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34. You Must Visit My House

My assignment for discussing the Sikh heritage with the youth took me to a different town almost every week.  Once, when I reached Windsor Ontario, Canada, a young man came to pick me up at the bus stop.  I had not informed him about my visit, therefore, I was reluctant to let him carry my bag.  Observing a surprise at my face, he said, “When your phone rang at my uncle’s house, I was sitting there.  He agreed to let me receive you today.”

When we were on the road, he continued, “Do you remember your last visit to our town and the problem in my family because I used to get drunk everyday?” I kept quiet and gave no response. However, I recollected the unfortunate scene when his wife argued with him about his drinking and refused to go with him. Feeling concerned, I joined their arguments and endorsed the stand of his wife.  I quoted Gurbani which prohibited drinking.  After a few minutes, he continued, “After listening to your advise, I gave you my word that I will not drink again.  You said that God will bless us with peace and happiness.” 

He said all this in a very happy mood.  I enjoyed his talk and was thankful to God in my heart. The reason for his happiness as he stated later was, “I have got both.  I purchased this car with the money I saved by not drinking.  Therefore, I wanted you to be brought home in this car.”  I responded, “It is great and a very good news to me.  When one follows Gurbani, God helps him.”  He responded, “Yes, God has also blessed me with a son.”  I still remember how elated he felt while he was telling me this. He wanted to convince me that he was very much pleased with his decision to give up drinking.

While still on the road, he observed, “Baba Ji, you saw me in a virtual hell, and now my house has become a heaven.  We have now started reciting Gurbani regularly.”  I was emotionally charged after hearing this change in his life.  To express my pleasure, I told him, “Let us go to your home.  I will call your uncle from there and tell him about it.”  He was overjoyed to hear this.  It was also a pleasant surprise to his wife when we reached his house instead of his uncle’s place.

The next youth camp was held in the Abbotsford gurdwara, near Vancouver, I narrated there this happy outcome of the decision to get rid of the bottle by a young man.  When the sangat came down into the Langar hall, a young man with kesri turban was waiting for me.  He asked, “Baba ji, I want to talk to you.”  After hearing yes from me, he continued, “Let us move to that distant corner as this is personal.”  Standing a little away from the sangat he told me, “You must visit my house and next time you should tell my story.  Not just my house, but my whole street has become a heaven.  Every family now sleeps there in peace because I gave up drinking and took Amrit.  I used to come home drunk at midnight and often knocked on some neighbor’s door.  They would often call the police and their hooting cars would awaken everyone in the neighborhood.”

Holding my hands, as if to take me to his car, he repeated emotionally, “Please, you must come to my house and talk to my neighbors.  You will find yourself how pleased they are with me after I became Amritdhari.  Now they all sleep in peace.”

This second story was told at another gurdwara camp in Montreal.  On the day the youth were preparing for departure, two parents whose children were at the camp told me, “We were moved by the episode you narrated in the gurdwara on the first day of the camp.  Since that day, we decided not to touch alcohol even at social functions or marriage parties.  Now, we are very happy we made that decision.  We can raise the image of our community just by giving up drinking and getting rid of the evils associated with it.  We feel we should not have started drinking in the first place because Gurbani prohibits it.  What kind of a Sikh can one be if he does not listen to the Guru who wants to help and save him from so many problems.”




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