MY STORY :
Migration to a new culture and way of life in a new country was very different 34 years ago. We
did not have a cell phone, no internet and very fewer south Asian TV programs to entertain our
minds. I start driving taxi at the Toronto Airport and met some like-minded people to fulfill my
cultural diet. I met my fellow drivers Sukhcain Khara, Rajinder Singh Sandhu and Baltej Pannu
in my free times. We started talking about how to create a cultural group of people in Toronto
who are intrusted to meet for poetry, storytelling, reading, writing and drama activities in Punjabi
Language. Slowly our group start growing and we started our meetings to shape our activities.
Our group grew up with more volunteers joined such as, Baljinder Lailna , Jagpal Chahal , Tejbir
Dhillon, Avtar Gill ,Sukhninder Aujla, Rajbir Virk, Gurjinder Virk , Rajninder Aujla and
Harjinder Bablu. On 7 August 1991 we registered an organisation named Punjabi Lok Sahit to
bring Punjabi literature books from India and sell to Punjabi community for non-profit basis. The
second organisation Punjabi Lok Mela was registered on 10 May 1992 to organize the Mela on 5
July 1992 in where we would have dramas, skits, songs and poetry. So it was Rajinder Singh
Sandhu initiative to bring Punjabi literature books from Amritsar and display at the Mela.
The story may get very long if I start telling how many meetings and efforts all of our volunteers
did to bring up this first Mela on 5 July 1992 at the West Humber Collegiate on Kipling Avenue
Toronto, but I will try to finish in few words. So we called Sadhu Binning and Sakhwant Hundal
of Vancouver based organisation Vancouver Sath to prepare plays for our Mela and they did.
Vancouver Sath staged two plays Havelian te Parkan and Kehda Viaah. Four skits Bilkul Bilkul ,
Kabar , 50-50 and Bhoot were staged by Baljinder Lailna , Jagpal Chahal and Harbhajan Flora.
We had the honor to have Novelist Jaswant Singh Kanwal , Dr Prem Parkash Singh , Pakistani
Poet Sadar Nazeer , Iqbal Ramoowalia, as a new singer Harbhajan Maan and many locals poets
such as Major Mangat, Kulwinder Khera , Jagdish Grewal , Sonia Bajwa and Harjit Singh. The
auditorium capacity was for 787 people but more than 1200 people came to this Natak mela.
Over the years many actors, directors and volunteers came and left as the Punjabi Lok Mela
became Punjabi Lok Rang Munch and finally Punjabi Arts Association of Toronto.
Following are some productions as an actor and director.
- My first play as an actor was Hind Di Chadar staged on 10 April 1994 and 17 July 1994 at West
Humber Collegiate Etobicoke, Directed by Kirpal Kanwal
- 29 April 1995 Chamkaur Di Ghari Ton Sirhind Tak at West Humber Collegiate Directed by
- 1 Feb 1997 Rishtian Da Ki Rakhiey Naa in Brampton, Director and writer Dr Atamjit.
- 31 May 1997 Tootan Wala Khoo in Brampton Directed by Jaspal Dhillon.
- 14 August 1999 Sabh Kish Hoat Upaey , in Mississauga Director and writer Dr Atamjit.
- 18 November 2000 and 16 December 2000 Pinjray Written by Major Mangat , Director
- 16 March 2002 Inqlab Zindabad Written by Onkarpreet, Director Janak Joshi.
- 16 November 2003 Aatish and 27 March 2004 Aatish Written by Baldev Singh Flower Director
- 16 May 2004 and 29 May 2004 Sulghdey Supne Ghadar De, Wriiten by Shabdeesh, Director
- 11 Sept 2004 Dhukdey Kaleray Written by Pali Bhupinder Singh, Director Madam Nirmal Rishi.
- 4 Dec 2005, 11 Dec 2005, 6 Nov 2005 Dhukdey Kaleray Written by Pali Bhupinder Singh,
Director Madam Nirmal Rishi. We did 5 shows in Brampton, Hamilton, Calgary and Vancouver.
- 30 June 2007 Raat Chanini Written by Pali Bhupinder Singh Dirctors Baljinder Lailna and
- 16 Feb 2010 Mr. MLA written by Paramjit Gill Director Kuldip Randhawa
- 26 June 2011 Me and My Story Written and Directed By Pali Bhupinder Singh, Assistant
Director Kuldip Randhawa, We did 3 shows of this pay in Brampton, Markham and Montreal.
There are so many other plays not on my list where I have been part of productions and
promotion team of Punjabi Arts Association when I was not on the stage as a performer. I still
love to be part of the team of so many beautiful people and being an actor in the future
productions. I have worked with different directors over the years and learned so much relevant
even for daily life. We all contribute somehow for a better community and I feel good that I
contributed a very small but relevant.
My best wished to my fellow actors and doctors.