I have many short stories that I have written and which are saved on my computer. Hopefully someday each one of them will be able to reach my readers. Below is a piece of flash fiction I wrote a while back, where it depicts the hardship of making a decision that will effect the rest of your life. I'm sure we have all been there before...
What do I say and how can I break it to her? Do I want this? What do I want?
I work fourteen-hour days and avoid my thoughts. How can I be a skilled surgeon, a profession of preciseness, when I’m so indecisive with this?
I’ve got no family and all I have is her… and my job; the career I’ve built, with no help, no favours, just work ethic.
Can I still have that, with a marriage and a family? Am I enough for her and is she enough for me?
“If you want me to stay, you’ve got until 9pm,” she said after our fight about my commitment issues.
She would never complain or get heated, there was no passion within her. Ambition wasn’t important and she wasn’t a go-getter. She was lacking something? NO! Grace, elegance, balance, allowing room for faith in her life and not letting life take over her – that was her essence.
I open my eyes in the toilets of the surgical ward. I stare at myself in the mirror, smile, lost in the moment, but only for a second. I check my wristwatch: I have eight minutes before my life changes.
I sprint to her hotel up the street.
I see her outside waiting for a taxi and immediately I grab her luggage.
“I am a fool. Please forgive me and just know that you are my future. They say that behind every great man is a great woman, well you’re in front of me, I want to follow you.”
You maybe reading this post out of curiosity in regards to what a Kirpan is; or you may have heard the word Kirpan mentioned and are here to find out more.
What is a Kirpan?
A Kirpan is like a small sword, usually made of Iron and all baptised Sikhs (such as myself) carry one with them at all times. Usually a Kirpan is referred to as a dagger and can be construed as a weapon; this is just an unfortunate misconception.
Sikhs carry a Kirpan to protect the weak and needy, and it is only drawn as a last resort. This article of faith has always stood for self-defence and comes with the responsibility to defend the lives of all, no matter of race, caste, or creed.
The root meaning of the Kirpan is mercy (kirpa) and honour (aan). So when you see a Sikh who is carrying a Kirpan, I hope you can smile and think to yourself, that person’s duty is to serve the one human race with kindness and compassion and protect us in times of need.
We live in a world of misunderstandings, especially when it comes to human beings from certain backgrounds. Often people are generalised, such as seeing an individual with a turban on and labelling them terrorist, when it’s common sense to say that a terrorist is not distinguished by their appearance only by their action.
I hope this small awareness can provide some understanding in a world of misguided hate. I hear countless times people with a non-Sikh background always ask, “Why aren’t you spreading Sikhi?” They say this because they see the beauty in this lifestyle, they have educated themselves, and appreciate that the message of Sikhs is about love and nothing more.
You may have heard about the terrorist attack in Wisconsin where a man, who supported views of white supremacy, entered a Sikh Gurdwara and killed six innocent people before being killed himself. I hope you can pass on this awareness with friends, family and through your social media channels. The only way the world is going to become a place of peace and love over violence and hate is if we all work as one and show unity. There is nothing that can overcome love.
It’s funny, I always believed that writing my first novel would be tough and any novels that followed wouldn’t face the same rigour. But I’m at the stage right now of writing my third novel and currently bumping along, writing scraps here or there, and not getting in that space, where it becomes a compulsive behaviour to continue writing the story formed in my imagination.
It’s tough when other areas of your life are facing challenges, as it can create a ripple effect on everything else, especially if those other areas of your life are not strong.
I’ve decided to challenge myself with this novel and write something that isn’t in the Crime genre. Right now I’m describing it as a drama with a romantic twist. I’ve had the urge for a while to write something with a heavy romantic theme, but have been afraid of the story turning into a pure romance novel. Of course there’s nothing wrong with romance novels, however, I believe that my writing mind would probably end up giving romance novels a bad name.
The main idea behind writing this type of novel was to allow time to research my future books, which will include police procedural, however, as of now not too much research has been conducted. Once I feel secure that my story has enough drama along with the romance aspect, I hope that will unlock me to dive into the research.
