By Hb Singh
Being the religious types, you visit the gurdwara daily. Religiously. As you reach, you park your car and you head towards the Darbar Sahib to pay your respects to Guru Granth Sahib. You leave an hour later feeling all religious.
Well and good for you. But let us ponder a few things.
What thoughts crossed your mind just as you were about to park your vehicle? What were the considerations for choosing the spot where you eventually parked? Perhaps the spot most convenient to you, one where you literally could jump out and mehta thek.
Question: Did you consider the convenience of other gurdwara goers and drivers? Did you park haphazardly? Did you occupy two spots? Are you denying parking spots to others just simply because of the way you have parked?
When you next go to the gurdwara or any other event, observe. Where there are properly drawn parking lots, chances are most people will park accordingly, though there will still be a few obstinate ones parking haphazardly.
If the compound does not have proper parking outlines, you will notice some people just don’t think. They park at the first convenient spot they get. No regards for others. They do not care if they may be blocking another vehicle. They are not bothered if there have denied a few others a parking spot. It’s they and them! It starts with them, and it ends with them.
And the person could leave feeling religious all around? That’s not being religious. That’s just his or her ego perked up with the thought that they have fulfilled some religious obligations. Nothing wrong wanting to be religious, but it has to filled to the brim with the right values.
Be it parking a car in a gurdwara compound or giving up a seat in the bus or sharing your knowledge, you are driven by your worldview. What is the Sikhi worldview here? How are the instructions from the shabad?
Guru Nanak is about care and concern, first and foremost, for the people around. I grew up listening to this story about Sikhs in the hills waging a guerrilla battles against the oppressors. As they are about to break bread, they would call out to check if anyone has not yet eaten. The person may only have a single piece of bread in hand, but his Guru-nurtured ethics compels him to share. His Guru-inspired living drives him to put the welfare of the others before him. So, one bread in hand and an empty stomach, yet he is still willing to share.
And, just to be sure, even the non-religious person can be equally guilty of haphazard parking.
The author says the note was whipped up in the Langgar Hall of a Kuala Lumpur gurdwara, overlooking the car park
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
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