My First Twitter Live #khalcast 1
My Poem ‘Paki’ from the Pear Tree Rambler – Collection was featured in the Derby Telegraph today. This video explains why I wrote it.
He talks about the racism he faced growing up in Derby.
16 JUN 2020
A Derby school worker has revealed how he grew up having to cope with racism.
Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa, a science technician at Littleover Community School, says he was pilloried for having a traditional Sikh “top knot” hairstyle – but then when he cut it off, says he felt he lost his sense of identity.
He has also spoken about living in Normanton and how some “blinkered” people thought because of that, he would be associated with crime.
Kalwinder says writing about his experiences have helped him cope – and he has penned a stinging rebuke to the racists and bullies in the shape of a poem called “Paki”.
Kalwinder speaks about various experiences including racism, growing up in Normanton, his heroes and coping with the death of his father and feels the lockdown has helped him to engage with more people and can help others to cope with any of the same experiences.
Man with beard and brown skin.
“Mr Khan”, they laugh and grin.
Silly little fools without a clue.
Laughing at me is laughing at you.
Show some respect an observe our faces.
We’re all pakis to ignorant racists
The 40-year-old said: “My poetry allows me to identify topics that are relevant and I feel a lot of my listeners can relate to them.
“I spent 28 years of my life living in Normanton, and the stigma that is attached to living in the area is something I have experienced first hand.
“I experienced racism from a young age, I was called names and because I wore a top knot due to my religion, people would often call me a girl and even though it was a symbol of my faith, I had a lot of resentment to my culture.
“I then decided to cut my hair when I was 15 and lost a sense of my identity, I tried to fit in but people would not identify me as being a Sikh and would be called other horrible names.
“Growing up, racism has evolved, there have been instances where I have gone for job interviews or told people which area I live in and they instantly assume I am bad or I’m involved in criminal activity.
“This is wrong and I know so many others like me have experienced this, I want people to talk and share their problems so we can help and encourage positivity and help people steer away from mental health issues.
“During lockdown, I have been doing Facebook Lives and they are going really well, I talk about identity, religion and history and connect it back to my home city of Derby.
“I am proud of where I come from and my poetry reflects that, especially with what is currently happening in the world with the Black Lives Matter protests, I am happy people are speaking up and identifying what’s happening in the world.”
This is Alice Wheeldon of Pear Tree.
This is my friend and old Teacher from Pear Tree Junior School. He’s 81 now.
Mr Steve Wetton.
I used my new pencil to draw Gian Singh VC.
I’ll get better.
Sikh Derby man Kalwinder joins Callsuma in the Bereavement Room to talk about his father who died by suicide in 2006. We reflect on his experiences of being impacted by suicide, poetry as a source of expression and support and the triggers of loss following the recent global pandemic, COVID-19. In this episode we also talk openly about the challenges faced working with mainstream charities and what this means in trying to reach wider communities. You can reach out to Kal on twitter – @khalsir
This episode is dedicated to our Grandfathers and Fathers.
Thank you for listening.
A guest podcast I was involved with last week with Opening Up Cricket
Have you heard ‘Are We Dreaming?’ by Khalsir on #SoundCloud?
“I just wanted to recognise my great heroes and heroines in life”
Author Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa‘s Derby collection is an A to Z of iconic Derby figures in the form of poetry and illustrations.
It includes a football legend, breakdancing star and has a link to James Bond classic Octopussy – and we spoke to Kalwinder to find out all about it.
A portrait sitting at the Derby Sketching Club.
It was a great honour to be invited to have my portrait sketched/painted at the Derby Sketching Club.
The members of the club are a fantastic and talented bunch of artists.
The Derby Sketching Club is a members’ club now meeting in Littleover, Derby, England. It was founded in 1887, and still meets today, providing members with facilities so they and others can work and share their interest in painting and sketching. Early members included F. Booty, Alfred John Keene, William Swindell, George Thompson, Charles Terry and Frank Timms.
TownsEnd by Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa
X-Hibition & Ad-Hibition by Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa.
nor MAN ton
by Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa
by Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa
Thank You to Aran Dhillon and Home Away From Homeland for allowing me to share my experiences.
“Ever since his death I’ve been trying to come to terms with what happened”
Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa – who lost his father to suicide – has written two books about the death of his dad, along with poems about mental health.
He courageously shares his story with us and discusses the stigma surrounding mental health in the South Asian community.
Thank You to Papyrus for sharing my story.
I appeared on BBC Asian Network yesterday with Monty Panesar talking about how easy is it to get Asian men to talk about their emotions?
Two of my Poetry collections are available to download on Kindle for FREE for the next few days.
