Want to seek greener pastures abroad? Come to a gurudwara in Jalandhar and offer a plane and who knows your wish might fulfil.
This may sound strange but Punjabi youths, especially from the Doaba region, have been thronging the Gurudwara Sant Baba Nihal Singh Ji Shaheedan in Talhan to offer toy planes so that their wishes of going abroad are fulfilled.
Toy planes, inscribed with names of different carriers, are found in front of the Guru Granth Sahib.
It all started few months back, when the word spread that wishes of settling abroad would be fulfilled if one offers a toy plane in the shrine.
Sandeep Singh, who came all the way from Nawanshahr to offer a plane, said wishes of two of his friends of settling abroad were fulfilled, especially after when they offered planes in the Talhan gurudwara.
"My friends asked me to offer a toy plane so that my wish also gets fulfilled," Sandeep said.
Similar was the case of Jagjit Singh, who had a work permit to live in Britain, but wanted to immigrate to the US.
However, his passport was damaged and things got delayed. But to his surprise, he said, he succeeded in getting a US visa immediately after offering a toy plane at the shrine.
Another man said he wanted a visa for his daughter, who recently got married to an NRI, and so he was at the shrine to offer a toy plane.
Although the 'granthi' of the gurudwara said it was very difficult in making arrangements for keeping so many planes, shops outside the shrine, however, are leaving no stone unturned to mint money.
Surinder Singh, a shopkeeper outside the gurudwara, said earlier he used to stock only "brooms" for people.
"But now, brooms have made way to toy planes. Daily about 15 to 20 customers demand the planes which cost Rs 150-500," he said.
Manager of the gurudwara Balbir Singh said on Sundays about 40 to 50 planes are offered.
In most cases, devotees who wish to fly to a particular country offer a toy plane of the airline of that country, he said.
Aeroplanes are, however, not a new thing in the interior villages of Doaba region.
If one takes a round of the villages, one can even spot water tanks in the shape of aeroplanes on the top of ancestral houses of NRIs.
The name of airline is written on the water tank meaning the owner of the house is settled in that country.