Growing up I have almost drowned many times but it was the first time when I was two years old, that I would have drowned for good reason. The almost drowning in so memorable for me is not because of the young age but the faith that led me to jump in the water. I am told by my parents that no one was home that day but my sick aunt, my cousins (3 and 4) and I. We were loud as all little kids are and were sent out by my aunt to wash the dishes from that morning by the pool side. The dishes were divided by family; each one of us had to wash our family’s dishes and since I had the smallest family I had my grandparent’s dishes, too. Doing the dishes that day by the pool side taught me many lessons that I won’t realize till many years after the incident. Those lessons were of honor, of not giving up and of having faith.
I was honored to be given the dishes to do alongside my cousins, even though I was the youngest. I did not complain once but ran to do the task on hand. I was just so honored to be allowed to do the dishes with my cousins that I didn’t even see I had been given way more dishes. Looking back at that fact today, I think of the injustice done to me but I don’t always think of why it didn’t seem like an injustice at the time. I see a small child being asked to do work she wasn’t capable of but I often fail to see the honor the child felt to do something for her family. I don’t see the honor she felt of being able to stand proud with her cousins and say she did the dishes. That forces me to think today of why that child could take on a task bigger than her and I am unable to the same. Why do I feel too small to do anything for my family, the Sikh Panth?
Back at the pool side I imagine myself looking at my tiny hands as I watch my cousin’s finish and leave to go play again. I could have run off to play with them and left my dishes where they were but the honor I felt didn’t let me give up. As my cousin’s played, I worked faster to finish my job. At that age when something gets stuck in your brain, it is stuck for a good while. There was no way I would leave without finishing my job. Looking back at that today, I feel a bit foolish and very proud for not giving up. But at same time I wonder if I could do the same today. There are million distractions that keep us from doing the right thing in the first place and if we do start the task a million more to throw us off task. Without that childlike innocence, focus and determination, how can we accomplish anything in today’s day and age? Every time I think of doing something for the Sikh Panth, I see myself to small and held back by a million things, why?
I can’t accomplish the same as the child Sanmukh because I lack her faith. It was her faith that nothing would happen to her that she jumped in the water to get the final dish that had slipped into the water. When my aunt rescued me from the water, she asked a simple question, “why?” I am told I frowned at her and said, “Kamali, The water was too slippery and I couldn’t grab it to pull myself up.” My parents never let me forget this story because they find it very amusing that the water was too slippery. But to me more than amusing it is intriguing that I had faith I would find my way out of the pool and finish my job. Today I know Waheguru Ji exists and is there for me but still I shy away from taking leap of faith, what if he doesn’t save me? How can someone small held back by a million things do something for the Sikh Panth without faith?
I look back at myself and wonder where did the honor, the will power and the faith go? I pray to Waheguru Ji to give me back my innocence and the mind I had at age of two, so I could once again be capable of doing something for the honor of family. This time something for my bigger family, the Khalsa Panth.