CHIRIYAN TE MEIN BAAZ TADAUN

The one personality that has affected me more than any other in this world.

My guru.

Sacche Patshah Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

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As I child I was drawn by his eyes, his magnetic personality his stories of sacrifice and bravery; the warrior saint with a falcon on his arm.

But there was a deeper connection.

Then I learnt more about him. When the rest of the country was mired in un-touchability and segregation he decreed that everyone shall sit and eat at the same level. No rich and no poor. Equality for all.

In war he reluctantly sent his men to their death, but not before he sacrificed his own sons first.

Fairness.

And love for his beloved horse and his falcon.

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That’s where I might have learnt to love animals- who knows how the mind of a child absorbs things.

Today I got a call for an injured falcon.

So I went to the site where a hawk had paralyzed legs. Unable to fly it flapped its wings and struggled on the road. Ultimately giving up.

As I draped a blanket over the falcon and picked it up I felt a connection deeper than man and animal. It had something to do with being a Sikh.

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I felt responsible towards the Falcon ; like I was being tasked by the guru to save it.

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After hurrying back to the shelter, I used a syringe to put dextrose solution in its mouth. Sometimes birds who haven’t eaten for a while are running low on blood sugar seem like they are close to dying. However a few drops of dextrose act like a miracle. I’ve seen them fly away within minutes of getting the dextrose.

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Not this one.

I searched under its wings ignoring the unusual slimy excreta (which should never be fluidic as birds do not urinate) dripping on my uniform, I found BB pellets embedded in its legs.

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The capability of humans to be cruel never stops amazing me.

So I called a bird rescue group and they came out and took the Falcon to give it the best chance at rehabilitation.

I kept on thinking about why the Guru called us Sikhs, the eternal learners. He taught us that an elephant and an ant is the same in the eyes of god.

But we; his Sikhs hold one bird in reverence (the Falcon) and willingly kill and eat some other birds like chicken and turkeys and emu’s.

Did the Guru over-estimate us? Are we the same Sikh’s he was so proud of that he said

Sawa Lakh te ek laraun,

He asked us to fight evil, but for these animals- we became EVIL IN CHIEF.

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