My grand plan is to work on Screenplays during the edits of my work. This will allow me to continue writing, but using a different tool to deliver it, which will also give me a break from novels.
When looking at the big picture of what I want to achieve with my writing, it can be a little scary. Of course there’s fear of what if I fail etc, which I try and convert into drive and determination, but sometimes that’s not always possible and you are forced to ponder the what ifs of the situation.
The good news is that life changes so quickly. If you’re in a place of challenge right now, it can always get better with time. Humour me for a moment and look back at the last five years of your life, I’m sure there’s been achievements and challenges that were overcome that you didn’t expect was possible.
I guess it all comes down to the old adage, “Take it one day at a time.” That’s not to say don’t plan and dream, but perhaps focus on building great productive days and this will lead to something you could have never imagined.
Of course I know that Fiction is Fiction. It’s made up imaginary stuff that gets written down for books or filmed for TV. Then why does it have such an impact on my life, especially the Crime genre?
I firmly believe that writing saved me. It shaped who I am today and kept me away from a destructive path that I could easily have taken without consideration. One big influence that led me to writing was watching TV shows and reading books. Those two mediums impacted me tremendously.
In regards to books, it was Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Lecter series. Even though the character was dark and lets say, he had some issues, I loved his intellect and what made him tick. Another author, Michael Connelly, who writes about a gritty detective, who is an outsider to society, probably had the biggest impact to why I write today. These Crime stories were filled with intrigue and undertones of the dark society that really exists. I remember reading these books and thinking I want to create worlds like this in my own way. There was never any hesitancy of if I could do it or not. I was just pumped to create some thrilling, suspenseful and meaningful storytelling, which would do more than provide escape for the reader, as those books did for me.
When it came to TV I used to watch shows like The Shield & Prison Break, ER & good old 24 and still watch some now: Dexter & House. They were steeped with not just suspenseful and thrilling storylines, but it was the complex characters that did it for me most. It sounds silly but I used to be inspired by them, weather it be a Jack Bauer or a Dexter Morgan.
This is why I love writing about crime; a dangerous world that I can experience through words. To create complex characters that linger in the mind, even if the book is not in front of them or even if it has been completed and returned back to the shelf. And usually in the crime genre, characters are darker and can often be outsiders to the world, which is something else I related to and still very much do.
It was the loneliness or isolation that led me to writing and why I connected so much with these fictional characters on TV and in books. And it is why I write about my own criminal world, filled with characters that share some of the values of say a Hannibal Lecter, Gregory House or a Vic Mackey, to share but a few. I’d like to think that I not only write for enthusiasts of crime novels but to reach those people who were in the same position I was in, but who may not have something that has saved them or touched them, like writing has for me.
When my brother first gave me a Tony Robbins audio, along with a strong endorsement, I was intrigued. I inserted it into my Playstation and sat back, a little sceptical (code word for fear!). After the first two minutes I had a big smirk across my face. This wasn't just because of Tony's great sense of humour, which cracked me up a lot, but I now had a sense of a lifeline.
I had no real direction in my life, but after listening for a few minutes It was as if a veil had been removed from my face and I could see things I couldn't before. To be honest it was overwhelming - a stream of possibilities, tools and techniques and I had to listen to his audio CD's several times as he packed in so much.
To fans of Tony Robbins, it may seem like, he's one of the most famous people in the world, but in reality not many people outside of the arena of Coaching, have probably heard of him. He's like the man behind the curtain, watching on as his new friends perform on the stage of life. He doesn't seek credit for their success but is gracious when it comes his way.
I often wish my characters in the novels that I write, could attend one of his seminars or get a one on one session with him, because sometimes they need it! Talking of which, I am planning on attending my first seminar next year. I remember a few years back my brother and I were watching a trailer of the Unleash the Power seminar, and we were pumped, and talking about what it would be like to go, and now it can finally happen.
