Today was the day for which I waited years and years. I had read blog, watched documentaries videos but never had a chance to witness. But today was the day to witness the ceremony.
Filled with the excitation and craze to witness the wagah border ceremony, I left Amritsar to Wagah Border by 2 PM. Amritsar was too hot, packed few water bottles in Amritsar itself as we were told that we will get water bottle at Wagah Border at inflated rate.
After an hour of drive on NH 1, I alongwith two of my friends reached the Wagah Border ceremony. I looked around to see where the border is! But wait! Nothing was like that. Only thing that I saw was people. Yes people filled with anxiety and excitation to witness the ceremony.
Sellers were doing their job. Selling flag, painting tiranga on cheeks, hands , selling bands. But who cares about that when you have patriotism inside yourself. After all in such a huge crowd it was not gonna to remain for more than half an hour.
I stand in queue like a disciplined person and asked other one to follow the same. For almost more than half an hour in that intense heat I stood at one place without doing anything. And suddenly someone pushed from backside and that single line broke down into multiple lines. And people started ramming through the first check post. Ya I too passed the first check post and I thought that its over now.
But wait! Another layers of security was waiting for us. Meanwhile I do not know where I left my friends, may be somewhere around. I was just standing there doing nothing but still I was carried forward automatically.
Somehow I crossed the second check post too. I was suffocating, I was thirsty- thirsty of two thing one was water and another was to witness the ceremony . And perhaps the second one always overtook the first one. Whole cloth was wet because of sweat and throat was dry. I could not even speak in that intense heat and so the people around me, but I never took any step back anytime. I was carrying my camera in one hand and that was big trouble for me. Carrying that camera safely in that crowd was huge task.
After lots of ‘dhakka-mukki‘ – I do not prefer it but there was no option so had to do, I crossed the third check post and now I could see the border very closely.
Without waiting I ran towards border side. As soon I reached there all seats were filled and people were standing anywhere. I checked around to get any place where I can stand and watch but none was suitable for me to get the best view.
Went to the top of the stairs where people were sitting but did not find any seat. Started to climb several fences(I should not have done this but… ) and then I reached VIP lounge. Seriously! VIP Lounge! I was lucky that time! I left my friends in the crowd. And now the celebration began.
Started with cultural music and dance. People were allowed to hold tiranga in hand and run on the road. None of the people, I saw, who were sitting idle.
Sitting in a place from where I could see India and Pakistan at a time! What else do I want by that time. It was just terrific. The parade! Song! Chant! Crowd! Craziness! That feeling that I had by that time cannot be explained in words.
Post cultural activities, flag down ceremony started with opening of main gate and performing really heroic action from both side.
I moved forward and forward and forward and I reached very close to the main gate. Why! Just to click few moments, just to capture those wonderful time into my camera. To zoom into Pakistan and see how it looks. I wish to go there but that was not supposed to be.
For more insights from the celebration, click here.
Thank you for reading!