“I love the Sikh way of life. I think Sikhism is such a great religion,” says legendary cricketer Kapil Dev who came out with his new book ‘We The Sikhs’, along with entrepreneur Ajay Sethi. The book talks about how Sikh religion has a unique identity among world religions. It features pictures and paintings of 100 gurdwaras across the globe; and is divided into three sections- the Gurus, the history and artefacts and the gurudwaras. Excerpts
What made you write 'We The Sikhs?'
A: One day when I was travelling from Chandigarh to Delhi, I dropped off to sleep, and when I woke up, this thought (of writing a book on Sikhism) had taken its seed in my mind. It was almost like a voice asking me to come out with this book. The passion to turn this dream into a reality then took over.
How long did it take for you to finish the book?
It took almost five years. Two years went into planning how ‘We The Sikhs’ will happen, who all will collaborate, how will research be done. Many friends, including Ajay Sethi, helped. All put together, it took more than two years to develop and another two and a half years to produce the book. So, the entire process of coming up with the book took almost five years.
Why did you choose this topic?
I love the Sikh way of life. I think Sikhism is a great religion. I am not saying other religions are lacking in any manner, but this religion is the need of the hour in today’s world when you need peace, you need people to help each other, to share love and above all be selfless. This is what drew me to it, and I thought there is a need to pass on this wonderful message to the entire world and especially to the next generation. The book talks about how the Sikhs believe in one God and the power of universalism and liberalism. Writing this book made me understand Sikhism better.
Is there any special incident or childhood memory that is related to the book?
Well, my childhood days were spent in Chandigarh. We grew up with a large number of friends around us. Those were the good old days when we didn’t want much from life. I remember we used to go to gurdwaras to eat prashad or kadha. Going to Langar to eat would be a fun ritual. Those were such fond memories which nothing materialistic in life can match up to.
How has been the response from people in India and abroad?
It’s wonderful. It has been great meeting people, the Sikh community all over the world. What they say is so true -- ‘A Sardar is a Zinda-dil’. They love food, they love life and they are truly hospitable and full of warmth. Beyond India, we met people in America, Canada and around the world. The book’s reception has been amazing everywhere we I went.
Will you continue to travel around the world?
My plan is to go around the world from Fiji to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Africa, Europe and the Gulf, then go to America and Canada. A lot of my Sikh brothers are there throughout the world and I want to travel and meet as many as I can, taking ‘We The Sikhs’ to them and all the people world over.