Sunday, December 11, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

SUNDRI


Written By Bhai Vir Singh Ji

 

PART X

The Khalsa reached their camp in the jungle and early next morning they arranged for the Khatri and his wife to partake of the 'Amrit', thus becoming an integral part of the "Panth'. They were given the names Dharam Singh and Dharam Kaur and they began to spend their time in adapting to their new religion and new roles. Dharam Singh became an expert horse-rider and an ace shot with the bow and arrow, while Dharam Kaur began to help Sundri, in the day-to-day routine of the camp.

One day Sundri and Dharam Kaur went to the village behind the hill, to buy some rations.

On the way back they had walked only a short distance, when they heard someone groaning. Sundri paused and when the sound came again, she left the path and headed towards it.

Behind some bushes, she saw a young man lying in a pool of blood. His shoulder was bleeding from a deep cut, caused by a sword, and he had various cuts and bruises all over his body. He had lost a lot of blood and his face was white as a sheet. He lay there, barely breathing and appeared to be near death.

Sundri, brave daughter of Mata Saheb Deva ji, did not hesitate. Tearing strips from her "dupatta' she began to wipe the blood from the wounds. She sent Dharam Kaur to bring some water, while she quickly bandaged the injured mans shoulder. Dharam Kaur found a small pool of water in which she soaked her 'dupatta', and now Sundri squeezed a few drops of water from it into the man's mouth. The injured man moved and seemed to recover consciousness but he was still unable to speak.

Sundri was in a quandary. If she left him behind, he would surely die and if she took him into the village it might create problems for her.

She discussed all the alternatives with Dharam Kaur and finally they decided that though the journey would be extremely difficult, their conscience would not allow them to abandon the injured man in this condition.

Between them they somehow lifted him up and stumbling and slipping over the sharp rocks, they managed to carry their burden. They had to stop now and then for a little rest, but with determination they continued on the way. By the time they reached the camp the sun was about to set.

When they reached the camp, Sundri and Dharam Kaur made a bed under a tree with dry straw and leaves and spread a sheet on it. Then they placed the wounded man on it.

Meanwhile Sham Singh and Baiwant Singh came up and when they saw the man was a Mughal soldier, they were very upset.

"We know our religion orders us to show pity and be helpful to those in trouble, but we must be extremely careful when we deal with the enemy. Their one aim is to remove us from the face of the earth, and we cannot expect any sympathy from them," they said.

Under these circumstances we must first see to our security before we let the enemy into our midst, however desperate his condition may be", commented Sham Singh. "We cannot and must not compromise the safety of the Jatha!"

Sundri replied: "Virji1 forgive me for my hasty act. In future I shall be more careful. But now that he is here, please let me nurse him. If he dies that will be Wahequru Ji's 'Hukam', but if he survives we will blind-fold him and lead him far away from the camp." Reassuring her brothers, Sundri became busy with her chores.

After finishing her work, every day she would bandage the man's wounds and bring him food from the kitchen. A month passed and the young Mughal became fit enough to be able to walk.

Sham Singh ordered a couple of Sikhs to follow the man all the time in case he left secretly and gave the location of the camp to the Mughal army.

One day the man said to Sundri, "I can't ever repay you for saving my life but I am very grateful. I had always thought that the Sikhs were tough and uncompromising, and I am astonished how they can be warriors and yet have such soft hearts. I am quite well now and would like to go back to my family."

Sundri gave the message to Sham Singh1 who ordered a group of Sikhs to tightly blind-fold the Mughal and leave him by a roundabout way as far away from the camp as possible. But in his heart he had a sense of unease and foreboding.

 

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