What does a child abandoned in a dustbin at the tender age of two months have to hope from her life ahead? That is exactly where miracles happen. Rampreet’s life has been about this. Now at 19, she is grateful that her misfortune at birth brought her in contact with Baba Iqbal Singh, who she now considers her father.
It was this contact that brought Rampreet to the Akal Academy, a school being run by the Kalgidhar Trust, in Baru Sahib. Rampreet has been learning sirandha and sarangi. In Chandigarh to talk about the association of the school’s Gurbani telecast with a television channel, Rampreet, along with four other students, speaks about their natural connection with God and music. The young students, from diverse backgrounds, recite gurbani by understanding music in their divine music lessons. The school, although about modern education, also interweaves spiritual education to make the students better citizens.
The Kalgidhar Trust was established in 1906 with a mission to bring education and spirituality together. The school, Akal Academy, established in 1986, currently has 111 schools and over 60,000 students. Rediscovering the stringed instruments, the school teaches all classes from KG to Masters under one roof.
Simrangjit Kaur, all of 15, joined the academy when she was 10 years old. Hailing from Uttam Nagar, she lived with her grandparents before she moved to the school. “This place feels like heaven,” she says. Planning to complete her course in banking, she plays the harmonium and sings the Gurbani, knowing it like the back of her hand. It was her inclination towards spiritual education, which brought Maninjit Kaur, 21, to the institute. An expert on the Harmonium, she hopes to complete her BSc in Economics and try for civil services examination. “I hope to clear IAS exams in two years,” she says.
In India, the inclination towards God is still a binding factor. Ramneet Kaur, all of 14, has left her very comfortable life in Las Vegas to be a part of the institute. “All my sisters have studied from here and just love talking about Baru Sahib,” Ramneet says.
For Ishleen Juneja, who plays saranda, it has been the desire to stick with simplicity, which brought her to the academy. “Being Lucknow-based, we are very simple people. This is a way to preserve that and have a connection with divine powers.
Feeling lucky about the decision to study here, the girls mirror the bliss of a calm soul.