A lot of effort is required to get oneself out of the cozy blankets after exams, or put in other words it is customary to laze in one’s hostel in the name of giving rest to the brain which had been functioning at its best efficiency to break the enigmas of the questionnaires. Unlike a lot of others our folks decided to make a move towards the western frontiers and see the turbaned kings.
The start as usual was full of introductions for the new boys in the club. As the train moved ahead gradually the senior-junior , formal-edifying tones changed into joyful banters and disclosures of the real beings out of everyone. Next morning sun was seen in Amritsar. The group reached Jallianwallah Bagh as its first destination. The Bagh with all its history stands a symbol of the merciless tyranny of the white in the colonial world. The British bullets fired on innocent and non-guilty warriors of non-violent freedom struggle created holes that lasted long enough to preach the importance of freedom and the responsibilities that come along with it to our generation. A walk through the historical lane puffed my chest with pride of being born in the god’s own land. After some photos and history we moved towards ‘The Golden Temple’.
A special importance has been given to the temple in the history. It has been the center of Sikhism and its activities ever since its foundation. It is said that the Sikhs formed all their strategies to protect themselves from Mughal intervention at this place. No wonder Sikhs are famous for their gallant and strong nature across the world. The serenity of the place is worth admiring. On being short of time we reached the ‘Seva-Sthall’ after quickly visiting some of the parts. The Sikh langars working with their very simple model have been feeding humans since long. Every visitor helps in all the tasks involved including cooking, cleaning and even occasional scolding. The simplicity with which every job is completed without any delay by volunteers amazed me. After working for a while we took to feeding our tummies with delicious kheer and daal for what was to come needed tons of energy. Next stop was obviously the Attari-Wagah Border.
Emotions were running high and space low. The Indian side appeared to be so full that cheers of “Bharat Mata ki Jay” would have reached Islamabad. Everyone was on their feet, literally :p. It got nearly impossible to get everyone to sit and watch the ceremony. Nevertheless shouting out slogans and singing ” Tarunveer Desh k” was extreme fun. Once the ceremony started all eyes were fixed to the disciplined walks and dancing maneuvers of the BSF personnel. Both sides roared with praises for their motherlands. The energy of the traditional competition between guarding forces from both sides filled the air. Meanwhile a lot of aunties stood in awe of discovering that the people on the other side looked exactly like Indian humans! After the ceremony was over some of the clever ones among us sneaked close to the gate to catch a glimpse of Pakistan. One might say that the beating retreat ceremony in its present form is a manifestation of the hatred shared by both the nations but none could deny that it makes a lot of us ‘Indians’ for atleast an evening. The energy displayed by thousands of visitors is great but whether we will ever get to see the same energy and pride of being Indians on other occasions as well is a question that will continue to trouble us for in times to follow. Nevertheless it was great fun watching the ceremony. Next we headed back to the Golden Temple to complete our complete our journey by seeking blessings of ‘The Guru’.
The sight of the Temple and its golden aura reflected by the waters of the holy lake surrounding it soothing and blissful. It is very difficult for me to find suitable words to describe the peace that the place gave to my pacing heart. This journey was indeed a memory to cherish for our lifetimes.