Houston Community College-Home Page
SBI Home Page

Story of Fish Teaches Sikh Kids a Lesson in Having Faith in Guru Nanak

The kids from the school surrounded Singh, Likhari and teacher Manjit Soni with copies of the book they received.

The kids from the school surrounded Singh, Likhari and teacher Manjit Soni with copies of the book they received.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: Bhupinder Singh was in the middle of explaining the central theme of his book and had gotten to the point when the main character, a young boy named Aman, turns to his dadaji (paternal grandfather) crying that he wouldn’t get the bike he wanted. His dadaji tried to divert his attention by reminding him about the cruise they had gone on where they had seen dolphins. “They eat other fish, because they can’t get out of the ocean to eat,” said dadaji. “Where do you get your food from?”

“From the grocery store,” yelled out a little boy from the crowd of kids sitting on the floor of the worship hall of the Gurdwara Sahib of Southwest Houston. A bemused Bhupinder Singh looked out at the kids. He was delighted they were paying such close attention to the story he had written and self-published in the children’s book “Fish Eat Fish World”. He continued on and a few other kids blurted out comments. At the end, he said, Aman’s dad gets a new job “and Aman gets his bike”, many more kids cried out together!

Punjabi school Director Manmeet Likhari introduced Bhupinder Singh and his book “Fish Eat Fish World”

Punjabi school Director Manmeet Likhari introduced Bhupinder Singh and his book “Fish Eat Fish World”

This reaction is what Singh had wanted when he first came up with the idea for the short 32-page book geared to Sikh children in the US and other western countries. The 8 by 10 book with a glossy cover and many colorful illustrations (by a young Canadian artist, Bhagat Singh Bedi) is based on a line from Sikh scriptures attributed to the second Guru Angad “Nanak chinthaa math karahu chi(n)thaa this hee hai” (Nanak says do not worry, the Lord will take care of us all). In the end, dadaji says “Don’t worry about your needs as the Creator .. provides sustenance to all.”

Singh launched his new – and first children’s – book at the GSSWH last Sunday, February 4 just after the kids from the adjoining Punjabi School were finishing reciting the ardas (prayers) in Punjabi and practicing on their pronunciations. The school Director Manmeet Likhari encouraged them to practice and then introduced Singh and his “attempt to get kids to love reading books.”

Singh admitted that he was not a writer (though he has written four books on Sikhism and several religious articles) and didn’t have an artistic mind, so he ventured to “find an illustrator who could pull together the Sikh ethos” in his drawings. As the little kids came forward to surround him and receive a copy of the book (it is being distributed free of charge), he realized that he had recreated that ethos for future generations of Sikhs.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *