The image of the Sikh in the mirror,
so appealing, so handsome,
a young prince receiving coronation,
getting ready to face the world.
His freshly-bathed beard,
with curls like wavy clouds
caressed with admiration and care.
His long hair embracing him,
a royal cape of responsibility.
Bowing in admirable and loving service
he gathers these cascades of
black wisps from back to front,
combing out the tangles
through caution, care and affection.
Like life, the Sikh man loves his hair,
with obedience and pride,
following this daily ritual
of remembrance and affirmation.
The soft, shining hair, go with the flow
of his tender, guiding hands.
The strands surrender their movements
kneaded together in unison.
His long beard twirled in grasps
of firmness and glued conviction.
His hair - like faithful subjects
follow the king's wishes,
no rebellion, no insurgence,
a simple complacency
of honor and respect.
The curls and twists and turns
give up to his hand's beckoning.
The tugs strengthen his commitment,
rolling into a confident knot of circular solidarity,
reminding him of his promise to cherish God's gift.
The tied band on the forehead
prepares him for this coronation.
Five meters of muslin meanwhile, caressed and stretched
between him and his wife affirming their unbreakable
bond, an unwavering commitment.
Twirling the folds inside, unwrinkling the wraps
with patted caresses, he glances at his wife
as she twirls the folds on the other side.
She smiles back like a blushing bride
concealing emotions in wrapped layers.
The quick pulls and tugs and folds
bring them closer as they meet
with layers and folds of the crowning,
waiting eagerly to be placed on the proud head.
The mirror shows him ready for the moment,
he smiles at his beautiful empress.
He reminds her of their wedding
day when she saw her glorious groom
eyeing secretly his new bride.
The first fold embracing his neck,
a corner clenched tightly,
like a child learning to hold with his teeth,
moving up from the back to the forehead
and then sloping down back.
His crown emerges amidst
this affectionate perusing,
these multiple folds
of dedication and tradition
inheritance and reverence,
commitment and allegiance,
a disciple's acknowledgment
of his Guru’s edification.
Remembering his Guru’s baptismal call,
he imagines that spring morning
when followers accepted the regal form
to bear and acknowledge the ambrosial
nectar of commitment and promises.
No fear in their hearts,
only a passion for obedience,
valiant soldiers, bold in thought
and actions, they learned to embrace
equality, drinking sips of pious
sweetness immersed with the Guru's love.
The Sikh man's smile reveals
the same pride of ancestral promises
as he sifts through his mirror-image
getting ready to face the world
that knows not yet of his cherished inheritance.
The proud wife wonders if
the world will ever know about
the hidden tunnels and histories
of arduous persecutions.
Will they ever unearth these
grandiose, invisible rubies of faith and
jewels of optimism adorning his crown?
Bidding wishes and love
to her handsome prince,
she hopes they will understand
perhaps someday… if not today
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2012, All