Friday, March 31, 2006


Sorry i am so busy lately, so i did not send any post.
The reason?
Tomorrow 1th of April (it is no joke) i start a new job. It is only an interim job, but it is a start.
I never considered myself jobless, but really in between jobs.
When i got sick in 2000 and stayed sick for more than 3 years, of course i was out of job.
But i was so busy the last 2 years, doing a lot of "social work". That is what social workers are for, isn't it? But it was not paid and we don't have a moneytree in our garden, so..
I was looking for a job again, now that my health seems better.
The world of refugees is the field where i function best, so i was hoping to find a job in this field again.
But surprise, surprise, i will start in the library tomorrow. On the "new media" departement.
A lot of refugees frequent this department, because of the free internet.
So my secret agenda could be to teach them blogging???
What do you think?

And the really cool thing is, that both my sister and daughter are working in this library. My poor boss....But we love books, no doubt about that!

When i was young (oh,oh) i always imagined librarians as rather dull people. Old spinsters in dignified clothes, with very strong glasses and with their grey hair tied in a bun. But underneath this image... Fire!!!
Hahaha, and tomorrow i will join them!!! Fire!!!

Suddenly i realise that i am not allowed to wear any religious signs (being paid by the goverment). I am not wearing dastaar (yet?), but if i would i could not have taken this job.
How unfair! How shortsighted!
But i will wear my kara, i will not take it off!
Wonder if anybody finds out....

Thursday, March 23, 2006


It shouldn't, but it happens.

I am always on my guard when somebody ask me to be my brother.

Of course they are my brothers. They know! So when they ask me so clearly, it means they want something.
Something that sisters should do for their brother.

So this man ask me to find a wife. So he could get legal papers.
I told him it was more easy to find a wife (bluf) then convince my goverment that this is not going to be a fake marriage. Almost every marriage with a foreigner is turned upside down to check if this is not a marriage of convenience. Because it would be considered a illegal entry in the country. And if people concerned are already in the country, police does not hesitate to pick up the guy as soon as he enters the town hall.
Europe is going mad in his hunt for illegal people.

And i am going mad because i run out of solutions.
There is a migrationstop in Europe since 1974.
Asylumprocedures are very strict.
Marriage and adoption are controlled to the bone.
What can be done?

Go back to India?

So i have to disappoint my new brother. I know what the next question will be.
If i could consider to adopt him. Please.
I will have to disappoint him again...

Wish i could offer a proper solution.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Very often people show appreciation for the little seva i do. It is nothing compared to the great souls who showed the world what real seva is. Someone i admire from the bottom of my heart is Bhagat Puran Singh.
When i visited Amritsar for the first time(2000) Pingalwara made a huge impression on me. During my illness in the following 3 years i was a lot in hospitalbeds (8 times) and on the sofa, thinking of Pingalwara, the real Golden Temple for me. The Golden Temple of Caring.
I wanted to work there, at least some time before my body was too weak.
So last November when i was in Amritsar again, i went there and was hoping to arrange things so my dream could come true.
They gave me the old room of Bibi Inderjit Kaur ( who i admire just as much as her spiritual father). I moved all my luggage and then... i started shivering. I mentioned this to some of the sevadars, they gave me some medicine. But in vain i started to have cold sweet and my teeth chattering. Oh no, not now, not here, i prayed.
But yes, i got ill and i panicked. Since i travel alone, i know i can only depend on myself if something happens. So i asked to go back to my familiar guesthouse. Some friendly sevadars brought me back.
I just fell in the bed, completely floored by fever. My sheets became soaking wet, i was coughing, tossing and turning...
Late in the afternoon next day i came out of the crisis and thanked God i survived.
I went to Darbar Sahib and couln't stop crying. I was so close to fullfilling my dream and once again my body let me down.
What did this mean?
What was God's plan with me?
I still don't know, but it gives a lot of frustration.
Maybe God wanted to give me a message about my fragile health?
Maybe he wanted to indicate i was more needed here in Belgium?
Maybe is Pingalwara a state of mind which can be practised everywhere.

But it still hurts...
I have to live with it that this seva was not meant for me.
At least not then... maybe... one day

Sunday, March 12, 2006


I am sitting in my pyjama's at the breakfast table. The sunlight falls through the kitchenwindows. It is snowing outside, leaving the shrubs and trees white for a while.
I am sipping my coffee and having fresh rolls from the bakery.

