I realised I needed a massive change, and it was at this point that I handed my resignation to my employer. I cited illness as the main reason, as my Crohn’s Disease was flaring uncontrollably. I had been vomiting, experiencing diarrhoea and abdominal pain, feeling weak and lethargic, and losing weight. I explained to my manager that my mental health was also suffering.
I moved out of the West London flat where I was living alone, and back in with my parents, who were happy to have me back. I began a journey. I didn’t know where I was going to on this journey, but I knew where I wanted leave; an unfulfilling life that was making me hate myself, become increasingly angry and bitter, and leading me to suicide.
This is when Guru Nanak Dev Ji saved me.
I had never been particularly “religious”, and despite my appearance, I’m still not. I do not see Sikhi as a religion, but as a source of advice and support to guide me to live my life in a better, and more righteous, way. I perceive it as a way, or a path, devised by saints to help ordinary people like me to stay positive and to love the world and all the people in it, including myself.
I had always had an interest in Sikhi. I am from a musical family, and my Grandad was a classical Indian music teacher. As a child, I had learned classical Raag Kirtan; Hymns from the Sikh Holy Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
I also had a huge interest in spirituality in general, and I would regularly spend hours on end reading up on a variety of spiritual topics from many different sources.
I would read about near-death experiences, and what various religious scriptures said about the afterlife. I became interested in ancient and psychedelic plants, and in my spare time, I would research studies that examined what impact these natural plants have on the human brain and our overall wellbeing.
I also spent my time researching various philosophers, saints and scientists, who addressed topics such as the meaning of life, human potential and the origin of creation. I developed an interest in particle physics and quantum mechanics – topics such as time travel, multiple universes and parallel dimensions, as well as ancient traditions, religions and philosophies.
When I returned home to live with my parents while battling illness, I had very little energy but a lot of time on my hands. I spent it studying courses online to pick up new professional skills, such as web development and e-commerce, and further developed my understanding of music theory and production.
I also directed more of my attention towards spirituality and Sikhi. I discovered meditation, prayer, and the power of Gurbani; the Sikh scripture and living Guru. I watched hours upon hours of video from Sikh educational online channels, such Basics of Sikhi and SikhNet. I then began learning more about Sikh history; and I learned about the Akalis of the Khalsa Panth; the traditional Sikh Warriors who were almost completely killed off during Britain’s colonisation of Punjab.
I also became aware of the fantastic work done by various Sikh charity groups up and down the UK, who were providing food and essentials to homeless people across the nation, and helping victims of natural disaster, conflict and sexual abuse, at home and abroad. I saw that a movement had begun in the Sikh community and I wanted to be part of it. It gave me something to live for.
I decided I would dedicate the rest of my life living by the teachings of my Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and the principles of universal love and oneness that they had implanted within me.
Within two years of leaving my job, I had quit smoking, narcotics and alcohol, and I was ready for a new start. I had begun volunteering with Basics of Sikhi and made new friends who were on a similar spiritual path to myself.
I underwent the Sikh initiation ceremony known as Khande de Pahul Amrit, and became inducted into the Khalsa Panth – the Sikh military order. It was the greatest day of my life. My soul had been rejuvenated. However, my physical health remained in a precarious state.