SUPER SIKH SPIRIT

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The Amazing Race Australia Season 2 contestants, Jaskirat and Anurag, grab their turbans and backpacks for the race of their lives and hit the ground running February 1st on Network 10 and WIN Network.

With former NRL star, Beau Ryan, taking on the massive task of hosting Season 2 of The Amazing Race Australia, it is guaranteed to deliver engaging entertainment every leg of the way. Apart from the familiar route markers, roadblocks, pit stops, detours and U-turns, to name a few, this season features many more advantages the teams can employ with First Class Pass, salvages, sabotages and T-Junction. One such team are Super Sikhs, NSW and they are ready to conquer fears and compete in the race with super Sikh spirit.

Jaskirat Singh Dhingra and Anurag Singh Sobti

When friends, Jaskirat Singh Dhingra, 30, and Anurag Singh Sobti, 29, first considered applying for The Amazing Race Australia, never in their wildest dreams did they think their best buddy status would elevate to teammates. Their love for adventure and travelling ignited curiosity and enabled them to discuss the possibilities of taking it to the next level and compete. Jaskirat, known as Jas, and Anurag were successful and are one of the 14 teams to progress out of an impressive 30,000 teams, all vying for their chance to participate in the TV reality show. Now committed, Jas and Anurag inevitably explore more about themselves and each other under challenging, relentless and unpredictable circumstances, while discovering glorious Australia. They are known as Super Sikhs, keeping true to their core values, Jas and Anurag, give it their best shot.

One summer, ten years ago at a Sikh youth camp, two young men become friends. Jas and Anurag discovered they held similar values, strong willpower to succeed, a desire to push themselves to new heights and total respect for their Sikh identity. A decade on, these best buddies are each other’s guiding light and infallible force. With their strong mental and physical strength, along with their ability to adapt to any level of stress and difficulty, sees them entering one of the most competitive races of a lifetime. Game on!

Both Jas and Anurag were born in New Delhi, India, but raised in Australia and call this incredible land Downunder home. Sydney is where they live and work, and acknowledge the world is their playground. Jas, is a Strategy Consultant and Anurag is a Geotechnical Engineer, and take time out from their busy work schedules, to travel the world looking for high-adrenaline adventures. From the get-go, it is a no brainer what Jas and Anurag would love to do if they get their hands on the $250,000 grand prize – travel the globe.

Recently, Mr Tonee Sethi from G’day India had the pleasure of interviewing Jas and Anurag about their experiences and how they endured the challenges they faced in the competition. During the interview, one overriding factor that stood out for Mr Sethi was that these two men transitioned from friends to teammates seamlessly and never lost sight of their Sikh fighting spirit. In other words, they never give up.
Jas and Anurag realised that they are probably the first Sikhs to compete on an Australian reality TV show. They remained mindful, to showcase their Sikh identities by being themselves and to be competitive in a competition. In no way did they feel compelled to preach Sikh beliefs, but rather overcome the hurdles of setting limits and failing to explore opportunities because of religion. Anurag strongly feels, “To everyone out there, doesn’t have to be Sikh, it could be anyone. Your beliefs, your identity and your culture, isn’t a limiting factor in life. It’s not something that holds you back. Anything is possible”.

The Sikh fighting spirit is something that Jas and Anurag both agree helped them maintain focus and sustain strength every day. Anurag clarifies, “We have been born and brought up in Sikh families, and the Sikh values have been instilled in us through and through. So, we just told ourselves, look we’re just going to be ourselves, and we made sure of that throughout the race. By helping people that need help, showing generosity, integrity and compassion to those people, but at the same time, showing them, look, when we put our minds to something, we will achieve it”.

Mr Sethi is impressed with the Super Sikhs and shares, “I must say that you both make everyone very proud to see you with your turbans”. Jas admits a media exclusive, “We do the entire race with our backpacks. Everything that goes in our bags, we have to carry. So, even throughout the race, everybody is shedding away socks, they are shedding away undergarments, they are shedding away singlets. Anurag and I kept our turbans in our backpacks, every single day. We may not wear it during the race because of whatever activities, but at the end of every day we would wear our turbans, and we would wear it with pride. To showcase who we are because that is who we believe we are”.
Fortified with Sikh strength and spirit, Jas and Anurag prepared for the race by working together. They dedicated most of their spare time working on a list of skillsets that they think are important for the unknown. Anurag reveals, “Every weekend we’d go through each one of those items and start ticking them off. The Amazing Race being filmed in Australia, we knew there’d be a lot of Australian cultures and a lot of Australian activities. So, we learnt things like how to shuck oysters, how to crack a whip, how to throw a boomerang and then other basic stuff, like working on our physical ability, building on our physical stamina, trying to overcome the fear of heights, overcome the fear of water and things like that”. Jas confirms, “Both of us, in our jobs and our daily lives are quite strategic as problem solvers, so while we did a lot of prep beforehand, even during the race we would recap after every challenge”.

Despite Jas and Anurag having the ability to plan, push ahead and overcome obstacles, both had to admit to Mr Sethi that The Amazing Race Australia is unpredictable and drives you out of your comfort zone time and time again. Jas renames the show, “The Unpredictable Race because every day was a new challenge; every day we had no idea what to do. That’s the reality of it though”. However, Anurag compares the race to life. He comments, “For me, it is a metaphor for life this race. I mean, there are times when you’re in your comfort zone, there are times when everything is going well. All of a sudden, you get thrown a curveball, and it very quickly goes from everything’s good to oh my god, I have no idea what I am doing, I still need to get through this. You get thrown these obstacles, and it just happens continuously, and in an unexpected manner”.

Jas and Anurag reiterate that simply being friends was not enough, and they had to become teammates with a common goal for any chance to succeed in this competition. Jas expresses, “I think it was that duality between the two of us that I really learnt. I was able to see that Anurag was there to help push me in those moments when I was feeling low. Or when the moments I couldn’t do anything, Anurag was there saying, ‘come on Jas, come on Jas, you can do it’”. Anurag proudly adds, “And that’s what the race made us learn a lot about each other, how deep and how far we can push the other and how strong that bond is”.

The new norm of living and succeeding around Covid -19 did make Jas and Anurag appreciate 2020 a lot more. Specifically, the experience of travelling around Australia and being thrown in the deep end was a challenge as much as it was a reward. For them, whether it was being stuck in quarantine to constantly resetting their boundaries and pushing themselves that bit further, paved their way to succeed and achieve personal goals. Ultimately, all Jas and Anurag wanted to do was give it a red hot go, side by side, using their strengths of preparedness, Sikh values and strategic problem-solving. As Jas sums up, “We are Australians at the end of the day. We are Australians on The Amazing Race who happen to be Sikh. And for us that distinguishes what we want to emphasise. Australia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. The show is a pure representation of Australia”.

Both Jas and Anurag invite everyone to follow their Instagram pages and indulge in real stories, tidbits, special moments and more of their TV reality experience, as each leg of the race progresses. They would love you all to connect with them and be inspired by how much you can achieve with pure determination and strength to overcome and succeed.

By Agata Zema