Thursday, May 31, 2007

Izzat Da Punjab

For a while I've known of a very talented Bhangra troupe called Izzat Da Punjab and for almost a year now I've been part of that troupe. Here's a picture of the latest troupe members before our first performance at the Punjabi American Heritage Festival in Yuba City, California, USA.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First day in Yuba City

The bed where I stayed in the suite they provided in Yuba City.
Setting up at the fairgrounds for the festival
The fairgrounds seemed kind of small, but sure enough the next day there were 13,000 people.
The sound system wasn't set up yet, so we practiced using Ravi Kaur Ji's ipod and little speakers. We could barely hear the music, mostly couldn't hear it at all.
It was kind of interesting how quiet it was on one day and how we could park at the fair grounds, and then the next day it was jam packed with people and nobody parked very close.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Life update

I forgot to get my card reader from my brother again, so I thought I'd update my blog with some updates from my life. I don't write much personal stuff on here. A lot of people may know that I've lived alone for the last 2 and 1/2 years. You might also know that I do not like living alone and these years have been somewhat of a challenge for me.
God has blessed me and I have got a room mate. One of my best friends. I actually have a small house on my property that needs repair and he is helping me repair it. So we're not technically room mates, we're kind of neighbors who share the kitchen and bathroom etc.
Before he even moved in, people who wander around my neighborhood tried to hit him up for money and tell their false stories. Last night somebody stole his motorcycle.
Neither one of us could believe it. I hadn't been robbed in almost 2 years, since I put the bars up. Also a lot of the criminals had left my neighborhood. Also, we were both asleep and they managed to roll the bike away, without waking either of us up. I think because the weather is warmer and because there are still a lot of criminals down the road, we get a lot of wanderers.
Last night as I was talking to my room mate Akal Singh Ji outside, we saw two junkies walk by. One without his shirt and totally strung out. I actually laughed, because it's just so typical. This guy really seemed to think he was cool, even though he had no shirt and looked like a ghost.
I don't know if it was him or who stole the motorcycle, but, for some reason, I was sure Akal Singh Ji would get it back. It was located outside of town, with damage, but not totalled. He stayed home from work and spent time tracking it down.
Unlike when I was robbed, the cops actually helped this time, and I think it's because the bike almost fell into their laps. It got towed from where it was parked and so they came to find it.
Living in my neighborhood seems to be a constant adventure, at least nobody's house got burnt down this time. God's hand is behind every action and there are many lessons we can learn in life.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Back from Yuba City

I just got back from Yuba City and my first "professional" Bhangra performance. The Punjabi American Heritage Festival was really nice and as always I met some really great people there. I'm very blessed with all the opportunities God gives to me. WaheGuru. I left my (memory) card reader in my brother's laptop bag, so I don't have my pictures on my computer yet. But I still have photos from my last trip that I haven't shown.
These pictures are from the park in NYC where the Sikh Day parade ended.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Head in Clouds

I've probably made a blog post with this title before. My head's not really in the clouds very often. Usually I'm pretty grounded, but I do enjoy looking at the sky.
I can see where I work in this picture. I was supposed to be at work when I took this picture from a plane. When I was coming back from New York my flight got cancelled and I had to come back the next morning and miss that morning of work.
These patterns are cool.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I also visited Times Square

Me and Mandeep Singh Ji in Times Square in New York City.
Sometimes I have a hard time recognizing beauty in a city, but in this picture, there's no challenge.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Punjabi American Heritage Festival...

...here I come
I just wanted to remind everybody that I will be in Yuba City this (Memorial Day) weekend where I will be in a Bhangra performance at the Punjabi American Heritage Festival.

