As I walked out of my office building for a short break, I saw this small Asian guy (looked like a Korean or Japanese to me) looking at me with a big question mark on his face. I could figure out that it was my look that had him wonder if I belonged to this planet. Looking at his uniform, I could make out that he worked for the local housekeeping contractor.
Next, I walk up to him and say “Hello”, his first reaction was to point at my turban and ask “What is that and why do you wear it?”. I give him a smile and said “I am a Sikh”. He tried to pronounce it a couple of time and got it just right on his fourth try. We shook hands and I ask him for a quick chat. He looked at his watch trying to ensure that he was not ignoring any planned housekeeping tasks, and agreed to join me.
As we stood out side on a rather chili afternoon with me sipping into my hot cup of coffee, he kept staring at me as I shared more details about Sikhism including a little bit of history and culture and most interestingly for him, my looks. As I shared with him the rationale behind keeping my hair uncut and wearing a colorful turban, he for some reason kept going back to the hair imagining how difficult it would be to manage this look.
As he decided to go back to work (still having the same look that he had 10 minutes ago), we gave each other a hug and said “Good Bye”.
I see him every day and our bond seems to get stronger each day. He greets me each morning trying hard to pronounce my name but he does say “Sikh” pretty well and that brings a sense of pride and a smile on my face.
As you read this post, I request you to take a few minutes to read about Sikhism here. We are all about peace, love and service to humanity.
And to my new found friend John, we are from the same planet and this is we 🙂