HOSHIARPUR, March 25, 2005
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Next time you spot the Prime Minister sporting a bright, colourful
turban in place of his trademark blue, don't start speculating
about any change in his taste. Its roots are simple: a gift from
a fellow Sikh on the other side of the Pacific.
Meet Sikh NRI Bicky Singh, commissioner on California 1-Commission
of Lt Governor of California, who has a passion for collecting
and wearing bright-coloured and patterned turbans.
You may think why Manmohan would have a turban from Bicky when
enough of them are available at Ghaffar Market? Well, Bicky has
a collection that will turn many a shopkeepers green - more than
500 of them, all designed differently by him or his people at
the IT Company he founded. And to stock them, the "Sardar"
has a 10 feet by 6 feet extra shelf in his walk-in closet.
Talking to this correspondent from California, Bicky said he
had met Manmohan Singh at his residence and found the Prime Minister
staring at his turban. "I told the Prime minister that I
shall get him a bright coloured turban next time I visited India,"
"I developed a fascination for turbans when I was studying
in Southern California where I was the only turbaned guy,"
said Bicky. "Wearing bright coloured turbans was the easiest
way to break the ice as people would come and ask about the turban.
It gave me an opportunity to talk about my faith and spread the
message of Sikhism," he added.
"My people design turbans using graphics and I order the
design via e-mail to India, though I buy my turbans from Malaysia
and the US at times." Post 9/11, Bicky designed a turban
with an American flag and he also has a turban for Halloween and
St. Patrick's Day. In fact, he chooses his turbans by the mood
he finds himself in.
Lt governor California Cruz M Bustamante, through an e-quote,
said the unique thing about Bicky's turbans was that they were
representative of the many colours and diversity of California
state. With Bicky's collection also including bright colours and
designs of Rajasthan and other Indian states, the world is one
large family as far as the Sardar is concerned.
Bicky Singh, 39, of Orange, is president and chairman of
the board of trustees for the Sikh Center. He also mentions the
benefits of prayer. "It brings everyone together and lets
everyone think about some positive things," he says. "It
is the rightful thinking" that is needed in society today.
Singh cite several projects the center supports, including providing
food for the homeless. "By this we are achieving two things.
First of all we are fulfilling our commitment to our guru of serving
the needy. Secondly, it is increasing our visibility in the society.