All that flutters: at Wagah Border

This is the second part to All that glitters: Amritsar photoessay

A photoessay on the Wagah Border circus – or ceremony, if you will.

Flag-sellers at the main gate, 7 and 8 year olds talking of comptisun between India and Pakistan… The feeling is like that of being in a mela in any town in India, stalls selling snacks and cold drinks, DVDs of the ceremony, whistles and drums, plastic knick-knacks…

01flag

Squeezing myself into a tiny (non-existent) gap in the “ladies gallery” while the husband remains standing at the back till the end… Thousands visit Wagah border everyday, and on weekends and holidays, the crowd is unmanageable…

02women

Kid playing with her tricolor flag, and proud mothers in the background…

03kid

The show at Wagah – hysterical emcee and Bhangra dancing included… nothing like the sober, dignified ceremony I had imagined…

04run

05dance

The parade finally begins – and what an anti-climax it is, after all the fun and games…

06mike

07army

The gate closes for the night… this side India, the other Pakistan – and what is the difference?

08end

09india

A thousand hands break into applause at the end of the ceremony – for the viewers, a sense of exhilaration at having watched something spectacular (if bewildering, for the likes of me) and for the soldiers at the border, it is all in a day’s work.

10hands

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cuckoo says:

    Have you read this post of mine ?

    http://www.cuckooscosmos.com/Travel/2009/02/11/the-retreat-ceremony-at-wagah-border/

    I had almost similar experience. 🙂

  2. charukesi says:

    cuckoo, read it. similar experience indeed – all to do I think, with the kind of expectations we had about it…

  3. Sunita says:

    I cant tell you how much I’ve enjoyed soaking in your blog. Really! I stopped by for a quick glance and lingered … and lingered. Great stuff!

  4. charukesi says:

    Sunita, thank you! – do keep coming back 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *