Golden Moments in Amritsar

The Golden Temple

A young couple sat quietly by the sarovar, gazing at the glittering Golden Temple. The afternoon sun shone on, captivated now and then by the clear water. The girl adjusted her dazzling glass bangles. Her husband smiled as she sat fidgeting with the red and silver. Ever since they had first fallen in love, he hadn’t had eyes for anyone else.

Orange Fish near Golden Temple

The little boy with the blue cap squealed, pointing downwards. A huge orange fish was swimming about, a black one following suit. She probably thought she was the queen of the sarovar and liked to make that known to admiring human crowds. When evening would descend, she would swim out to the gold. There, she would float and tune her ears to the holy hymns.

The Golden Temple

Give me strength, God, she prayed. Do forgive my sins and help me be more tolerant of others, more loving. People banged into her in their rush to have their prayers heard. She wondered how many prayers would make it to God that evening. There were distraught wives, happy ones. Frustrated men, proud daddies. Disillusioned teenagers, class toppers. Newly married couples, several hoping to tie the knot. She closed her eyes and bent her head.

Old Streets in Amritsar

The cycle rickshaw wallah advertised the open air comfort of his vehicle. You can see the sights and sounds, he said in Punjabi. Why be cramped in that ugly auto? The driver of the ‘ugly’ auto advertised economy. Moreover, he said, you are one family. Why travel separately? Away from the squabble, an old woman sat in her house, perfecting the dough for paranthas. It took her a while. Like the houses in the street she lived in, she too was growing older by the minute.

Jallianwala Bagh

The Mummy of the girl with the butterfly hairclip was a talking-walking textbook. Remember you read about this in History last week? General Dyer shooting innocent people at Jallianwala Bagh? Where did the people stand, Mummy? Then her eyes fell on the grass, the walls, the well. Where bullets once splashed blood, now stand rectangular blocks, highlighted with white paint. Visitors peeked; the water deep down stood hushed. The water from where 120 dead bodies were taken out after that fateful evening in 1919. The little girl hid behind her Mummy and tried to focus on the blooming flowers in the garden.

Wagha Attari Border

Sabse aage honge Hindustani, screamed the few thousands of people who had gathered at Attari-Wagha border. Dadaji could not sift through the crowd. Seating himself on a stone bench, he noticed how there were people from all parts of the country, speaking different languages and dressed in varied attire. Yet they all stood in the blazing sun, singing with the record – is des ka yaaron kya kehna. yeh des hai duniya ka gehna. On the other side of the gate, he saw on a screen, was gathered another big crowd. But for the barrier, with the BSF standing guard, the crowd could seem identical, almost one. If only he could stand and sing – wohi shaam hai, wohi savera, aisa hi des hai mera, jaisa des hai tera!

Kesar Da Dhaba

I will surely have the paneer, he pleaded. I have heard it is delicious here. She grinned. In the last few years, ever since he had been diagnosed with high cholesterol, she had had a hard time being stern. When they passed roadside vendors, he raised the volume of the car stereo. When an oil company promoted pakoras on primetime television, he switched channels. You can have it, she said. Refusing him shahi paneer at Amritsar’s famous Kesar Da Dhaba – established 1916 – would be a sin.

The Golden Temple

Promise to be back after we are married? She looked up at him and saw him smiling. He nodded. Of course we will be back. He thought she looked really cute with the pink dupatta around her head. The day had been bright and sunny but now, it was gentle. Quiet. The water glimmered in the darkness – gold, blue, silver. Who needed shooting stars to wish by? This night by the Golden Temple was just about perfect.


42 thoughts on “Golden Moments in Amritsar

  1. WOW!!! I just loved this one! Love your style, Debo.. what a brilliant writer you are πŸ™‚ I am going to re read this one for sure πŸ™‚

    Amritsar, I have been way back.. it is one of my favorite places to be, so calm, serene and soothing. Thanks for taking me there once again, I felt I was with the dadaji, the blue capped boy and I could also see the young couple bow down for blessings… such was the beauty of this post πŸ™‚

    • After only the first visit, Amritsar has become one of my favourite places to be as well. πŸ˜€ Arti, I am so happy I could take you there. The people I met and the sights and sounds of the city were so very appealing that they are now etched in my mind. When it comes to travel writing, you are my inspiration. πŸ™‚
      I love hearing from you Arti. It always makes me smile. Thank you..!! πŸ˜€

  2. what a beautiful way to share such divine place. I really love the way you describe things.

    my favorite is your last sentence, who needs shooting star at a place that beautiful.

    • Thanks a lot Novroz. I am delighted you enjoyed the post! πŸ˜€
      Exactly. Like they say, a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Unlike a fleeting shooting-star, this will remain for good. πŸ™‚

  3. Deboshree, you are such a fabulous writer. Your writing evokes such strong images and not just mere images but those that have real emotions. I feel it and am sure everybody who reads your work feels it too. This one has to be one of your finest.

