India 2018 Day 9, 13th December

Amritsar is colder than Delhi but day time warms up into the high 20s.

I spent sometime in the Partition Museum. The images and descriptions are accompanied with TV footage of interviews from people who witness the events. Among the horror and so many lives lost are countless stories of Muslims hiding Hindus to protect them from the mobs and like wise Hindus and Sikhs hiding Muslims all at the risk of their own lives. The troubles that erupted had been growing for decades. The British divide and rule fuelled this but did not create the division. From the First World War, at least, a division was going to have happened. This was fought for and equally fought against so the migration was going to happen regardless. The rooms also told the story of the women who had additional problems with rape and abandonment by their families because of the stigma.

The streets are cordoned off during the day although enough drivers do seem to pass through. Notice the huge display TV (below) that shows advertisements in a continuous loop.

A short distance away is the Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple.

As you enter through the arched doorway it is breathe taking in its brilliance.

Now noon and the queues to visit the shine already very long. Bare footed the marble paths are warm.

I sat crossed legged by the tank for a while and left to take a bus to the Attari-Wagah Border Checkpoint.

I went on the open top deck for a better view on the 30 km trip. Unfortunately this meant retaining that seat on the way back at 18:00 with icy cold air blowing through my thin jacket.

Starting the bus journey just as the schools finish for the day.

The English man on the bus, just as many Indians in Delhi had said, there is not a lot to see in Amritsar. I responded that we all see a different India. I reflect from the guide book. This is the India that the government want you to see. Modern prosperous, industrious and vibrant Indian. even the Tut-tugs are electric and have a distinct Punjab style.

At the Attari-Wagah Border Checkpoint you have to hand in bags as only mobile phone, cameras, small wallets or purses and a water bottle are allowed to be taken through security.

I went to eat at the Shahi Qila. A nice Aloo Gobi and roti for 217 rupees plus tax. I had a couple of sweet lassis as well.

The independently choreographed theatrical battle for supremacy between India and Pakistani border guards during the border closing ceremony match like for like, man or woman to man each trying to out perform and mock the opponent.

I filmed most of the proceedings. I wonder if, like Monty Python they have a Ministry of Silly Walks!

Everyone enjoyed it and shouting out prompted by the loud speaker tannoy.

A drop into the Bharawan Da Dhaba for a sweet dish and tea (English tea bag style). Looking at the food arriving on adjacent tables worth another visit.

 Last updated 13th December 2018