unfathomable: self portraits from June 2015

“The common trait that some of my extraordinarily brave, smart, kind, and maybe creative moments and memories share would be that I was not with anyone I knew. Or even better, when I was alone.”

I was the youngest in my family until the age of 21 years. It was only in 2017 when my nephew Mehar Singh became a part of my family and took over all the responsibilities of handling the exclusive love and care which the youngest kids receive and which I had been doing well up until his due arrival.

It was perhaps this love and care that never let my family leave me alone much at home. I can’t say whether that was intentional on their part but that is what I now tell myself. I could travel wherever I wanted, with whoever I wanted. I was given my share of freedom all in the right time. But for some reasons, I don’t remember being left at home alone pretty much at all.

These self portraits were taken on one of my first few home-alone days. 

The common trait that some of my extraordinarily brave, smart, kind, and maybe creative moments and memories share would be that I was not with anyone I knew. Or even better, when I was alone.

These are from the 11th of June 2015. I set the camera on the dining table which is placed right in front of the indoor plant area of my home and used the 10 seconds timer feature that allowed me to go ready myself before the click. I have always loved the way sunlight enters from here.

I don’t even know where is that camera now, it was a SONY DSC-H300.  I’ll now go try and find it.

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unfathomable self

Just to share, right now as I type this, I am wearing the same shirt I am wearing in these photos. It’s truly heart-warming.

~ Nihal Kaur

I found myself someone to call Bapuji… again.

Saturday, the 14th of March
It was my maternal grandmother’s Antim Ardaas/Bhog a few days ago at the Namdhari Dharamshala. It’s very similar to memorial services. Everybody related to her, those who loved her and even those who perhaps only knew her; people from near and from far, all had come together to think of her and to pray for her to rest in peace. The man named Nishan Singh that we call Jathedaar was chosen to address the congregation. He presented a beautiful session talking about my Nani’s life, her virtues, her family and other important moral values. The one value that he particularly emphasised on was Sewa, i.e., the act of performing selfless duty. One thing I explicitly remember him sharing is this idea that doing Sewa is nothing but just another connotation of loving. The relationship between selfless duty and love is pretty innate. What basically he tried to convey was that these two co-exist. Without love, there can be no selflessness; and where there’s love – selfless duty towards the other becomes obvious. It can be of any form though. 

It was a nice and memorable time. Listening to whatever he had to say about the circle of life and death, considering we had just lost the eldest member of our family, was kind of consoling and also, proved to be of a great deal of support to all of us. Listening to the customary hymns sung at memorials, headed towards to the wrapping up of it all, I realised it starting raining. Well, eventually came the time of sitting together for the meal. A few hundred people sat together to eat. Some decided to serve others before eating themselves. Some very young kids, maybe still learning to recite alphabets without missing any, too, wanted to help those who were serving. I find them very cute and I make sure I always ask their names and thank them. It was in the very last, after most of the people had already left, that those who were first serving were now being served. It had not stopped raining. It was, in fact, heavier now. 

Some time passed and the clouds started to move away. After about an hour or so, it was only the immediate families who were left at the Dharamshala. The elders decided to sit together and have a chat, a few young adults like myself thought it to be a great time to nap and reenergise, whereas the little ones continued to make noises and run [uselessly]. 

I was rubbing my eyes post that quick blissful nap when I saw a fairly old man trying to fold the sheets and get the chairs together. I didn’t know him. I had never seen him before. He clearly didn’t look like someone who’d find it easy to do what he was doing. His body looked fragile but confident. He was doing his thing. I stood up. I noticed nobody had seen him and that was probably the reason nobody was there around him. It was a huge hall actually. I was standing. Waiting for him to look at me for me to be able to ask him if I may lend a hand. He almost completed what he was doing. And now was moving towards the outside open area. The rains had gone.

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The main hall

I followed him meekly. I was staring at him and smiling. I saw him as he opened that big black garbage bag in which he started putting all the plastic bottles. He got hold of a cousin of mine who was now emptying all the water bottles as instructed by that man. I went ahead, folded my dupatta, put aside those big trash bins and simply volunteered with the two-man team. 

