By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | August 10, 2018
She has this capacity to turn heads whenever she walks into a room. If she is already in a room, her sheer presence draws your attention towards her. Once your attention is diverted (towards her), it stays onto her. Apart from literally standing a few inches taller than those around her, she has this aura that comes from a ‘spiritual calm’ that resides deep within her being and which reflects on her face.
Meet Manveer Kaur, the 27-year-old Wedding Planner, who has been a ‘head-turner’ on the events scene, since the past two years. I first chanced upon Manveer’s photograph when she was planning the wedding of Alesia Raut and Siddhanth Suryavanshi. When I met her last November at the wedding reception, I was fascinated by the manner in which she carried off the ‘head gear’. It was not until I saw her in different head gears in different photographs that I realized there was something more to it than what met the eye.
I learnt that her ‘head gear’ was not a fashion statement, but her religious Turban, which as a Sikh, she is proud to wear and has decided to make it a daily habit since 2016. However, Manveer, born into a Sikh family, did not wear it when she was growing up.
Opening Doorz to her story, of how she now describes her Sikh history to strangers who stop and talk to her, how she was embarrassed the first day she wore it, with all eyes at Borivali station looking towards her and much more…
Manveer believes in being high on life with the many blessings God bestows on her daily. Like us, she also believes in Celebrating Life!
Who I am, what I do…
My name is Manveer Kaur and I belong to the Sikh community. I firmly believe in the 3D theory to achieve anything and everything in life—Dedication, Devotion and Discipline. I work as a wedding planner and it’s been a dream job since 2011. I am a very festive person. I love lights, decor, colours, music… Having an immaculate eye for detail helps me ensure that nothing is missed. My immense love of colours and nature and the whole beauty of putting someone’s dream together gives me satisfaction and happiness—I’m making dreams come true.
The crux of the story… the head gear!
I belong to a very religious family. In my growing up years I was highly inspired by my mother who would wear a Turban and under her guidance I decided I wanted to follow in her footsteps. When I decided I wanted to wear the turban (in the year 2016) I had to get baptized again, since I wanted a clean start. I had indulged in waxing, trimming my hair and even shaping my eyebrows. The turban states the equality between male and female in the Sikh community. Tying a turban in itself is a big responsibility for any Sikh individual. It’s an individual belief. For me, it gives me the feeling of an invisible crown gifted to me by my Sikh gurus who give me the strength to overcome any challenges in my personal and professional life. In our community, the women are on par with the men. Today, people are fighting for equality for women: Our gurus have already given equality to women!
Family history with women in Turban…
My mother still wears the Turban, it’s her life now. My cousin from Italy also wears it. She has finished her law in Italy and is working in a reputed firm in Rome. Two of my cousins from Ambernath, Mumbai, too wear the Turban. I would think most Sikh girls do not want to wear a turban because then they cannot wear accessories like a nose-ring or earrings. Sikhism doesn’t believe in gold. Our main metal is iron (kada), which the rich and the poor can wear. You need to be simple on this earth. I do not do any waxing, shaping of eyebrows, or even trim my hair. In Sikhism, we believe that we have energy in our head hair. However, having said that, Sikhism never forces anybody to do anything.
How the decision to tie the turban came about…
Basically, I was on this guilt trip for having done things which, looking back, I felt I shouldn’t have done. Sometimes, it’s peer pressure that gets to you. You wonder if you are doing the right thing just because “people are telling you to do this.” When I used to ask this question to myself, the answer that came was always, “No, you don’t have to be like them.” I also used to see a lady with the turban when I used to travel from Thane to Borivali by bus. I loved the way she carried it and ever since the day I tied the turban, I have not seen her!
Do I miss the many things women do with their hair…
I have never trimmed my hair, earlier I did do waxing. I guess it was because of the way people needed to see me from the outside. People want to look good from the outside, not inside! Moreover, other girls cannot tie a turban, I can. The accessories I wear on my turban they don’t have it! I’m also a no make-up type of a person; maybe once in a blue moon I might wear make-up. And yes, I save a lot of money by not going to the parlour [Laughs]
The man I marry must have his Turban!
The personality a Sardar has, nobody can match. We are outstanding, male or female in a turban! That’s the full character of a Sardar. I will never marry a Sardar who has knocked off his Turban or shaved his beard. Having said that, I must admit that my mother was worried when I decided to wear the Turban—she was thinking about my marriage. There are very few men in the Sikh community who accept a woman with a turban. I told Mom that it does not matter to me. I will wear a turban.
Manveer has a collection of over 15 turbans in different colours. The eight-metre long cloth is easy to handle she asserts. “My mom taught me how to tie it. It takes just 15 minutes,” she says adding, “Girls take much more time for make-up!”
Do you have an inspiring story to share? Do you know of someone who is a ‘hero’? We at Opening Doorz would love to Open our Doorz for you. Do write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org