I realise how lucky i am.
How many people would give anything to feel this happy feeling of mine only once in their life?
I feel a lot of gratitude to be here in my own little kitchen being so happy. In the sunlight with the coffee and the rolls and my loved ones.

I smile. Today my smile will not disappear.

Waheguru! Waheguru!


One young sikh is working in a very big flowershop. He invites his colleagues to visit gurdwara after work.
So at 7 pm his 13 colleagues arrive, just in time to see how the Guru is taken to his restroom. We have langar together. I show the slideshow, start my introduction on sikhism.
To my big suprise the young sikh knows very little of his religion.
But he told many stories at work about his culture, which people very often take as rituals in sikhism.
I am always surprised to hear how religion and culture are mixed up with each other. And i have to admit that culture is very often on the winning side.
Guru Nanak is so clear about empty rituals, but still....

There is still a long way to go.... ignorance has many faces.


I bring my sikhfriend to his work. He works as a jack-of-all-trades in fruit farming. I bring him to a far away field in the middle of nowhere, where he has to bind cheap fruittrees imported from Poland.
It is rainig, sometimes snowing. It is very cold.
-" Padji, where are you eating?"
-" Out here in the mud, in the rain."
-" There is no shed?"
-" No."

I leave him, i can see him in my rearview mirror, standing alone in the middle of the wet, bare orchards, which are called the gold of this area. Gold collected by the hardworking sikhs.
Full day i watch the weatherconditions, so i ring him at noon. But work is not finished yet, he says. Yes, he will eat now. I don't have to worry.
I think of his boss sitting comfortable in his warm and cosy villa.

When i fetch him late in the afternoon, he has a lot of headache, because of the cold wind.
While he is taking a shower, i do the dishes, make some tea.
-" Is he going to pay soon?
-" My boss has no money for the moment. I have to wait for my salary till the fruit is sold."
-" Is there anything we can do?"
-" There is nothing we can do, we have to wait."

I am so angry with all this injustice. I am even more sad, very sad.
There is still such a long way to go....slavery has many forms.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Sat Shri Akal!

To complete my previous post i have of course let you share in one of the-grandmothers- poems ( part of a series written after the birth of my little princess).
Again it is diffucult to translate, because a lot is lost in translation. The occasional rhyme is gone (since my knowledge of english is not big enough to have proper synonyms), but i tried more or less to have a "flow" in the poem. Hopefully the general idea or feeling is still recieved by the reader. And that is -to me- the most important task of poetry; to let share in a feeling
or an emotion. Writing (especially of poetry) is deleting, is scraping of words. So you keep only a handful to tell a full story. Hope you recognise a bit.

it was well ingrained
nobody could see
how women gone too long
mingled here with us
barely they were closed
while they depopulated
and in the evening light
the empty laundry was caressed
with often repeated strokes
because in this year or maybe
in this century
in every daughter will
unfold a gentle mother's mother
some wise women
mingled here with us

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Sat Shri Akal!

My granddaughter is very important to me. This tiny little human being captured my heart. And she made me remember my own grandmothers, who passed away when i was still very young. So i grew up without my grandparents not realizing what a big loss they were.
But the few memories came back after my granddaughter was born. It is a very intense feeling to discover your grandmothers and granddaughter at the same time.
Of course i wrote about them. This is a poem i wrote for my granddaughter last year when she was just 21 days.

his sigh over the waters
and see the water is alive
her sigh over my veins
god moans in my arms
my breath shivers
he repeats me fresh in her
for the winds lie down
and the flood crawls back
to its source
and god smiles in my arms
since twenty one days
this world i am bearing again
his wealth runs
through me
because of her

Thursday, March 02, 2006

dunes 1

Sat Shri Akal!

On Solarider's blog i saw these very beautiful pictures. He called them " Sofa Dunes".
Immediately i was inspired by these pics. I tried to more or less copy them, but his are far more better.
When i started writing this poem, so many thoughts were running through my mind. Too many thoughts. So i decided to make a series of poems on this "dune-theme". A few of them are roughly drawn already. This one is more or less in its final state. But knowing myself, you never know for sure.

dunes 1
why ask for more
out of pure syllables
fell yet my heart
you asked my head
i ran
i ran
into your rippled world
a morning and a noon
stumbled, stranded
in your secret dunes
i ran aground
to read and read again
your sacred runes
that night
eternity waved
in a cuneiform