It didn’t take the three of us too long to put aside those segregated garbage bags filled with emptied plastic water bottles and disposable plates and stuff. I greeted him and asked him his name. Quick introductions were exchanged and he turned out to my mother’s distant uncle. Kind of a grandfather to me. I was happy to meet him. Almost a heroic figure to me now. 

I was able to get hold of his side of our extended family tree that my mother says I’m brilliant at from childhood and as soon as I realised this, I told him I had met his father a few years ago at the same place and I also said to him that I was ecstatic to meet him. It was right before he left that he told me that he lived very near to where we were and that I was welcome anytime. He put his hand on my head, smiled, and started walking the other way (towards his home).


That is him in white shirt and trousers. Guess my millennial self simply couldn’t keep from clicking a photograph.

Well, I fail to understand how it is that we tend to like some people and dislike some people at first sights. I also don’t know how instant connections work. I just feel a lot of those. 

Seeing S. Sulakhan Singh ji outdoing his aged body to clean up the hall and collect the trash which most of us didn’t even realise we were leaving behind for others to take care of was too impactful a sight for me. He doesn’t have a Facebook page, he didn’t ask anybody to click a photo of him with those trash bags. (Which every organisation or every group I’ve ever volunteered with for cleaning drives has done without a fail) 

He did say though that “it is the most difficult thing”.
To which I dedicatedly added “the most important, too, right.” 

I think I’ve found someone to call Bapuji .. again!

~ Nihal Kaur
March 19, 2020


Go vote!


Quick reminder: no matter where you are, how busy you are, make sure you vote. The ones who don’t want to feel guilty having chosen someone they regret choosing, make the right choice, don’t get into waves. You got to do some research and think.

Recognised national or state political parties or any other registered political parties as well for that matter are not supposed to represent you and your family. But hey, your elected MP will.

– Visit ECI’s website and locate the list of candidates standing in elections from your respective constituencies

– To know the various details of those candidates including contact details, pending criminal cases (if any), educational background, assets and liabilities, even what vehicle they have and of what value – visit Association for Democratic Reforms’ website (ADR) and search the names at <searchyourneta> bar at the top.

Election Commission of India – https://eci.gov.in/files/file/9835-list-of-contesting-candidates-for-the-first-phase-of-elections/

ADR – https://adrindia.org/

“Parchiyaan bant rahi hain galiyon mein, apne kaatil ka intekhaab karo; Waqt ye sakht hai chunaav ka”
(Slips of paper are being doled out in the streets, it’s time to vote for your killer; The tough time of elections is upon us)

~ Gulzar 

Nihal Kaur
Centre for Human Rights and Duties,
Panjab University, Chandigarh

A thoughtful and fond adieu to the International Week of the Deaf, 2018

“Deaf people all over the world are suffering injustices. This is because society believes deaf people – and sign languages – are inferior and don’t deserve equal rights. But we believe that no one should be abused, ignored, silenced or excluded just for being deaf.

A joint effort by International Day of Sign Language (IDSL) and International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf) takes place once a year for one week to seek highly concerted global advocacy to raise awareness about the Deaf Community, sign languages and the rights of deaf individuals. The objective is to focus on gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world.”

Courtesy wfdeaf.org

Link to World Federation of the Deaf Website – https://wfdeaf.org/iwdeaf2018/
Link to the information and advocacy toolkit by WFD-https://2tdzpf2t7hxmggqhq3njno1y-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Toolkit-2018.pdf

To mark an end to this year’s International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf), here’s something I think we all should watch, realize, and understand. Attached after this paragraph is a seven and a half minutes long video convincing enough for why Sign Language is important. I, a person without any kinds of hearing impairments, had to watch it whole without any sounds or even dialogues and trust me, I could feel how it may get annoying to a lot of people.

Have you ever wondered why you rarely get to see sign languages being used around you? Even in educational campuses where meets the so-called ‘educated class’. Provided the Sign Language is supposed to be common to people coming from all backgrounds and cultures and is easily notable. – It is because of the social stigma attached to it. Perhaps because signing without speaking would make it clear that the person has the hearing impairment. And it must be unpleasant to most people only like us.

