For most of my adult life, I have faced serious flak for looking the way I do and believing in things most others around do not.
I craved role models and sadly, found too few for comfort. Fast forward to 2017, I found the root of the problem at a book fair:
Sikhs did not feature in a SINGLE popular book meant for children. Our presence had been negated from the word Go.
I decided to take matters in my own hands and applied to a course (which magically appeared out of nowhere, a story for another time!) targeting illustration for children’s books.
3 years later, I have finished one and have work-in-progress on illustrating+designing THREE more books which not only feature Sikh kids, they have been written by Sikh authors too!
With such role models in their repertoire from a young age, nothing gives me more happiness than knowing that a minority community’s children will grow up proud of their language, culture, heritage and identities and stand up bravely against society’s hypocritical standards.
Is it easy being different? No.
Does it make one popular? No.
Does one become stronger? Everyday.
Does one lose hope sometimes? On many days! But each time the soul is stronger from the struggle and it gets easier to get back up.
Isn’t that what life is all about anyway? To make one’s soul stronger and more in tune with the Nirbhao..
Note to self: hang in there!