In some ways I can't help but think of myself as Tony's PR, as I'm constantly bringing up his stuff with friends. Some say I should actually just go and be part of the sales force, and get paid for all the stuff I say now. I actually plan on working for Tony in the future. I don't say this with ego, but with a belief and certainty; I would love to be part of his coaching team, as I get so much from serving people and giving my all to help - whatever it takes!
This short note, is all about gratitude and sharing my appreciation for a man who sets the standards and is a role model for what's possible. I'm just going to end this with a magic moment: Before being introduced to Tony Robbins, I was struggling with my degree, while at University. I wasn't doing terrible, but I wasn't anyway near to fulfilling my potential. After listening to Get the Edge and various other audio's, I ended up being awarded a First in my BSc Honours Degree.
I appreciate books that are written with emotion. Usually this is portrayed in the characters, the rhythm of the story – where the flow captures you like a wave, and you let it carry you to the end. Most of all you discover a book that you really connected with when you finish the last page, the last word and close it. You feel your heart sink a little, already missing the characters, the world that was created for you to step into. It’s as if you are now standing outside in the cold, and you want nothing more than to step back into the warmth again, and get some shelter from the storm of life.
As a writer I try and take all that I get from reading and put that into my books. I write for those who need escape, who need motivation, and most of all for those who need comforting. I try writing about characters that one can draw from, sympathise with, and maybe gain inspiration from. I write stories that have underlying meanings, not just a thriller or a suspense novel to allow an individual to forget or indulge for the time they read. I craft stories, that I would like to have read, stories with substance and a grain of truth to them.
My dream would be to make enough income from my writing to live off of, but I don’t write for the money. I don’t treat writing as a business, as a lot of successful authors do. That’s not to say that they’re wrong for doing so, I have no right to judge anybody or anyone, but only tell you my view on what I do. My top priority as a writer is to entertain, inspire, and move the reader. Have my words put a smile on the reader’s face, one of those smiles that last way after the text that gave them that elation.
My biggest reward from my writing besides the gift of being able to write would be feedback from the readers. The few good words I have received for my writing already, have really been the highlights of my work – to know my words have had an impact on somebody else walking the earth. Even though I make an income from my writing, I like to think of it as giving or providing a service. And receiving messages from readers that they have enjoyed my work gives me validation for that service.
Right now I’m at the beginning of my journey. I am still trying to create a readership among my stories. In a world of competitiveness it’s hard to put yourself out there and try and market your books, when you see so much success around you. It’s tough not to get overwhelmed and discouraged that your stories will find their way to the readers who will love them. They’re out there somewhere; I just wish I could find them. I don’t say this with arrogance, but with a belief that if the stories that I have written have touched me, surely this would apply to others. I can only persevere and keep hope and also allow a little room for faith that everything will work out.
I’m surrounded by darkness. Enemies wait patiently, lurking until an opportunity arises for them to strike. I can’t stay strong all the time and sometimes it’s me who invites the enemies. In my moments of self-deprecation, I want them to lead me away. Even though I’m aware that I’m sinking deeper inside myself, I embrace what eventually will lead to more pain.
In the rare moment that I grasp onto the pure light, which keeps the enemies at bay, the darkness is still there, but it has now lost some of its venom. This is not because the pure light lacks the power to extinguish the darkness – it is me who is lacking. I have little faith, a brittle strength of will and I can be my own worst enemy.
The loneliness is like an empty vase – unused, unnoticed, and forgotten, but at times it is a close companion. It allows me to focus on what is important to me and it reveals the only true friend that one has in this world – the infinite one. I wished this understanding came to me more than in just fleeting moments, where I’m in such a bad state that I just surrender.
It feels like I need some emotional release – emotions continue to populate inside of me and I carry them around, like a weight around my neck. Yet nobody sees this, they probably don’t suspect it. I’m dying inside like a flower that receives no sunlight or water. The pure light, which has no name, keeps me sustained, I don’t know why. All living things are on this earth for a reason and a purpose. But what use am I? What could someone as broken as me possibly contribute? I guess some things are beyond our understanding, and instead of questioning I need to dig deep and keep faith.