If there is one thing which I am certain about, now, is the sad reality that nobody wants to be that one person taking in charge all the unauthorized responsibilities because that would require her/him to do some extra work which might not be recognized as such. But isn’t that extra input all that makes the difference? The difference in what it is and what it must be. The difference in what we get to see and what we wish to see.

Let’s try and put in efforts into becoming that one person who is not afraid to ensure ‘Change’ because come on, we know it can be tough. But I promise it will be worth it.


Nihal Kaur

#IWDEAF #IDSL #ISL #ISLisforall #Inclusion #Signlanguages #DeafIndia #DeafEducation

Mata Chand Kaur; the Caretaker of Our Kitchens


Photograph from Parteet’s second workshop- Parteet Phase ll which was held on the 12th of June, 2016 at the Namdhari Dharamshala, Ramesh Nagar.

You all will agree that Sri Mata Chand Kaur Ji’s physical separation certainly hit us hard, all of a sudden. The fact that neither of any of us is going to see her now when we visit Sri Bhaini Sahib really upsets me and I’m sure it makes you sad too. The thought that she was smiling and in fact, blessing at the moment when she was shot brutally makes me lose my mind.

Can anyone reading this even think of the level of pain that she must be feeling in those 7 hours? An old, wrinkled though strong woman was hit and we, her lovable children got over it. Shame on us. Shame on me. Shame on my education. We could do nothing. We actually got over it.

Is this what one is supposed to get on the name of ‘Justice’? Is THIS all what Mataji deserves? Is this the limit of our love and respect for her? Is this all what we could do for her when she never in life second thought before blessing us with love & help of every kind?

Why are we weak here? Do not we have the will? Or, the power? Or, the finances? What is it that we lack? What is it that is strengthening the ‘delay’?

I remember how I used to cry freely when ever I stood before her, especially after Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji departed. Although I’m still unable to get to the reason why and with what emotion. She just made me happy, looking at her ever-elated face from a corner, standing, while everyone else bowed down to her feet, asking for blessings. All I used to do was see her and be happy about that moment. She will always be one of the greatest reasons for me to have whatever kindness, heart and sympathy that I have within and I mean this.

We all are already highly aware of her love and everything that she had done for us, at some point or the other. You know what, There is a reason why every Namdhari Family has a photograph of Mataji in their kitchens, that’s because she was, rather she is, the caretaker of our nourishment and support. We all – be it a child, a second generation parent or a grandparent- call her ‘Mataji’ because she loved each one of us like a mother loves a baby that she has given birth to.

Let us, at least, stay strong and fight for ourselves and for our love for her. We can definitely not get away with this awkward situation because of our fading feelings. can we? I can not.

Dhan Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji!
Dhan Jagat Mata Chand Kaur Ji!
Dhan Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji!

Mata ji, always in memories
and, heart.

~ Nihal Kaur


So Many Questions Remain Unanswered

“Thereafter, Pointing towards Mata Ji, Satguru ji did the following bachan (spoke), “Mere bagair Eh nahi aur Ede (Mata ji) bagair Main nahi. Mere te Ede vich koi farak nahi.” (I am nothing without her and she is nothing without me, we two are indifferent)”

-Nihal Kaur (Niti)
Bangkok, Thailand

In Memory Of Mata Chand Kaur Ji

downloaded files only satgur ji

In the year 2011, when Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji had put himself in the realm of spiritual silence, most of the Namdhari Sikhhs were left with expectations to listen to some guiding words from his holiness. Every Sikh’s eyes and heart were filled with hope; a hope to hear Sri Satguru Ji utter some words to live by for their betterment.

Undoubtedly, I was one of them expecting to hear the pearls of his pious utterance! Longing to see this happen, I started getting desperate and then, one day, I had an astonishing dream.

