me in a turban and I got scared of going without it to the Gurudwara because I thought that people might think I was wearing it just to impress my new friend. So every Sunday for about a month or two I would tie a turban and if it didn’t work out nice, I would just cover it with my chuni. After Gurudwara Sahib I would head to work in my bana and talk to my customers about Sikhi and the turban.

I became the Sunday Sikh.

The Sangat didn’t mind, but my customers quickly caught up and questioned my Sunday Sikh appearance and attitude. I Realized I was still an imposter, and still not a princess. So, I started wearing the turban a couple of times a week. I figured it’s hard to wear a turban because it comes with great responsibility. Every time I tie it, I have to always smile, be kind, live up to Sikhi and represent the image of my Guru and pretty much really be the perfect princess. It is not easy work being a princess and I just wasn’t ready for it. It is easy to look like a princess but hard to become a true princess.  It requires, grace, strength and real commitment. As I struggled to wear my turban every day and act like a true princess, the good Sikh Sangat in my life began pestering me about reading my nitnem. Slowly but surely with help of the good Sangat in my life I incorporated nitnem in my life and with the encouragement from the customers at work, I incorporated the turban as my daily wear.

I took a big step towards becoming a princess by doing that.

The Nitnem brought about a change within me and the bana supported that change on the outside. Without even realizing it, when I least expected it, I became a real princess.

I am not a full-fledged princess of Guru Gobind Singh Ji yet because I have not received the blessings of Amrit to officially proclaim me a princess. But I am a princess in training who is almost ready to be blessed. Today a random stranger came up to me and said I looked like a princess because of the beautiful turban on my head. Here is random stranger who has no clue who Sikhs are or what the turban means but who was struck by the radiance of my bana and understood that I was a princess.

I am sorry Guru Ji that I came so late to you and wasted 20 years of the precious life you gave me by trying to be a false princess. But I know that everything happens for a reason, that You are teaching me every day, and that it all unfolds according to His hukam. Guru Ji, please bless me with Amrit soon and allow me to remain your true princess for life.

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