On November 1st, Wahe Guru Kaur, Gurusurya Kaur, Dharam Singh, and I drove up north to Yuba City for the annual Yuba City Guru Gaddi day parade the next day. After a 3-hour drive we arrived at the Gurudwara around 7 pm with an hour to spare before we were scheduled to play kirtan inside the main hall. Thousands of people crowded the entire complex as we made our way into the Gurudwara with our instruments. There were also many non-sikhs from the surrounding communities enjoying the festivities. “Ten O’clock is earliest you will play”, Tejinder Singh told us upon seeing us in the Gurudwara holding our instruments. This was not surprising as this event is quite large every year and many people wish to address the Sangat. Time slots are very valuable and the schedule is flexible. Speeches continued for another four hours as we ate langar, strolled through the bazaar and relaxed outside. Time passes quickly when you are at an event with such high energy, good food, and great company. We entered the Gurdwara again around 10 pm and listened to them finish up the speeches before the kirtan began around 10:30 pm. Bhai Sarabjit Singh Laddi and his Jatha inspired the sangat with beautiful Kirtan for an hour before it was our turn. We played until almost midnight and left the Gurudwara feeling grateful to have had the blessing to perform in the Gurudwara and sing kirtan with the Sangat.
The next day (the day of the parade) we arrived at the Gurudwara and found our way to the Sikh Dharma float with a dozen or so people greeting us expectantly. “Great, you are here! Let’s begin!” Five or six Jathas shared the five hours of kirtan during the parade and as the neighboring floats were all competing for a place at the top of the decibel level we had to bring our voices to their limits and raise the energy even higher. It was as motivating as it is every year and renewed my inspiration level which dwindles while not attending massive celebrations as frequently as I am used to. Everyone was joyous and energized to have spent the day in such a celebratory atmosphere.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.
Hargobind Singh Khalsa