In the dream, Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji and Sri Mata Chand Kaur Ji together gave their pious Darshan (appearance) in a very extraordinary way, i.e. both of them appeared in one single body with one half as Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh ji and the other half as Sri Mata Chand Kaur ji. It was…

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Were not those hands shaking while the trigger was being pulled?

April 23rd, 2016
“Were Not Those Hands Shaking While The Trigger Was Being Pulled?”
– Nihal Kaur

Re-blogged from #Justiceformatachandkaurji

In Memory Of Mata Chand Kaur Ji


June 2001, Sri Bhaini Sahib
With Sri Mata Chand Kaur Ji

This is perhaps my only picture with her I have in my life, in which I can see her – Mataji and I in one frame. I was hardly 5 years old. Unfortunately, it was clicked on the day she was suffering with temporary physical pain.

As it can be seen in the picture, Mataji’s left foot was all burnt and she still used to spend her entire day doing Sewa, be it sitting outside the Langar hall and peeling carrots and beans or visiting the animal shelter.
As told by my mother, sitting beside Mataji, when my family asked her all worried that Mataji, how did this happen and doesn’t it pain? – She smiled and did the following bachan, “Aive Hi Maadi Jayi Laggi Hai, Garam Paajja Dul Gaya Si. Sewa Karde Hoye Hi Theek Hojana Ae…

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Justice For Mata Chand Kaur Ji


In Memory Of Mata Chand Kaur Ji

4th April 2016, a normal morning, a normal day.

A mother of 85, woke up to the sweet sound of the morning birds to recite her daily prayers before sunrise. Her serene beauty reflected not only on her face, but in her humble Aura aswell. Proceeding with her everyday duties, not those she was bound by, but those which she chose to do out of love for all her children, this idol of peace and service chose to remain unprotected, telling any security guards that came to her service to go and help someone or to lend a hand in Sewa. Safety was not her concern, as she was in the warmth of her very own home.

Following her daily routines, a mother filled with love and nothing but care for her precious children, like every mother is, sat in her car with only her child driving next to her…

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Shabda Vich Piroya Dard; Meri Mata Chand Kaur

Picture: Sri Mata Chand Kaur Ji

December 13th, 2012
(Oh Shrapit Din Jo Khatam Hunde Hunde Lakkha Dil Tod Gaya Jinna Vich Oh Wassya Karda Si, Jinna Vich Oh Hasya Karda Si.)

Jado Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji Deh Wallo Ohla Kar Gaye, Asi Sirf Khali Zindagiya Naal Khalotte Reh Gaye Kyunki Asi Sade Sira Utto Os Beant Patshah De Karkamala Nu Gavaya Si Jinne Sanu Zindagi Diya Sariya Khushiyan Bakshniya San. Aur Jado Eh Ehsaas Kita Ki Satguru Ji Diya Oh Dayavaan Ate Rehmat Bhariya Akkha Dobara Kadi Nahi Khulan Giya, Zindagi Manno Teh Gayi Si.

Mai Shayad Bohot Chhoti Si Eh Samjhan Waaste Ki Satguru Ji Sadi Zindagi, Har Din, Har Lamhe Vich Kinna Jadoo Bikherde Aye Ne. Lekin Mai Apne Dil Te Hath Rakhke Ehna Keh Sakdi Haan: Ki Jinni Vaar Ohna Mainu Darshan Ditte, Mera Dil Ek Achha Insan Banan Nu Kitta Hai, Mera Dil Ek Behtar Namdhari Banan Nu Kitta Hai.

Sade Pita, Sade Parmeshar Sahnu-Apne Ladleya Nu-Rohnda Kurlanda Chhad Gaye Lekin Ohna Da Pyaar Ki Pichhe Chhad Gaye Poojniye Jagat Mata Sri Chand Kaur Ji Taaki Oh Sanu Bal Bakshan Te Eh Ehsas Karaan Ki Sade Sira Utto Rehmat Puri Tarah Nahi Gavachi Or Jo Sade Layi Sewa, Tyaag Ate Shanti Da Maragdarshan Karan.