    • Anita, you totally made my morning. Thanks a million…!! πŸ™‚ Amritsar is one such city. Fascinates me every time I hear about it. I guess that is why you could feel the narration here. It is very personal. πŸ™‚

  4. Deb’s this is beautiful .. you know when you enter the golden temple inspite of al lthat is going around it is so calm ..
    I remember when i had gone there 2004 .. want to go bakc again sooon ..

    THank you for sharing all that

  5. It was pleasure reading through your post, sp this one the way you weaved the stories around small incidents which we usually overlooked at times, I never had been to golden temple but its on my wishlist too, and as u say God resides in our hearts, we do not need to go to any extreme in search of him (God has gender ? πŸ™‚ )
    …anek anek noboborsho subhechha and bhalobasha….bhalo theko nd keep us enchanted with your beautiful writeups
    and many many thanks for tagging me with 7*7 and the shoutout… πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Sukanya. Your feedback always brings a big smile on my face. πŸ™‚
      About God’s gender – well, I don’t really know. I guess it depends on the way we perceive/represent God in our hearts and minds. Whichever way comforts us the most, works. πŸ™‚

      Awesome new year wishes there, S. Wish you too have a great one ahead, full of lovely food and lovely tales. πŸ™‚
      Waiting for you to take up the tag!

  6. The golden temple,so far only place where I have found true peace of mind πŸ™‚ every picture you put up here made me nostalgic abt the place…but I missed Kesar da Dhaaba and Shashi Paneer 😦

    • Awesome, Shree. I am glad you went for a trip down memory lane. πŸ™‚
      Next time you get to go, do not miss out on Kesar Da Dhaba. I can vouch for the food. πŸ˜€

  7. So we have a story with Amritsar. πŸ™‚ Dad was born there, and hence his name is ‘Amrith’. My grandparents were not super creative, like you can see.

    I went to the Golden Temple in 2008 and it was lovely. As we were stepping out, dad actually got a call with some fabulous news. A pretty special place!

    • Wow, actually I think that was super creative of your grandparents. πŸ™‚ From Amristar to Amrith, there are so many new meanings that come in.
      Good to know about your special memories of the place Pzes. I have carved some too and hope to make more in the near future. πŸ™‚

  8. Oye keep have been making my to-do lists longer..

    with some posts you will make my scribble on my books-to-read list and with some other posts you make my already long places-to-visit-this-year list longer.


    I have a feeling that you are doing it on purpose,you lady πŸ˜›

    By the way,soothing narration πŸ™‚

    • Sheesh, so now the cat’s out of the bag. 😦
      Anyhow, now that you know it all, I can do my promotional acts out in the open. Yeay to that! πŸ˜›
      Glad you liked the narration Bhavia. Do go and check out Amritsar out sometime. You’ll like it. πŸ™‚

  9. Loved your juxtaposition of different motley stories – disparate yet one segues into the other so beautifully! Amritsar is special to me. It’s been like 10 years since I visited it but I still remember almost everything – The Golden Temple, The Jallianwallah Bagh, The Wagah Border, the vast endless stretches of green fields. I still remember the bright – coloured fish – I was so fascinated by them, and the prasad I ate there – it was the best ever, and the piping hot tea – it was winter time πŸ™‚ You brought all those memories back πŸ™‚ Awesome post, Debo. πŸ™‚

    • Oh yes, the endless green fields. They are stunning. I too was captivated by the fish. There were so many of them and in such bright colours! This is summer time, of course, but we didn’t face intolerable heat. Towards the evenings, it would cool down. The day we returned, it even drizzled. πŸ™‚
      I am so happy this post brought back pleasant memories for you. Thanks a ton Ajay! πŸ˜€

  10. I have always heard people say “bulawa aya hai” n thought, why do you need to go anywhere if God is in your heart. I don’t worship a particular God to the dismay of my parents and in-laws(even thought they have never complained). I believe in one universal force that keeps us going. But it has been a while since I have wanted to visit The Golden Temple. Now I understand what people mean. Love the narration. The small details, the love, the devotion.

    • There I agree with you Ritu. God resides in our hearts and you don’t really need to go to any extremes and visit him. He is always around. But, like you said, certain places have a magic about them. One understands as much only after they go and see it for themselves. Perhaps the magic is faith, perhaps more. But whatever it is, it sure is beautiful. πŸ™‚ Delighted you liked the post. πŸ™‚

  11. you just made me wish once more to go visit amritsar .. never been there n so damn eager to go n have a feel of the city .. loved this post !

  12. Aha, thank you so much for giving me a little taste of the divine place. I have never been there. But your pictures and descriptions gave me a delightful peek. Lovely πŸ™‚

    • If you get a chance to go visit, do not miss it Jyoti. You will love Amritsar. (never mind the crowd on the streets 24×7 :D) Delighted you liked the peek. πŸ™‚

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