It is likely that you haven’t heard about the #IPledgeOrange campaign. If you have then I’m truly glad that it has crossed your path, and I hope I can affirm and add to what you have already learned.
The #IPledgeOrange campaign stands for fighting against injustice no matter what Religion, Race, or Beliefs. This campaign emerged over the proposed execution of Bhai Balwant Singh, a brave Sikh who saved thousands of other Sikhs from being murdered by the Indian Government. However, the focus is also on the decades of oppression and human rights violations to the minorities in India such as Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists.
Over the span of 60 years the Indian Government have tried to wipe out Sikhs. In more recent times they carried out what they called operation blue star, where they attacked Sikhs at their most holiest site, which is the Golden Temple. Under a false premise they murdered men, women, and children, who simply were there to pray. In the aftermath mobs searched for Sikhs and brutally murdered them in their home and on the streets.
Any time a Sikh has tried to stand up for the innocent, the Indian Government have labelled them a terrorist and have used that label to either kill them or let them rot in Jail. Most recently an innocent young man named Bhai Jaspal Singh was part of a peaceful protest and without warning the police opened fire on the crowd killing him and others as well as injuring more. This is just a drop in the ocean of what Sikhs have been through and the state of India today. WHY SHOULD I CARE?
You maybe reading this in the comfort of your own home, enjoying your freedoms and protection of your government, but just imagine for one moment that where you live is in a country that sees you as worthless and a third rate citizen. Just imagine if these minorities who have been tortured, raped, and murdered were your brother, sister, mother or father. I guarantee you this, if it was, you would take action, you would campaign with all your might and do whatever it took to get this iron boulder of justice rolling.
I understand it’s so hard to care for strangers, especially strangers who live a different lifestyle and who may look different than you. Also it’s so easy to generalise and use comforters that this situation may not be that bad, or I’m sure things will turn around soon. NO. The only way these human beings will escape the clutches of the Indian Government is if YOU take action. This campaign is about unity for the injustice and that unity won’t work without you. Every single person is critical
and has the capability to contribute on a mass scale and create huge momentum, which will eventually catch. If we all do this, we will create a wave that cannot be stopped, a wave that will wash away these tyrants.
It is extremely difficult to communicate the atrocities that have occurred over the past six decades in India, especially to Sikhs, and I can only highlight some of the more recent barbarities of the Indian Government. One example is of the illegal cremation sites where Sikhs would be abducted inside their own homes, killed, and then dumped at these sites. No one will ever know the true figures but at a minimum 150,000 Sikhs were brought to these sites and this included men, women, and even children. The Indian government didn’t stop there they have repeatedly thwarted any uprising for justice by imprisoning Sikh leaders and other activists on completely fabricated stories. Some Men and Women have been imprisoned for well over a decade and in some cases there hasn’t even been a court hearing or an opportunity to fight the case. The Indian judicial system is so bad and corrupt that often prisoners reject it, such as Bhai Balwant Singh, who rejected any appeal over his case, and is currently on death row.
A recent development has occurred in regards to the mass attempted genocide of the Sikhs in 1984, where a member of a senior congress party has been accused of inciting riots (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17811666
) however this is the tip of the iceberg in regards to gaining justice on all those who are responsible. The first thing to highlight in this article is that it wasn’t a riot, it was a mob hungry for blood from innocent Sikhs.
This post is not to just create awareness, it’s to wake you up to the world we live in and take action against this… there isn’t a word to describe the amount of bloodshed and wickedness that has taken place in a country that claims to be the world’s largest democracy. It’s so easy to sit in a place where you have your freedoms and don’t have to worry about the people who are supposed to be there to protect you violating your rights. WHAT CAN I DO?
- Support and rep the #IPledgeOrange campaign
- Watch the video below (& the others in the series, if you really want to be a part of this movement)
- Write to Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch
- Educate and create awareness of this issue
- Download & Sign a petition that will go to the House of Commons (available if you’re a U.K resident, contact me here and I’ll email the petition directly.)