by Sumant Kumar
A family trip is always full of fun and enjoyment and more so when it is planned on a sudden note.
After The Wedding
I was traveling with my family from Patna to Ludhiana for a wedding in May 2019, as though, it would be a classical Indian wedding which we had experienced for most of our lives. In 3 days of arrival, I had covered the city and nearby places with my younger brother. After the wedding, we had 2 days left in hand to keep going to those same places and spend more bucks for useless shopping.
Like I say it “we do not choose our roads or destination, they choose us,” someone said let us get a tour of The Golden Temple! The scenes from ‘Rang De Basanti’ started playing in my mind myself and my brother were looking for a bike to waste no time and suddenly my Mumma at 56 said “I want to join you guys too” till we would have dumped our booze plans someone from back said ‘we are following you too”.
And Just Like This The Amritsar Trip Happened
I turned the bike trip which was decided a few moments ago into a family trip in no time, I and my brother were off like hell yeah the bike and booze plans were no more into existence! But another concern was that we had to be back Ludhiana in less than 48hrs. Ludhiana to Amritsar is around 150 km and it’s already evening the time we had cemented our trip. We hired an Innova for the next morning, it excited everyone more than we could have the thought except for one (yeah I was paying for the whole trip).
The drive through the Amritsar highway was smooth and hassle-free thanks to NHAI. By then we were like a family to Mr. Raju who was our driver cum guide for the tour. We stopped for lunch and he refused to join us since he had brought his lunch. My mum asked him to join us and we will help him finish his lunch and he was smiling and had no options now but to join us and this could be considered Best lunch of this trip since we were always into known faces with same wedding food but this time we were at roadside Dhaba with your mother and sister alongside.
We reached Amritsar by 3:30 pm and Mr. Raju said we can go to the golden temple in the evening and now we should go to the Wagah border. Patriotism was running through vein after hearing words from Raju. Info check: Atari is the Indian border and Wagah is in Pakistan.
The Atari-Wagah Parade Ceremony
In no time we were heading towards the border and we could see the Indian flag form a distance. We parked as soon as we can go for the border after getting our cheek painted with our flag, a security check followed which. We were in the stands and much like a cricket match game we were looking into the big screen and noticed an officer doing some actions which could give you goosebumps. ‘Bhapki’ is the word for that action. On the borders, our brave soldiers not only safeguard us but keep the enemy on back foot we saw this so live there. The brave soldiers were rolling their mustaches and doing bhapki to neighboring soldiers and songs on the background( Meri Jan Tiranga Hai) made our adrenaline flow at its fullest.
It was for sure a feel for life and more so for my mum; she was so excited or most excited of us all, we all felt so proud of our brave soldiers. Just when the sun was setting the main show for which 100s have gathered this side compared to a handful on the other side of border felt the roar of the Great Indian soldiers, a roar which travels to your every neuron and you feel the thrill. It must say this was energetic and while leaving the stands from there my walk was slow because I didn’t want to leave the place but had to leave. We came back to our car and headed towards the Amritsar city for Golden Temple.
Golden Temple and Langar Ka Khana
After so much energy filled inside, we were heading to a peace palace. Sun had already set by now and we were at the gates of Golden Temple. Everyone covered their heads, washed hands and feet kept shoes at the deposit counter and marched towards the golden marvel. Yellow structure shining in the late evening seems like the face of heaven by now we were already clicking pictures, but a Sikh(a member of the temple) said not to click pictures it is prohibited there and respecting their words we shut our cameras and went to guru Granth sahib just with faith in hands. People from around the globe come to this place for peace and enlightenment.
After the visit and paying tribute to sahib Ji we went for the great Langar on the other side of the temple. It was after 8 years I would enjoy the Langar. We had roti, maa ki dal and weet kheer in there and it felt like nectar (never had one). After the Langar, we wanted to spend more time in the temple so I was sitting on the bank of the lake with my brother my mother and sisters they went for the ‘Seva’ to wash the plates with other ladies.
Reminiscing The Time on Our Drive to The Station
When we left the temple, it was already 11:30 pm, and we had a train from Ludhiana coming morning, Mr. Raju said he can drive us in the night and by morning we will be there but as usual, the ladies with me wanted to do more shopping and I could have only agreed to them. AT 01:00 am we left the city, and we were recalling the day to be of just 24hrs so small and we wanted to live it more. Honestly, we were not satisfied with just one visit, and I am looking for another one to be soon. I never realized how a trip of such a small duration with a sudden and unseen destination can give such memorable memories. I think one should plan a solo and a family trip to this place at least one in life or you never know your destiny might have already planned your next trip here.