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Our Gurudwara has cancelled all programs including katha, kirtan and langar except for morning and evening nitnem during this worldwide pandemic emergency. It is sad to be in this “boat”, yet we are all in it together. With the help of our amazing Sikhnet, our home is our ashram. From the Hukamnama, to the extensive shabads and with programs like the recent Amrit Vela Awakening, we can stay connected with Waheguru.

While Khalsa School is closed, the children can connect with the special Sikhnet programs just for them.

We love to enjoy the special ronak of our celebrations,  Baisakhi being the most vibrant-- combining the spirititual birth of the Khalsa Panth with the traditional Punjabi New Year. There is a huge mela at every one of the five Takhts. My husband remembers that everyone in Bhatinda district who could get there, celebrated in Talwandi, Damdama Sahib. Streams of folks dressed in their new, colorful clothes and plumed turbans came on camel back, in oxcarts and on foot from neighboring villages. Trains packed, even onto the rooftops, carried people from afar to the Raman Mundi station from where they walked the last eight miles to the colorful stalls lining the dusty streets.

My husband’s family left for his Chacha ji’s very early in the morning, and did their Gurdarshan at the Mastu Ana Gurudwara. Some took their ishnan in the sarovar at Damdama Sahib and then the family left for a huge communal feast at Chacha ji’s. Simple daal and phulka, yes. But also huge cauldrons of sweet rice and sevian. The men and boys went off to the mela where all kinds of toys, sweets and street entertainers awaited them.

This story and more can be found in my book, Menus and Memories from Punjab, 10th anniversary edition that I wanted to share with 2nd and 3rd generation families who may never have the chance to visit Damdama Sahib during Baisakhi.


While we may not be able to enjoy the ronak of the sangat this Baisakhi in our gurdwaras, we can enjoy many of the delectable treats in our homes. Naniiji and Dadiji not with you? Your Mom and Aunties self-isolating? Yes, still you can make really authentic dishes for yourself and for your family from the two hundred and seventy-two recipes. Curl up with Menus and Memories from Punjab and relish your bowl of sevian or mitha chaval while enjoying the thirty two stories. Make some saag and mukkee di roti for dinner and give yourself the gift of your culture.

*All online royalties from this book are going to support the wonderful educational efforts of Sikhnet. So do connect with Waheguru through Sikhnet and nourish your body with desi khana. Touch the photo below to access the book which is now available on Amazon and other outlets.




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