Pear Tree Rambler
Little Pear Tree Ram
Author opens up about dealing with dad’s suicide.
‘My dad spent his whole life helping people but he didn’t have the outlet he needed’
Kalwinder Singh was 26 years old when his dad Mohinder took his own life.
The news came just months after Mohinder’s brother and Kal’s uncle died by suicide after battling depression for years.
Struggling with the heartbreaking news, Kal thought he would never be happy again.
But, 14 years on, he is sharing the story of his grief to help others through similar trauma and give people hope.
The now 40-year-old has written a two-part book about his dad’s life, history and his own grieving process.
“When it happened I just couldn’t get my head around it,” Kal said.
“I thought I would never be happy again but now after all this time I have hindsight and I have learned a lot.”
He hopes that by sharing his story, he will help others.
24 SEP 2019
The first ten Derby stars to have their names etched into the stars in the city were:
Alice Wheeldon Derby’s most famous suffragist and a fervent anti-First World War campaigner
Bess of Hardwick, England’s richest Elizabethan woman after Queen Elizabeth I used her considerable wealth to help Derby poor and needy
Brian Clough and Peter Taylor the top management duo that took Derby football from obscurity to national fame
Sir John Hurt in recognition of his sterling contribution to the arts as an accomplished actor
Joseph Wright globally recognised English landscape and portrait painter and the first to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution
Louis Martin, the Jamaican-born sportsman who became Britain’s greatest-ever Olympic weightlifter
Philip Noel-Baker, a former MP for Derby, credited with saving the 1948 Olympic Games for Britain
Charles Rolls the pioneer aviator and Henry Royce the engineer and designer who formed Rolls-Royce which sets the global standard for excellence in automotive and aviation technology
The newest additions to the Made in Derby Walk of Fame are:
Adam Peaty, Olympic champion breaststroke swimmer who won the Gold medal at the Olympic Games at Rio in 2016, which earned him the Freedom of the City of Derby later that year
Marion Adnams, English painter, printmaker and draughtswoman, best known for her surrealist paintings
Bird Brothers – Frank, Thomas and Reginald, Derby born bakers, founders of the Bird’s Bakery chain
Karam Singh, Solo world champion break dancer from Normanton
Jack O’Connell, British TV and film actor well known for his roles in Skins and Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut Unbroken
Lara Croft, Archaeologist video game and film heroine created in Derby
Liam Sharp, Marvel and DC comic book artist, famous for drawing Spiderman and Wonder Women comics
John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, who prepared of a 3,000-star catalogue, Catalogus Britannicus
Steve Bloomer, Derby County football legend who signed to the club as a professional footballer in April 1892
Florence Nightingale, heroine of the Crimean War and the major founder of the modern profession of nursing
On World Suicide Prevention Day we are presenting a short video on the experience of Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa who was bereaved by his father’s suicide.
The video is introduced by Dr Gurpreet Kaur, Chartered Clinical Psychologist (@DrKaurTherapy), who asks for the video to be shared with people in your immediate family networks who are less likely to access social media.
The video covers the following areas:
The term ‘committing suicide’
Is suicide selfish
What might have helped his father
The experience of grief
Does grief end
What do we (the community) need to get better at?
Crisis line numbers
Sikh community contact points
Contact for Dr Gurpreet Kaur
As this video is about a young man who lost his father, please do share it predominantly with male figures in your life, such as your father, grandfather, uncles, brothers, sons and friends. Suicide prevention can only happen if we all become more adept at discussing mental health difficulties and struggles openly. By doing so, we will also create avenues for people to understand that there is a pathway towards hope and healing.
Thank you to Kalwinder for bravely sharing his experiences. If you would like to learn more about his work please visit his website: www.khalsir.com or follow him on various social media channels: @KhalSir.
If you have any queries or would like to share your mental health experiences please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On November 2nd I’ll be running a workshop at the 2019 Heera Foundation Conference:
‘Surviving bereavement by suicide’
I will be sharing my experiences in relation to the loss of my father by suicide and how I managed to cope with my grief.
On 1 September 2018, we published The Colour of Madness, an anthology exploring Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) mental health in the UK. The book featured the art, poetry, stories, and essays of over fifty contributors*.
Far from being a one-off publication, The Colour of Madness has taken on a life of its own. We have given talks, spoken on panels, and run workshops at universities, festivals, marketing agencies, council events, and more. Edinburgh University students took our stories from the page to the stage, and our contributors have been making waves across the country. Our book is now in the hands of so many people we admire, from Jackie Kay, to Sharmaine Lovegrove, to Reni Eddo-Lodge. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve all been up to!
Thank You Derby County F.C. for allowing us to film at the stadium for the Fred Spiksley DocuFilm.
