Thursday, 27 December 2007

Year end Eye Bags

I've been rather noticeably absent from action (from Blog-la-land) for a while – December is always hectic and this year especially I think I bit off more than I could chew!
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On one hand I was fully swamped with the Malaysian Annual Samelan 2007, which was quite a bit to handle with preparations having begun months earlier. The thought of housing, feeding, and keeping over 1000 people charged up and in Chardi Kala for one week was enough to cause many sleepless nights!
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To top that, in a moment of insanity (or perhaps it was the persuasive tone of a friend’s voice :p), I also committed to helping out at the Bahadur Bachey (BB) Camp in Singapore, which took place the week just before Samelan.
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The back-to-back camp-a-thon meant that the bags under my eyes were set to become a permanent feature :p
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the few pictures I could lay my hands on... if any of you have more then please email them to me!
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Looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any differently – I am so grateful to Jasbir for his persistent insistence that I should go to Singapore, and how awesome the BB Camp would be – which indeed it was. I enjoyed every moment I spent there and the youth of Singapore are truly magnificent. It was structured, detailed, well thought of, and every activity had clear objectives set out. The amount of love and devotion put into this camp makes me smile – knowing that our young kids have sevadars like these around them is so reassuring! Bahadurro you are the bomb – stay explosive!
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The two unforgettable events for me both coincidentally involve candles. The first was the Candlelight Shower - where the electricity tripped and the older girls stood outside the showers with candles in their hands so that the little ones wouldn’t be afraid. Not having any sisters of my own, I just adored the idea of standing guard to protect a little sister from the demons of her imagination.
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And the second was the Candlelight Procession - where a whole series of unfortunate events led to this lovely idea. Picture this: Night-time at the Vadda Gurdwara, dim lights, shadows dancing with the flames of candles that lined the walkways, soothing simran echoing from the walls and silencing the mind.
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A line of wide-eyed children, coming up the stairs, their little feet taking one anticipatory step at a time, watching, seeing, looking, inhaling everything around them. Walking up to the candle stand, lighting their tea-lights. Heading calmly towards the Guru while delicately balancing the flame in their palms and a little wish in their heads. And at the front, kneeling, presenting the light to the Guru, saying their prayer. Joining the sanggat in meditation whilst enjoying a trance-like sense of peace.
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The kids were completely mesmerised; I don’t think any of them had ever shared such a personal moment with the Guru before. It was simply utterly totally absolutely. Adorable. The memory is making me goosepimply. The whole evening turned out beautifully!
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I’m so proud to wear the Bahadur Bacha stamp on my forehead – this is another addition to my 2007 Treasured Memories Chest.
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And the Samelan? Nothing really needs to be said about that. Mataji took me to my first Samelan when I was 2 months old - she was part of the organising team and so I got packed along and handed over to the babysitting squad. That decision has shaped so much in my life - I have grown up in the Samelan environment, in the cradle of the Malaysian sanggat; and so to me, going for the Samelan is not even a choice, it’s a given :)
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(The above 3 photos were taken from the Samelan 2007 Blog. For more bitsy-bobs on the Samelan, you can follow the Media Crew's work by clicking here)
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And regardless of what happens during the Samelan week – the good, the bad, the ugly, the disastrous, the inspiring, the ridiculous, the humorous, the distressing – all the above ingredients are what make it a Samelan, and our hearts still shed a little tear when Guruji is escorted away from the Samelan grounds on the last day.
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What would my alternative December look like? Mornings that fade into afternoons, craters in the living room sofa, a love-hate relationship with Spanish soaps and tissue boxes, too much chocolate and not enough conversation, days wading in and out as if seamlessly stitched together, too much silence and not enough reflection.
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And I realise that the bags under my eyes, the ones I am so worried about, are in fact laden with happy thoughts, joyous moments, beautiful awakenings, and so much love.
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I’ve decided to embrace the Eye Bags - they symbolise the things that make my little world oh so wonderful.

1 comment:

Harminder said...

It was an awesome time we had at Bahadur Bachey, and we truly treasure the moments that we had with you and everyone else from Malaysia! We learnt a lot, keep the energy flowing =) Rabh Rakha!