Sirf 3 Saal Aur 114 Din Hi Beete Si Oh Din Nu Aur Sadi Jagat Mata ji Nu V sade Kolo Chhin Lita Gaya. Mai Bohot Kamzor Mehsoos Kar Rahi Haan, Jive Meri Saaari Taakat Khatam Hogayi Hai. Hun Bas Satguru Uday Singh Ji De Roop Vich Fadayi Gayi Ungli Nu Thaamke Chalna Hi Samajh Anda Hai.

April 4th, 2016
1000 hours
Ek message: Khabar Mili Ek Bohot Hi Gire Hoye Aur Thande Paye Khoon De Layak Kamm Di, Oh Do Maade Karma Wale Mundeya Di Jinna Nu Mera Vishwas Hai Ki Saza Zaroor Milegi – Hindustan De Sanvidhanik Roop Vich V Aur Sabto Upar Mere Satguru De Darbar Vich V. Sirf 4 Ghante Hi Hoye Si Ki Enj Baith Gaye Ki Khade Hon Da Mann Hi Nahi Kita. Namdhari Panth Vich Dukh, Athru, Sunnta Aur Gusse Diya Beant Lehera Ayiya, Sadi Mataji da Vichoda Sade Dila Vich Kadi Na Bharan Wala Chhed Kar Gaya.

Es Samay Mai Har Us Insaan Da Dukh Samajh Sakdi Haan Jo Mataji Di Muskurahat Da Aadi Si, Aur Mai Eh V Samajhdi Haan Ki Es Samay Shanti Da Bal Banaye Rakhna Aur Himmat Karke Nam Simran Karde Rehna Bilkul V Asaan Nahin Hai, Lekin Eh Hi Sade Panth Ne Bachpan Toh Sahnu Sikhya Diti Hai Ki Kis Tarah Sukh Aur Dukh Vich Ek Nu Khud Nu Sambhalna Ana Chahida Hai.
Tusi Sare Samjhoge Ki Mataji Di Sohni Hasi Kis Parkaar Dukh Palat Dendi Si, Auhna Di Oh Upastithi Jihde Vich Tasalli, Thandak Aur Santushti Parapat Hundi Si, Sab Bohot Yaad Ayega. Haina?

Is Letter De Zariye Mai Sare Dukh Cho Lang Raheya Nu Apni Himmat Bhejdi Haan Aur Ardaas Kardi Haan Ki Satgurji Sab Changa Kar Den, Sri Bhaini Di Dharti Te Fer Ek Waar Satguru Uday Singh Ji De Ful Khillan. Halla Ki Oh, Jo Apne Deh Wallo Ohla Kar Baithe Han, Ohna Mud Nahi Ana.


Lekin Mera Eh Article Likhan Da Maksad Mera Darr Hai Ki Jo Gussa Asi Sab Apne Andar Kuch Galla Namit Daba Ke Baithe Haan, Oh Gussa Kite Aan Wale Samay Vich Hor Dard Na De Jawe. Talwaara Da Istemaal Karke, Imaarta Nu Aag Lagake Ya Kudrat De Niyama Nu Thes Pahuchake Kuch V Haasil Nahi Kita Ja Sakda.

Mai Sirf 20 Saal Di Bachhi Haan Jinu Na Te Pata Hai Ki Ki Ho Reya Hai Aur Na Hi Kyu Ho Reha Hai Lekin Ena Pata Hai Ki Es Khoobsoorat Panth Nu Sade Toh Bohot Behtar Namdhariya Di Zaroorat Hai. Sade Purwaj Ehne Sache San Ki Kade V Kisey V Guru Ya Gurparivar De Sadasya Te Es Tarah De Krood Hamle Nahi Hoye. MERE MAATA JI EH KISEY V ROOP VICH DESERVE NAHI KARDE SAN. Asi, Ohna De Bachhe Hi Shayad Es Gall De Zimmedar Haan Ki Galla Es Hadd Tak Gir Chukiya Ne.

