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Khaddi-Peeti Act

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 7:01pm by khushwant.singh No Comment

Imagine if your newspaper headlines were to read: Punjab Cabinet to debate on the newly proposed Khaddi-Peeti Maaf Act. If passed, the Act to offer relief to millions of Punjabis who act the way they do after khaddi peeti by Khushwant Singh.

Literally translated, khaddi peeti means ‘in a drunken stupor’. Translated in its true Punjabi spirit, it transforms into action, assuming a hyperbole which can vary from breaking a beer bottle in front of your former girlfriend’s house to aiming a pistol at a singer’s head, that how dare he not know the song you wanted to hear.
Other than that, standing on a water tank, Dharmendra style, threatening your beloved’s parents with suicide if they refused her hand in marriage to you, also classifies as an act of khaddi peeti. But hold on. It’s not over yet.

The climax would be the day after. A punctured burrrrah, a head that is threatening to split apart and a mood which is repenting, are all part of it.“Pardon me, Honey, if the splinter from the beer bottle hit your dad. I’ll make sure it’s a can next time.”

Sikhs of Shanghai

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 7:00pm by khushwant.singh No Comment

Everyone is well aware about the presence of the Sikhs in western countries such as UK, US and Canada. But very little has been documented about the Sikh community in other parts of the world. Khushwant Singh explores the history of the Sikhs of Shanghai.

Recently, someone tweeted me a link to an article on the Sikhs of Shanghai. Written by Meena Vathyam, a US-based sociologist of Indian origin, the article, Heritage Trails, offered valuable insight and information about the earlier Sikh community in China’s financial capital, Shanghai.

According to the author, her quest for researching on the Sikhs started while browsing through a local travel guide, where a gurdwara was mentioned as one of the relics of the old Shanghai town.
Unfortunately, the gurdwara that the author mentions in her article is also no longer a gurdwara but a multi-family dwelling.

Turban vs Patka

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 6:58pm by khushwant.singh No Comment

Turban bans never fail to spark a debate. Khushwant Singh takes on this issue and on a lighter note, tells us the secret to living past a hundred years from two sporting legends The recent incident in Shimla where the Sikhs were offended by a school principal’s act of not allowing a Sikh student to wear a turban, reminded me of an incident of my school days. I was in an Irish Brothers school in Chandigarh and my class teacher in grade tenth was an Irishman, Brother Burke.

He was a stickler for punctuality and I the opposite, hence, was quite often ticked for arriving late to school. One of the standard alibis that I had started using was that I had newly learnt how to tie a turban and it took an enormous amount of time to tie it. The truth for the late arrival however lay in the fact that I would waste crucial minutes outside Carmel Convent School gazing at the girls.

Being a highly sensitive period in Punjab, since I am referring to the year, 1989, I thought that the brother would give me some concession and I would get away with my cheeky habit. Bro. Burke did ignore my coming late to school on a few occasions, but he finally put his foot down a week later and warned me that since the turban was making me unpunctual to school, I would not be allowed to wear the turban and had to come in a patka only.