Sikh community observes Arjan Dev’s death anniversary but no ‘chabeel’ this year



With the temperature rising to over 42.5 degree Celsius in Nautapa, the city folks, even corona warriors including cops and healthcare workers, missed chabeel on Tuesday, a chilled sweetened drink served by gurudwaras in the city, marking the death anniversary of Guru Arjun Dev.

As the nation-wide lockdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19 continued in Indore, Sikh community paid respect to the Guru by staying at home and holding small gathering in gurudwara for path and kirtan.

Serving chabeel along the roadside during summers is an age-old tradition associated with the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev. This year, the guru’s martrydom day was to be observed on May 26, but it is for the first time that neither gurdwaras nor social workers could set up chabeel stalls, courtesy the fear of spread of coronavirus.

A healthcare worker Naresh Shringi said, “During this time, when the heat rises, we get a relief by serving chabeel prepared in Gurudwara, but this year, everything looks stranded.”

Guru Arjan Dev was the first Sikh martyr in 1606 after he refused to alter the Sikh scriptures as ordered by the tyrannical Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in an effort to curtail the Guru’s growing influence in India.Narender Singh is an active Sikh community member, who coordinated and organised chabeel every year. “This year, we had organised three-day Akhand Path, which concluded on Tuesday morning. There was no hustle-bustle and decorations like every year. It is another lesson from Guru Arjan Dev that nothing is stable and we must learn to flow with river and stay humble,” he said.

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