Kyu Na Asi Satguru Ji toh, Mata Ji Toh Ate Satguru Uday Singh Ji Toh Prerit Hoiye Aur Maryada Vich Reh Ke Behtar Insaan Baniye, Behtar Sikh Baniye Aur Ohna Diya Khushiyan Laiye? Kyu Asi Oh Janwar Bande Ja Rahe Haan Jinu Chhedan Te Na Kuch Dikhai Anda Hai Na Kuch Samjh Anda Hai?

Dhan Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji
Dhan Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji
Dhan Jagat Mata Chand Kaur Ji
Dhan Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji

PS Mai Maafi Mangda Chahndi Haan Agar Mai Apne Vichar Zahir Karde Waqt Kise Nu Thes Pahuchayi Hove. Pareshan Haan, Pehle Satguruji Nu Yaad Karya Kardi Si, Hun Dadi Ma Nu V Yaad Kar Rahi Haan.

~ Nihal Kaur

Kindly Note: This is the translated version of the last published post – ‘Pain Put In Words; Meri Mata Chand Kaur.’ To read it in English language, click: https://nihalkaur.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/pain-put-in-words-meri-mata-chand-kaur/

Pain Put In Words; Meri Mata Chand Kaur




Pictures: Sri Jagat Mata Chand Kaur Ji

13th of December, 2012

When Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji departed, we were left with empty lives because we lost the most blessed hands from above our heads. And the moment when we realized that Satguru Ji’s eyes, in which one could end up seeing the whole universe, will never open again – Ah! From where do I find the words to let the pain out?

I was perhaps too small to understand what magic he had been creating in all our lives, on all days, in all moments. But let me put my hand on my heart and say: every time he gave me Darshan, I have wanted to be a good human, I have wanted to be white.

Our Pitaji, Our Parmeshar (almighty) left us-his children-crying, but because he loved us, he also left us dearest Sri Mataji Chand Kaur Ji behind him to give us strength and to make us feel that we STILL have our Mother who would always have her hands on our heads. Who would always inspire us to be beautiful on the inside first.

Only 3 years and 114 days passed by to that day and disastrously, even our mother has been snatched away from us.
I feel so weak. I feel all my energy drain out. I feel so alone, like, my ultimate home has been taken away from me.

04th of April, 2016

One message at 10 in the morning about a sure inhuman and possibly the most cold blooded act of two men who I am sure will get the punishment both according to the constitutional provisions and more importantly at My Satguru’s Darbar; and within four hours, all our lives seemed to be empty and aloof. A wave of profound grief, numbness and anger rolled over the members of the Namdhari Sect. This day has damaged a lot of things which as of now seem irreversible and beyond repair..

I can feel the pain that every Namdhari Sikh is going through right now and I also understand that its not easy to keep quiet when what we are made to lose is nobody but our Mother whose love was boundless and unconditional. Siri Mataji’s smile could flip sadness and I believe the aura that she created was beautiful and was filled with peace and content. Through this letter, I send my heartiest condolences to every one who is in pain and I pray to SatguruJi to make everything perfect and back to normal though we are NEVER getting back either of our already lost parents.


But, my motive to pen down this article/letter whatever is my concern over the end results of anger which we all might have to face and which is going to be very sad, again. Using swords, putting buildings at fire, hurting and destroying human race and/or nature’s properties IS NOT GOING TO GET THINGS RESOLVED.

I am a 20 years old kid and I know nothing what is happening and why is this all happening but all I know is that This Beautiful Namdhari Panth deserves better Namdharis than us at least. If dedicated enough, kindly research and take a look at how amazing our ancestors have been and how no Guru or anybody from Guru’s family have been hit. MAATA JI DID NOT DESERVE THIS, AT ALL. Its her children, its us who have made things go so pathetic. Its us who love Satguru Ji And Mata Ji but then why are we not ready to rather get inspired from them and try to become better Namdharis be at peace and not become animals that see/feel/know NOTHING when provoked?

Dhan Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji
Dhan Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji
Dhan Mata Chand Kaur Ji
Dhan Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji

PS I apologise for I am not a member of the VIPs group but a normal Namdhari Sikh who missed her Satguru and now misses her grandmother.

~Nihal Kaur