Simply Love – Sikh Love Stories
Review of “Her Name is Kaur” by Sonia Dhami
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How many forms of love can you think of?
Now think some more…or read the stories from Her Name is Kaur. These real life stories written by Sikh American Women bring us face to face with the range of love wider than we normally think of.
Love- whether it is won or lost- is what glows through page after page.
Love that we share with our fathers, mothers, friends, brothers, sisters, husbands, sons, daughters, community and faith.
No matter which relationship is seeped in love , there is one common thread in all these 25 poignant, inspiring, heartbreaking, fun, thrilling, romantic, triumphant stories – the love of the Divine.
As I read, page after page, I am struck by the deep rooted faith in Sikhi of the authors.
I am amazed at how gurbani, keertan, simran are such a big part of their young lives. I personally am only coming to this awareness of the divine now, relatively much later in my life.
But this is not the only reason why you should read this book. Read these stories because they also prove how a faith based community can help us to overcome the personal challenges that we all face in our lives. They also provide a beacon on young lives, helping us understand our own young children, growing up in a world which we are not always comfortable with and do not understand.
Read this book because these young women, who have grown up here in the USA, are sharing snippets of their real life stories with us. These stories are a peek behind the facades of the 2 second “How are you doing” and our 1 second smiling answer “I am doing good!”.
These 25 stories are grouped in 5 sections- Anakh, Himmat, Sehaj, Sanjog and Dharam.
It is the author in love as a daughter, friend, sister, wife, mother, professional or activists and writing about love .These stories are from the hearts that are imbued the love of the Divine.
The young lives of girls growing up here in the west, with all the heartbreaks of youth are the stories in the first section of “Anakh”. It is from here that I realize the importance of spiritual training and learning especially for the young. Because not every emotion can be shared easily with family members. When other relationships fail to provide answers to our questions, it is the everlasting relationship with the Guru’s bani will always deliver solace to the hurting heart.
The agonizing wait of the young girl in the story “I call her lovingly, unyeilding” brings back memories of the heartaches many of us have lived through. The uncertainty which mars our lives, waiting for a gesture from the boy to whom we have lost our heart and our inherent hesitations to take the first steps, looking for affirmation or reciprocation of our feelings when none is coming and then finally accepting the reality. While the girl in the story takes the help of Gurbani and the Gurus teachings to guide and support her not many young people have yet found their true friend in Wahe Guru.
You should read these stories because the stories are also thrilling. “Y2K” a story about the “Himmat” of youth had me cheating and turning pages, anxious to know how it all turns out. Hmmm! I think not much has changed in the 25years since my marriage.
Reading about Sangeeta’s Darji, makes me remember my grandfather, who I never knew. He went to fight a war and never returned leaving behind an infant son and a young widow-my grandmother. She is today nearing 100 – lies in her bed frail and helpless. The love I feel for my family reverberates in these pages.
Under “Sehaj” there are stories which will bring tears to your eyes while another might make you laugh. The loss of a mother, child, sister are all sensitively rendered by the authors. Gurpreet’s graceful acceptance of Wahe Guru’s Hukam in her story “Spark of Life” is a living example for us to see .
Jessi Kaur’s “How my mother-in-law became my mother” is full to the brim with humor and at the same time leaves us with nuggets of wisdom. Through all the sarcastic & biting taunts between the two, which certainly make fun reading, Jessi, with the support of Gurbani, come to believe in the mantra- “I love Mama” and ends up firmly upholding and living the key Sikh virtue of respect for elders.
In “Sanjog“, Manpreet Kaur, a young dedicated medical doctor, lives her life illuminated by Gurbani. Her love story “My Love” is lavishly interspersed with quotes from Gurbani which have personally guided her to her true love.
The young activists fighting for social change write their love stories under “Dharam”. Their purpose of life is guided by their deep dedications to their particular causes. It also guides them to finding their soul mates as in Simran Kaur’s story -“Love- the most lasting form of activism”. It also binds them to their roots and homeland as in Gunisha Kaur’s “Amritsar”.
As we read these stories, we find connections to our own lives as Sikh American women readers – no matter what our stereotype is as in Manpreet’s story – ABCD(American born confused desi) or FOB (fresh off the boat).
Meeta Kaur, in the story “The Way Home” writes on page 212
“…within myself, an entire solar system revolving around my faith. It has given me an unwavering peace and steadiness-solid ground to walk on.”
Such beautiful words!
Such are the words that illuminate the lives of these young authors. Such are the inspiring journeys that are shared within the pages of “Her Name is Kaur”.
Read it today!