Nitnem [Spoken Word]

Before I even open my eyes each morning
My mind is racing
I’m dreading to even look at my phone

What transpired at work overnight?
What the hell happened in the world in the last 7 hours?
I doom scroll through Twitter, scan through my social media

My wifi connection is strong, but my Guru connection is weak
I am drifting into the darkness even before I‘ve gotten out of bed

After a quick shower, my nitnem begins
And I’m reminded, today is not about me
Slowly releasing me from my ego and setting me free

Waheguru has given me this breath today so I can break that wall of falsehood


My Guru reels me back in…

Inspiring me with His song
He let me drift away
But showed me he was with me all along

My nitnem serves as the guard rails for my day
Keeping my discipline tight so I won’t go astray

And when I think it’s enough just through the words that I say
He tells me my actions through love is the only way


Nitnem is the song of love
Pulling me through the fiery ocean, helping me rise above

Japji starts my day
Sohila ends my night
Giving me the strength for another day to fight
Keeping me focused with with my goals in sight
Pushing away the darkness inside so I can flip on the light

I try to slow my paath down, not take it for granted
Watering the seeds my ancestors planted

But truth be told
There are some days when I just don’t feel it
When my nitnem just feels like an empty ritual, going through the motions

Sometimes I finish my paath and a few minutes later, I can’t remember if I did it or not
Or sometimes I’ll start with Japji Sahib and next thing I know I’m doing Sohila Sahib
Sometimes I wonder, what’s the point?

But I do it anyway

Because for every hundredth time I rattle through my Japji Sahib, I’ll catch a line that I remember hearing in a shabad or discussing with a friend and it will move me to tears

Every now and then, I’ll lose myself in the rhythm of Jaap Sahib and find myself on horseback riding alongside my Guru

It is these moments that Guru Sahib has gifted us with nitnem

Even when it feels like it’s all in vain
Like a soldier, it’s how we train
When we wake up, we train, we go to sleep we train
We train until Guru-like actions are ingrained
We train through our nitnem to keep us cool and steady
So when it’s time for battle
We always stay ready

Trapped in the fears and anxieties of my day
Nitnem illuminates the path and guides me the way

When I’ve lost direction and don’t know where to go
My nitnem helps bring me back into Waheguru’s flow

When I’ve drifted too far and feel lost and alone
I know I can open my gutka and it will lead me back home

About RP Singh

Writer. Reader. Runner. Thinker. Seeker View all posts by RP Singh

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