“I really enjoyed dressing up for the Derby Lock-Out scene. I look forward to seeing the final version at the Derby Silk Mill when it unveiled in the Summer of 2020. A great honour to be involved”
Red Saunders is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, artistic, musical, and political activism. The aim of Red’s Hidden Project, through re-imagining those events, is to reproduce important historic scenes involving the dissenters, revolutionaries, radicals and non-conformists who have so often been hidden from history.
Derby’s history can be understood through its people, place and energy. Three historic and globally significant moments for the city will be recreated by Red Saunders in a series of three photographic tableaux for the new Museum of Making:
- Derby as the receptacle for a global flow of knowledge and the birthplace of the Enlightenment in the 18th Century.
- An expression of working class solidarity and resistance in the first Factory Lock-Out of 1833-34.
- The region’s technical advancements that created new ways of understanding and living in the world from 1880 onwards.
This is an once-in-a-lifetime experience to produce a new artwork, both featuring and created for the people of Derbyshire. We’re looking for people of all ages, ethnic groups, genders and abilities who are living and working in the region to get involved and be part of Red’s Derby People Histories tableaux.
Little Pear Tree Ram is Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa’s rambling love letter of sorts and thoughts to the city of Derby and it’s wonderful folk.
A collected children’s edition of poetry and prose, which follows the life of a Derby boy. Touching upon identity, community, culture and many other things that define and strengthen the man that he has become.
The 30 poems in this collection are collected together from Pear Tree Rambler, Pear Tree Rampage, Pear Tree Rampart, Pear Tree Ram and 3 extra poems.
Suitable for all children.
Pear Tree Ram is Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa’s rambling love letter of sorts and thoughts to the city of Derby and it’s wonderful folk.
A collected edition of poetry and prose, which follows the life of a Derby boy. Touching upon identity, community, culture and many other things that define and strengthen the man that he has become.
The 90 poems in this edition are collected together from Pear Tree Rambler, Pear Tree Rampage, Pear Tree Rampart and 16 extra poems.
WARNING: May contain words that some people find offensive.
My 3 Pear Tree Poetry Collections.
Pear Tree Rambler, Pear Tree Rampage & Pear Tree Rampart.
Pear Tree Punjabi and Pear Tree Ram (Collected).
Pear Tree Rampart is Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa’s rambling love letter of sorts and thoughts to the city of Derby and it’s wonderful folk.
A third collection of poetry and prose, which follows the life of a Derby boy. Touching upon identity, community, culture and many other things that define and strengthen the man that he has become.
WARNING: May contain words that some people find offensive.
A writer has written a touching poem about 100-year-old Zofija Kaczan, who survived the Nazis only to be robbed and killed in Derby.
Harrison Clock Visit
This morning, volunteers from the Derby Museum of Making arrived for a tour of the clock works. After a short introduction from Managing Director Bob Betts, which touched on the history of the family company and its commitment to the future of clockmaking, Bob handed over to Customer Service Manager, Tony Charlesworth, who led the nine visitors on a tour of the factory.
Of particular note was the Harrison Clock. Tony outlined how Smith of Derby apprentices had been responsible for the dismantling, restoring and reassembly of the clock, and how the clock was back to full working order and ready for reinstallation in the Museum of Making at some point before its reopening in 2020.
Among the visitors was Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa, author and teacher and long-term resident of Derby. “I’ve grown up in Derby”, he said, “and now work here and it’s exciting to see Smith of Derby, a company synonymous with Derby itself, continuing the work they have done for generations. Clocks give you a (sense of) time and a place, clocks themselves and the memory of them can take you back in time. It’s sad when you see a clock somewhere and it’s stopped, as soon as a clock dies it’s not the same. Time is a beautiful thing and horology and it’s great to see your work here at Smith of Derby and how you are evolving and restoring clocks and keeping them alive.”
Joining Tony on the tour was also Nick Whitworth, 6th Generation of Smith Family, who enjoyed being reminded of what unusual and interesting company Smiths is when seen through new eyes. Nick remarked how “it’s great to be amongst those who are perhaps encountering the work we do for the first time. They asked lots of questions and were inquisitive and wanted to know how clocks worked and why they were the way they were. Of course, those of us connected with the company are proud of the work we do, the traditional and the cutting-edge, but it’s nice to share this feeling with others and to see that our work is prompting an enthusiastic response.”
Pear Tree Rampage is Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa’s rambling love letter of sorts and thoughts to the city of Derby and it’s wonderful folk.
A second collection of poetry and prose, which follows the life of a Derby boy. Touching upon identity, community, culture and many other things that define and strengthen the man that he has become.
