So after 1 month in my new place, I had contact with my family…when business brought my chachu and appa to
The next day, the three of us hired a cab and started to
As we were about to leave the place, heavens poured down. It rained like hell. Was nice. Onwards we drove to
Anyways, as we were washing our feet, I was reminded of the scene in RDB as the gang and Kiron Kher enter the gurdwara with Ik Onkar in the BG. Alas, there was no Sue…only chachu and appa J It was a majestic sight, this Golden temple. And a serene on too with the gurbaani (that’s what I think it was) being sung in the background. This was also the first time in…I guess 2-3 years that I had set foot in a temple out of my own volition. So it was all the more special. A little thank you for all the blessing that have been showered, few clicks of camera to preserve the moment for posterity and then we were coming out of this place.
Hmm…so post Jallianwala Bagh we went to the Wagah border. Initially I was thinking, if I could convince appa into giving it a miss. But then thought ki..chalo..lets have a look..it is not often you get to come here. The place was good, wouldn’t say it was imposing..but there was a feel to it that I am unable to explain. You had both the Indian and Pakistani flags waving proudly one besides the other. A 5 min walk, and you would be into Pakistan; the often maligned, often vilified land where most of the population is just like us trying to live a normal life and dealing with their day to day problems. It is only the fundamentalists, politicians and other scums who make an issue out of anything and everything and try fomenting hatred. Farook, Usman, Qureishi….my ex colleagues were no different to me than Srikant, Vidhya and Balaji. They too had their family, their parents worrying over their education, they themselves trying to find meaning to their lives much as we do it here.. We hit along quite well, respected each other and enjoyed each other’s presence. And yet the one thing which disturbed me at the Wagah border was the huge congregation of Indians on one side and Pakistanis on the other for the flag lowering ceremony. What should have ideally been a good entertainment and get2gether for people across the lakeer..it became a show of nationalism. Shouts of ‘Mera Bharat Mahaan’ was renting the air on this side. While this momentarily sent a shiver down my spine and made me feel euphoric, I soon felt what a fragile situation it was. One inadvertent shout from our side about the Pakistanis or from the Pakistanis about the Indians and the whole place had the capacity to explode with emotions which even the well meaning soldiers wouldn’t be able to prevent. I would prefer either no shouting of national feelings…or much like you see in football matches; while one team’s anthem is being sung, the other team should respect it and then the 1st team would reciprocate the same gesture as the 2nd anthem was on. Well, anyway my views are mine..others may feel different. Giving out such views will also earn you the tag of a pseudo-secularist. What the heck. I believe in humanity. I have my own baser instincts, but I do realize that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is never an ever lasting solution.
We believe education is supposed to get us rid of all biases and prejudices. But my empirical experience has been that such prejudices tend to get stronger among the educated class. Yes they may not wear it on their sleeves like the mass does. But it takes the more sinister form; talk all nice goody-goody things when the peer is there (be him a Pakistani, a Muslim, a SC/ST, a Brahmin…neone) and show your true colors when they are not there….or when you enjoy the security of the mass (or the mob).