As I have travelled along the journey of my life and as I still move along today, thoughts of regret inevitably accompany along side. The ‘could have’, ‘might have’ and ‘should have’ aspects of life remain even in small traces, despite doing the utmost to shed them. It is a burden that has accompanied me on my very different route towards exploring life – a route that I took to chase a challenge thrown at us by rulers who have done everything they can to destroy our dignity, identity and most importantly our self pride, all in an attempt to keep us subjugated.

We all have memories of the past that lead us into wishful thinking; observations reflecting how we could have done things differently or something that we wish we hadn’t done. As we grow old with age both physically and mentally, we learn to do the very same things we did before but in a different manner. This is part of our learning experience and natural way of overcoming nagging doubts of the decisions we have taken. But that wishful thinking, those negative thoughts keep percolating in our life and the ‘might have’ and ‘should have’ tend to cloud the way we think in the present.

I have lived through something quite unique and have intense first hand experience of these moments over time. On my journey I went side by side with these nagging doubts and regrets. I have gone through certain changes as a person to side step these and convert my experiences into a more lively and enriched life so ‘should haves’ and ‘might haves’ are not blocking my road. The lengthy ordeal of my past and even my present is beset with these questions and queries which I face everyday. ‘What should I have done?’ Or ‘what shouldn’t I have done?’ I look at where I stand today and where my peers stand and I wonder what would have become if I did not rebel against the onslaught on us Sikhs. Through my experiences, the alternate way I chose helped me to acquire those skills which help define a person or a human being in a different sense – I was and am filled with a life of meaning and purpose. But it was only through developing myself as an individual:

-I kept myself alive in the darkest corners and kept my mind and soul fresh with the aid of wellness through a proper fitness routine.
-A sense of humour, no matter how small, helped to keep me relaxed, calm and away from sadness.
-My curiosity to learn and acquire knowledge and develop my intellect helped to educate me as well as keep my hunger alive, overcoming the monotonous daily routine and dullness of the concrete walls surrounding me.

The idea of regret follows each and every human being alive and we all look at it in different ways. The regrets create wedges in our life as they lead to grudges and negativity, hindering our living process. During my bleakest moments, I have tried not to succumb to this pressure and in fact have utilised the moment to enrich myself with a depth of life and a purpose for self-sustenance. The rebuilding I am still undergoing to shed regrets and a state of negativity has only been possible as I gather myself with the experience of my long journey through the steepness and rough roads.

There is no doubt that the past creates spots in the mind and scars on the soul. The shutting of doors behind me makes me feel like the world is shut for me again; the continous jingling of door keys continues to haunt me. The chance encounter to change my way of life emerged in 1984 due to the tragedy befallen on us Sikhs. I took that chance to rebel and feel grateful for the experience I attained in my hardships. Life evolves in a manner that we really can’t understand on the spot, but with time it gives us the meaning and way to understand it’s manifestation. Presently the outcome of SGPC elections have created regrets and second thoughts in Sikhs, but I am sure with time the correction will emerge and pave the way for Sikhs to overcome this fear of the established order. Regrets follow us, but with changes in our own life, the surroundings and life around us turn too. Your own self too undergoes a change and brings out something from you, which didn’t exist before.