WARNING: May contain words that some people find offensive.
Tributes paid to much-loved Derby PE teacher who was as an ‘absolute legend’
Steve Jones has passed away
08:56, 1 JAN 2019
A “jolly blue giant”, a “gentleman” and a “legend” is how former pupils have described a Derby PE teacher who died just before Christmas.
Hundreds of pupils and teachers from the former Homelands Grammar School, which later became Village Community School, have paid tribute to Steve Jones who taught there for 30 years.
Many have come forward to share their memories of the 68-year-old grandfather and how his influence has helped shape their lives.
Former pupil Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa, 39, said: “I will always remember him as a jolly blue giant, with a great big moustache as he would always wear the same blue jacket and tracksuit bottoms.
Steve’s son Andy Jones said: “He was a real character, a great role model, much loved by everybody and he made a difference to so many people’s lives.”
Another former pupil Yas Ellahi wrote: “Most of us will not remember many teachers names, but you mention Mr Jones and people will say Homelands school, he was the pillar of Homelands.”
A great guy who everybody loved
Mr Jones, of Mickleover, started teaching at the school in 1972 and was one of a handful of teachers who was still there when closed down back in 2002.
He went on to teach at West Park School, in Spondon, before retiring at the age of 57, around ten years ago.
Andy Jones, 35, paid tribute to his father and was delighted to see so many comments from his former pupils.
He said: “My dad was just a great guy who everybody loved.
“It is still very raw at the moment, but it has been so comforting to read the comments that have been flooding in across Facebook.
“It fills in the blanks as you don’t often see the impact he had on so many people’s lives.
“He will be missed by everyone in our family, it is such a sad time.”
A lovely, kind man
Mr Dhindsa was at the school from 1991 to 1996 and was inspired to become a teacher because of the influence Mr Jones had on him.
He said: “He was just a lovely, kind man who had such a great influence on me and so many students.
“You never wanted to be in trouble with Mr Jones. He always had that presence that if you misbehaved he would be tough. You never saw that side to him though.
“He was at the school for thirty years and was there right until the end in 2002.
“When you are a kid you have your sports heroes, like David Beckham, but as you get older you realise that the real heroes were back in the playground and in the classrooms.
‘Teachers’ by Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa
Superheroes disguised unveiled in hindsight.
Superpowers bequeathed through the moonlight.
Remember those dreams that left you spellbound.
Life’s greatest heroes prowl the school playground.
Mr Dhindsa said: “Did I have Mr Jones in particular in mind when I wrote it two weeks ago? Most probably. As well as all the other great heroes and heroines of mine from school.”
“We had some great teachers at the school when I was there and Mr Jones is one of those that you always remember.
“The school had its problems over the years, but we were one big family and it was people like Mr Jones who made it such a special place to be.”
He was always willing to help
Sam Robinson also contacted Derbyshire Live to share her memories of Mr Jones.
She said: “He was a teacher second and a friend first as he would do anything he could to help.
“I had a real phobia of school because of bullies and he used to take me there every morning.
“He was more like an uncle than a teacher and you could go to him with queries or problems and he was always willing to help.
“There are a lot of people who have been left shocked by this and my thoughts are with his family.”
Many former pupils of Mr Jones and colleagues have take to social media to express their sorrow of his loss.
Several have posted in a special Facebook group set up for those who went to the school over the years.
Adam Leather wrote: “He always had time for you no matter what was going on. I think he was the only teacher to truly understand us guys at Village. It was an honour to know this great man. He will be sadly missed.”
Lisa Mason wrote: “Pupils were his number one.
“He gained as much respect as he did then and now as he knew how to treat his pupils.
“To gain respect you need to show respect. He certainly did that. One of the life lessons I took away from him. He wasn’t one for numbers, we were children growing and achieving, not a roll number.”
Absolute hero of a teacher
Tasha Beswick said: “He was the best teacher I have ever known. He was always there for his pupils. He would treat you with respect and would always listen.
“He will be very much missed. I never respected a teacher like I respect him.”
Zafar Iqbal wrote: “He was my PE teacher and an absolute legend. He was a great teacher, may he rest in peace.
Tris A Hb, who attended homelands between 1981 to 1986, wrote: “Absolute hero of a teacher. Not just a teacher, but one hell of a gentleman who impacted on all who attended Homelands School.
Kelly Sahota wrote: “He had a great sense of humour. When I think of Homelands, I think of Mr Jones. RIP Jonesy.”
Manjit Bains said: “He was funny, down to earth and approachable. A teacher I will always remember.”
For my next release I will be releasing another collection of 25 poems called
‘Pear Tree Rampage’
To Be Released