Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day Two: Amritsar, Jallianwala Bagh

On our second morning, we drove down to Amritsar. And by that, I mean 'hurtled at 150 kph down those infamous two-lane highways that connect towns all over Punjab'. At the speed we were driving at, I reckoned we'd reach in half the estimated time, but it took an hour inside of Amritsar city for us to reach our destination. Three hours later, bags dumped, tea drunk, and sun-shrunk, we found ourselves chasing our own tails in Amritsar's wonderfully chaotic streets, hungry, but happy to finally be there.

Like the millions who make the pilgrimage to see it.

Before I start raving about the Golden Temple though, have a look at a few pictures from Jallianwala Bagh. I won't bore you with historical spiel -- which makes for a rather gruesome story anyway -- but coming here really tied up all the loose chronological ends of history from the day before with a really raw sense of the value of being a free Indian. I can't even imagine how the people who live in the apartments below feel, looking out at Jallianwala Bagh everyday.

Okay, so maybe there's a little bit of history in the boards below. Read on, young padawans.

I know, I know, the Government of India really needs to put up better signboards. (Or maybe you need to get glasses.) But let's move on, shall we? To the window above the martyr's well, footsteps in fading winter sun outside the Jallianwala Bagh museum, and the only orange pink araliyas any one of us has ever seen. (Though more fittingly for a city of temples, these flowers are also known as temple trees.)

And finally, pigeons! Those stupid birds that make a house everywhere, anywhere. No matter how hard you try to move them out. Maybe we should learn from that, and the collective courage of the millions of people who moved, made houses and started over across a border dividing faiths.

Just saying.


Next up: the final post in this series, The Golden Temple. I'm excited, aren't you?

1 comment:

  1. love the brick wall and the beautiful peacock colours of the pigeon which reinforces my belief that these two birds are closely related :))) and this is me aunty K .....