In the state of Punjab the desire to emigrate to prosperous countries is so well entrenched in its population that there exists a "hawai jahaj gurdwara" in Talhan village near Jullundar. So well known is the gurdwara that you just have to ask for it and any one can direct you to it from miles away.
The gurdwara is visited daily by devotees who are about to or have applied for a visa to go to a any of the Western countries for settling there. The belief is that if you offer a toy aeroplane as a prasad your "visa" isassured. The belief has become so widespread that the no one now calls it by its real name Shaeed Baba Nihal SinghGurdwara. It is known far and wide as the hawai jahaj gurdwara or the aeroplane gurdwara.
It is estimated that more than six million Punjabis around the Jullundar region have settled abroad and the rush is still on. Almost every family has a member abroad. The visa will be issued by the embassy but only if a miniature aeroplane is first offered at the gurdwara by the fresh soon to be immigrants, so the belief goes..
No one knows when it all started.Least of all the shopkeepers around the gurdwara who stock various sizes to cater to the need of the devotees. The toy models of only international airlines are available for obvious reasons.
What does the gurdwara do with the hundreds of toy aeroplanes it receives every month. Well they do the best thing they can. They distribute it amongst the young school children.
A superstition has now got entenched in people wanting foreign visas and has turned into a small commercial venture for toy aeroplane manufacturers.
Hope the owners of Kingfisher airline are not planning to donate one of their real planes to the gurdwara to save the airline from going under. After all how big an aeroplane can a humble gurdwara handle.
So if you are facing visa problems, you now know ,how to ensure success. Just offer a toy aeroplane to the hawai jahaj gurdwara and soon you'll be abroad a real hawai jahaj to your dream country.