Rare are those moments when you experience something so great and so euphoric that you wish to write down about it.
Around six months ago, we had a trip to Amritsar. It wasn’t a very well planned trip, rather, I should mention that it was just a weekend getaway. But on our way back from there, we took with us an experience that we could talk about time and again.
While there are a few must visits in Amritsar viz. Jallianwala Bagh and Golden Temple, what caught our eyes the most was this magnificent visit to Wagah border. It is a frontier of India and Pakistan and lies between Amritsar (Punjab, India) and Lahore (Punjab, Pakistan).
Every evening, a beating retreat ceremony takes place here, wherein the military forces from both the countries participate in the drill on their respective sides and lower down their flags.
So, as we reached there by around 5 pm, we could see a hundreds of people (not only Indians but a lot of foreigners too) seated on both sides of the road. At one end of the road was an arc like pillar symbolizing Bharat (India) with the picture of the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi while the other end with that of Pakistan. The two are separated by iron gates.
Before the drill was started, we could listen all kinds of Bollywood patriotic songs that cheered every Indian seated there. Also, we could hear a speech in the glory of our nation in the voice of Amitabh Bachchan. Afterwards, a man in white uniform in a high pitched voice asked the crowd to cheer the slogans “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, “Hindustan Zindabad” and “Vande Mataram” to wake up the patriot in us. The crowd grew more and more exuberant with hearts filled with pride, each one wanting to be louder than those of the neighboring nation.
And finally the splendid drill started. The finesse of the stalwart army men was something which is hard to explain in words. They performed dance-like maneuvers in perfect coordination and marched proficiently towards the iron gate one after the other with Pakistani soldiers on the other side doing the same. The proud and gallant look on their faces was evident of their valor and their loyalty for mother nation.We could feel how dynamic and honorable were those men, our real heroes!
As the sun set and drill was complete, the iron gates were open and soldiers of both countries shook hands and lowered their respective flags. They folded it and carried it so exquisitely that every individual stood up to pay their respect to the tricolor.
Later on, the people were asked to leave the premises. Since we stayed there for a little long so we got to go near the iron gate and also clicked a few pictures with the soldiers. Since we had a VIP pass with us so we also managed to go inside where we could see the border stone symbolizing the Pakistani and Indian land around that region.
Around one-fourth region was Pakistani territory and the rest was Indian.
The evening could not have been more worthwhile. On our way back, we had dinner at a famous restaurant known as ‘Sarhad’ (an Urdu word meaning border) just about half an hour km from Wagah Border. Based on the concept of peace, this restaurant provides cuisine and culture of two countries. Apart from authentic Indian and Pakistani meals, the infrastructure and designs are also symbolic of both Amritsar and Lahore. This again was some place to add to your list of good experiences.