Tag Archives: judging

RANT : Why I drink when wearing a turban

I feel to rant about a certain topic which I have been meaning to speak about for a while and after something which happened last week, I feel now is the time to do it.

Last week my episode of Come Dine with Me aired on one of the channels, and someone managed to track me down on Twitter, and asked me straight up, “you were drinking with your friends, is that allowed as you wear a turban?”

Fair question really, and one of the reasons I chose to do the show was because I feel the Sikh population don’t really get shown on TV and don’t really get a representation in the media, so I was more than happy to answer any questions anyone had regarding my religion and my decisions.

Yes, I do wear a turban, and I do drink and eat meat. Some may say this is hypocritical of me, as I should be religious if wearing a turban, a symbol of the Sikh religion. I have to say I disagree with this. I have never cut my hair, as this is something I was bought up with. It was not a decision I made myself. I was bought up as a Sikh, and didn’t choose my religion and faith myself. This is just how it is in many families. Do I regret it? No, not at all, as growing up with the basic teaching of Sikhism has really taught me how to respect others and treat everyone equally, something I think is the best teaching of Sikhism.

I’ve never said I’m a religious Sikh, and I’ve not committed my life to the religion, as for me, personally, I’m just not ready to make such commitment. Going to the Gurdwara and praying each day just doesn’t feel right in my life at the moment. People see a turban on my head, and automatically think I’m either really religious or will judge them on what they are doing. Wrong. I have two out of the five symbols of Sikhism, the Karah and Kesh, which is a steel bangle and long uncut hair. If I were a committed Sikh, I would have all five of these items and obviously wouldn’t go out drinking or living my usual crazy party lifestyle. I do however, find it hurtful how people judge me for wearing turban, but don’t judge those who haven’t kept their hair. I could lead the same lifestyle as another Sikh guy my age, but get frowned upon more because I wear a turban. It’s ridiculous. Hearing things like “Fudhu Singh” (dickhead Singh) and “Pagh wallah pindah? Hai!” (Drinking with a turban on? God!) really annoys me to be honest. I’m a young guy, enjoy a good time and I’m pretty sure those who go out wearing a Karah (steel bangle) aren’t judged, so why me, just for having another of the five K’s.

I have never stated that I am an over religious person. However, I do have a relationship with God. I’m not saying my relationship with God is a hundred per cent, but my belief and faith is a work in progress and that relationship is between God and me, and has nothing to do with anyone else. I’m on my own path of Sikhism, and feel I can teach myself what is right and wrong through life. Maybe one day I will commit to the religion, but not right now, that is just my decision, no one else’s.


**Many will not like my views, but hey, God made me this way, so go have a word with the guy upstairs**

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Gay is a genre of music, didn’t you know?

Scrolling through my iPod and Spotify playlists, I’m quite proud of my taste in music, it really does varie. I’m pretty sure it has a wider varirty more than others. Everyone says they are eclectic when asked their favourite type of music, but looking through my list of artists, I’m pretty sure this is what eclectic is. From Westlife to Skunk Anansie and Janis Joplin to Jay Z, my taste really does depend on my mood at the time, and sometimes even the weather, weird I know.

My issue though, is that people seem to think they have a right to judge me by musical taste. Certain people who claim to “love music” and have musical clef tattoos on their wrist (usually surrounded by stars) and act like they have music going through their veins, seem to judge me on the music I enjoy. I’m going to use this space to rant about that.

I’ve always been very much into music. I’m pretty sure this has a lot to do with my upbringing. My Indian born Dad was always playing Punjabi songs in the car and around the house or was watching a Bollywood movie where music played a huge part. I’m also very lucky to have a British born Mother who was very much into Motown and Madonna. We had all the Jackson 5, early Michael Jackson and Madonna vinyl’s at home whilst growing up and they were on constant play. My love for music started at a very young age – I’m pretty sure I knew all the words to Jackson 5 – ABC by the age of six.

With music television at its peak in the 90’s, along with my brother and sister, I would watch channels such as The Box, MTV and VH1. We all had different preferences in music; my brother was more of a Bhangra fan but was also partial to a bit of Jungle and Hip Hop. My sister was more of an RnB and Pop kind of girl, and I was the same. I copied my sister a lot when I was little – odd, I know! We all had our separate videotapes “Ballys Songs” where we would record our favourite music videos as they came on; summer holidays were a hoot in our household. (Intrigued to see if we were the only kids to do this by the way.)

As I grew up, I wasn’t embarrassed about the music I enjoyed. I was often called a girl in school for my love of pop music. It didn’t faze me much; it was music, not like I was donning a frock and calling myself Betty, chill out. Then came high school. I listened to the music I wanted and, again, was ridiculed for it. I was a fan of all music, but I was a bit of an S Club 7 geek. Pretty cool aren’t I? It wasn’t just pop music I listened to though. I listened to Limp Bizkit, Skunk Anansie, Aaliyah, Destinys Child and was still open to new sounds and because of my older siblings, was always listening to what they were blasting in their rooms. It’s because of my brother actually that I know all the words to Juicy by the Notorious B.I.G. However, people at school decided to cling on to the fact that I was listening to a CD compilation of “gay music” as they would call it. Right, so because I’m listening to a bit of chart music that is popular, I’m either girly or gay. Charming! Through high school, I felt the need to hide my music taste in fear of being judged. It was horrible.

This is why I get really annoyed now when people put labels on those who want to be a fan of a certain artist or for those whoe like a certain song. Judging people on the music they like is one of my pet hates. It really drives me mad! I’m really open with my music taste and love that I have been bought up with different sounds and have been privileged to hear music from all genres. When I hear people judging those for liking Justin Bieber or being a fan of one of his songs and saying “OMG what is happening to me?!” it really gets to me. It’s a song, you like it, get over it. When people call me “gay” or say that I’m a “girl” for listening to legends like Tina Turner or Aretha Franklin or say that I’m a “greebo” for listening to Skunk Anansie, then quite frankly, take a seat and listen to your one genre of music which you think makes you cool. I’d rather be a “gay greebo girl” than a rat following the pied pipers one tune.

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