Monday, May 21, 2007

WaheGuru

Why should I ever doubt?
I will never be without.
So long as God is near,
I should live with no fear.
How could God be far?
God is who we are.
In God I eternally dwell,
in heaven or in hell,
they are both the same,
when you chant God's name.
There is no difference in anything,
when you see God in everything.
By the most divine grace of the Siri Guru,
we can experience the ultimate, WaheGuru!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Need more time

I need more time in my life to update my blog. Luckily I still have a lot of cool pictures from my trip to New York. So here I go with more.




The child in the middle told his grandma that he wanted to see the panj pyaray. The parade was crowded and sometimes it was hard to move around or go see people. When the parade ended they had langar and as I was eating with Mandeep Singh Ji, Charanpreet Kaur Ji, Ajaipal Singh Ji, and Ravinder Singh Ji, this child's grandmother brought him to the five of us.
Speaking of cute children...
awww...
Here we are, panj pyaray.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Still going with Sikh Day Parade pictures

And I've still got a lot more to put up!
Here you can see Ravinder Singh Ji and Ajaipal Singh Ji with bags of CDs. We gave out tons of Simran CDs to Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike, which Ravinder Singh Ji so graciously organized. Thanks also to Gurumustuk as many of the tracks came from his blog.

In the right of this picture Ravinder is talking to some nice people who later asked me about New Mexico/SikhNet/yoga/etc. I love meeting people who know about the local sangat I belong to.
Mandeep Singh Khalsa Ji!
Ravinder Singh Ji and Inderjit Singh Ji, near the Baru Sahib float.
Crowds in front of me.
Crowds behind me.

The crowded streets of New York City



I spent a lot of time going up and down the sides of the street to pass out flyers called "Who are the Sikhs?" to non-Sikhs and CDs and cards with translations of mool mantra to both Sikhs and non-Sikhs. All of the materials were organized by Ravinder Singh Ji, it was a great seva!


Bole So Nihal! Sat Siri Akaaaal!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More from the Sikh Day Parade

I had barely arrived at the Sikh Day parade when I met this lovely Sikh family. Some may recognize the prominent Sikh on the left as Vishavjit Singh Ji, creator of Sikhtoons.com
The Baru Sahib float with Gurvinderpal Singh Ji talking to Karandeep Singh Ji and Inderjit Singh Ji (both on the street next to the float).
The girls from Baru Sahib did a great job as a Dhadi Jetha! I hear they are also very talented in kirtan.
Out in front of one float as the parade starts to gather more people and get more crowded.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sikh Day Parade 2007

I realized later that these guys look like they're posing. I was trying to take a random shot, but I guess most of them ended up looking at me (and thus the camera).
Chunnis everywhere
Some of the crowds gathering for the start of the parade.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Commune with God


Today I met God, we spent the whole day together,
on top of a mountain in perfect weather.
Mostly I was amazed and mystified,
God's presence was intensified.
I could not believe the beauty of God so near,
I was humbled, I could see God so clear.
What else could I think, in such a situation?
I could not picture this in my imagination.
Only God could provide the love I could feel,
the state of chardi kala, so innate and real.
I felt like I could never again forget,
that God and me are one, I am always set.
Never should I worry or fret,
Now that God and I have met.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bhangra

If you are planning to attend the Punjabi American Heritage Festival in Yuba City on the Memorial day weekend, please be sure to watch the performance of "Izzat Da Punjab." One of the dances we're working on is AWESOME. I'm in it and I can't even believe how cool it is. Yesterday we worked on quite a finale. It's just 6 of us, and we just finished learning it, now it's time to tighten it up. I'm off to practice now. (We'll have two dances prepared and both are cool.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rest of my Friday pictures in New York

I was in New York Friday to Monday, so I still have a lot of photos to share :-)
This is an interesting photo because only Gurvinderpal Singh Ji's face is in focus, the rest is kind of blurred.
Ravinder Singh Ji and Inderjit Singh Ji.
More Singhs! We went to the airport to meet Baba Iqbal Singh Ji of Baru Sahib. It was real nice to meet him in person. I really admire their school/campus/program/jetha... the stuff they do :-)