CHARDI KALA: DISPATCHES FROM WISCONSIN – “Glowing Legacy”

“A GLOWING LEGACY”

“Babaji, wake up and open your eyes. Look, Dr. Sidhu has come over to visit you all the way from California. The entire sangat is waiting anxiously to hear a Katha from you.”

Raghuvinder Singh, Babaji Punjab Singh’s son, uttered these words as he held his hand. Babaji Punjab Singh, is a Katha-wachak and was present at the Wisconsin Gurdwara in that capacity when he was shot in the head. He remains in critical condition. 

My first interaction with both the sons, Raghuvinder Singh and Jaspreet Singh, had been over a phone call from California. I had helped interpret during a medical team meeting. Now, as I held Babaji’ hand, I could feel the love from everyone surrounding him.

As he massaged his father’s legs, Raghuvinder started telling me about the glowing legacy Babaji had created with his work. “Babaji always knew that spreading Waheguru’s message through Katha, was his calling. He took an early retirement from the Indian army so he could devote all to this work…. and he never looked back. He was a very patient and caring father and grandfather. My daughter misses him dearly and wants to be here with him.”

With Shabad playing in the background, I learned about the love and wisdom exuding from Babaji. He not only preached about living a good life, but he also made sure to incorporate healthy habits in his life as well. Babaji made his own meals, which mostly comprised of steamed vegetables and whole grain meals. He would get up early in the morning and walk eight miles. Raghuvinder smiles softly as he says, “ we were younger but we both had difficulty keeping pace with him. His face always exuded a glow.”

Upon being notified of the shooting, the sons immediately travelled to the United States to be by their fathers sideand to give him strength. Their mother, Mataji Kulwant Kaur, was unable to travel immediately because of her health. The UNITED SIKHS team in India met with her and gave her a cheque of Rs 50,000. Additionally, UNITED SIKHS representatives called upon the US ambassador in India to expedite the processing of her visa application. She arrived the day of my visit.

Mataji reminded me of my grandmother, as she sat on the ground with me talking about Babaji. “He called me the night before, I asked him to come back because my health was failing. He reminded me of his life’s purpose and promised he would be back when he was done with his work here. He told me to stay strong and take care of the family, especially making sure my pregnant daughter-in-law gets healthy food on time and is well taken care of. It was almost as if he was giving me instructions.”
As I hugged Mataji, I looked up at the sons who were looking tenderly at their mother. I felt peace in my heart, feeling the love, caring, and strength within the family. I ask all of you to keep this and all the families in your thoughts and prayers. May Waheguru bless everyone with peace and love.

– Dr. Seema Kaur, Regional Director, UNITED SIKHS

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