With OM MANI PADME OM still reverberating in my mind, we boarded the bus to Pathankot, from where we will take another bus to Amritsar. AND the reverberations I was hearing now were no where near to peaceful.
Just a glimpse into what I endured during the 4 hr bus ride: I wish I had recorded it but this video does perfect justice.
I couldn’t stop smiling thinking about such contrasting worlds just 50kms apart. On one side you have smiling peaceful stocky Buddhists and on the other you have feisty, loud and exceptionally tall Punjabi’s.
My next destination is the city of Amritsar where the Golden Temple is.
It was the night of Deepavali
Sri Harimandir Sahib or popularly known as the Golden Temple is not only a central religious place of the Sikhs, but also a symbol of human brotherhood and equality. It is accessible to every person without any distinction of Caste, creed, sex and religion all you need to do is cover your head when entering.
It is surrounded by a manmade lake of 150 sq.m. The lake gives it a sublime, serene and meditative feel. Of the two days we stayed there I found myself going to this place every morning and evening.
We also had our Diwali meal at the langar. Langar is a community kitchen where everyone is served free meals and the kitchen is managed also by volunteers.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh statue
Some more statues and a smiling Sikh 🙂
And finally it is time for some patriotism. We headed to Wagah border for the border gates closing ceremony. And we were going to close the gates on Pakistan so I was looking forward to experience. It was a testosterone filled environment from the minute we entered. The peaceful Buddhist in me had now transformed into a Raging bull ….LOL
You see the guy marked in orange, that is the Pakistan side by the end of the ceremony. All gone and they started brooming their side. And the crowd on this side, Indian are not done with their cheering and photo sessions, for us the festivities always last a little longer.
Back to the Golden Temple in the morning
Indulging in some soothing bhajan along with warm halwa 🙂
A Khalsa Sikh with his 5 K’s – Kesh, Kangha, Kara, Kachera, Kirpan and the humongous Dastar on his head. These are initiated Sikh men who have vowed to follow the Sikh way of life commanded by the Guru Govind Singh.
A last look and time to stay Good Bye ….
Time to get back to the circus. Shredding the wildness and going back to being a tamed one 🙂
Part 1: Diversity Trip – Jammu
Part 2: Diversity Trip – McLeod Gunj