The second edition of Khalsa Games at Anandpur Sahib had a noble cause but needed an audience
On my way to Anandpur Sahib, as I passed through the wheat fields that glistened in the sun like a bed of gold, I found myself caught up in a chain of thoughts. It was my first visit to Punjab and my idea of the place was only based on what I had seen in Yash Chopra movies. Full of excitement and curiosity I must have bombarded the driver with a million questions. Well, how could I have stopped myself?
As I entered Anandpur Sahib, I was dazzled with the beautiful colours of the houses and the interesting shapes of water tanks—eagles, horses, footballs, flowers and more. For someone who had only seen black Sintex water tanks till now, my eyes popped out and I couldn’t stop smiling.
Tired but overwhelmed, I reached the resort where I met Sodhi Vikram Singh, the founder of Anandpur Sahib Heritage Foundation and the organiser of the Khalsa Games. He started the Games to eradicate the problem of drug addiction among Punjab’s youth and to introduce them to a healthier lifestyle by getting them involved in sports and cultural activities. Since the birth of Khalsa happened in Anandpur Sahib on the day of Baisakhi, I was really inspired by his initiative and my expectations from Khalsa Games got even higher.
After lunch we went to the venue. The event started with kabaddi followed by wushu, a Chinese martial art, and gatka, the traditional martial art of Punjab. The participants performed really well but there were barely any spectators to cheer for them.
On Baisakhi, the streets resonated with the sound of tractors and Shabad. People from all over Punjab came to Anandpur Sahib and I was awed by the colours and energy around me. Since it was the birth anniversary of the Khalsa, I went on a tour to Virasat-e-Khalsa, the museum which is home to Sikh history. I must say it is a beautiful museum and the pictorial presentation of the history could have been perfect had I got the audio aid.
After the tour around the museum I went to Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara for langar. The gurudwara was pretty crowded. I was surprised to see so many people volunteering at a blood donation camp.
After langar I went back to the resort and got ready for the final day of the Khalsa Games. I was hoping to see a variety of sports on the last day of the event but it was the same as day one. They started with kabaddi followed by wushu and a daredevil act.
The main attraction of the event was a horse show which got cancelled because the horses were tired and the riders went back to their hometown for Baisakhi! Although the second edition of the Khalsa games couldn’t do so well, it still has a lot of potential if it is organised well. Maybe a different venue could have helped.