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An Indian Attachment

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An Indian Attachment is a great novel - part travel story and part love story (with a farladhari Nihang Singh). this is a passage from her book.

" It was not pure accident that I came to live in a Sikh Community. Within a few days of landing in India i had felt drawn towards the Sikhs, and whenever I was in their I sought and whenever in trouble it was they who bailed me out. They rarely let me down. They were manly in a country where men leant towards effeminancy, they were proud and dignified, fearless and determined, passionate and warm-hearted, adventrous and enterprising, self - reliant and adaptable: everything I liked and admired and wanted to be."

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Look at us now.

manly... we have tarted up khalsas who evidently lean towards effeminancy.

dignified... just look at the tamashay within SGPC.

fearless and determinded... how many people do u know who have these qualities?

passionate and warm hearted... we dont have any love withing ourselves, how can we show love to others if we cant show love to our own?

Take a general picture of frontline sikhs... how many ppl would desire to be us? us that quarell amongst ourselves about things that dont matter.

Where have all these qulaities gone which were clear to a foreigner after spenidng just a few days withing their company?

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Her lover is a farladhari Nihang Singh named Preetam Singh ( junglee), she says he has all these qualities. i havent finished the book yet but the only mention of pink i have come across is in the chapter about Nihang Singhs she says....

"Although theoretically limited in bith style and colour, Nihangs showed remarkable invention in their dress. they stretched the sacred blue and orange to peacock, apricot and torquise, aquamarine, gold and sky blue, shocking pink, tomato and ultramarine. And they put them together to make them sing; the Nihangs were the real folk artists of the Sikhs."

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A sketch of Jungli


*from An Indian Attachment - Sarah Lloyd - Harvill -1984

Sarah Lloyd has a good eye - and sees things as they are - not through the 'rose tinted' specs of your average NRI punjabi - she accurately captures the stifling lack of privacy in the Pind - the family drama and politics and the Dera politics.

Though her type of observation is no longer 'fashionable ' and seen as imposing euro centric ideas on subjects and her methodology a little dated - it is still a cracking read !

If you like the dissection of pind life and all the dramas and politics - you may like Joyce Pettigrew 's 'Robber Noblemen - a study of the political system of Sikh Jats' - Routledge & Kegan Paul - 1975

It may be hard to find but it has some good insights esp Jat family dynamics ,the role of women, importance of 'alliances', village and state factions and 'party' politics - though it also still has some methodology problems.

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  • 10 months later...
Guest Sardar Moderator Singh

"He sat crossed-legged in a brown blanket. It was a powerful face that instantly registered — fine mouth and skin the colour of almonds. And there was Jungli sitting on his blanket with his long black beared of the tenth Sikh Guru and the eyes of Buddha sweeping up at the corners...."

...as the Farladhari Jathedar later quips..."once or twice won't matter"...

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  • 6 months later...

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