It was 5 Nov 2017 and we left the hostel early morning. The examination centre was in Amritsar and exam was going to begin at 10 am. All four of us left early at 5.30 am from our hostel which was located on highway in Jalandhar. Since we had never been to Amritsar before, the length of journey was mystery to us and more than that finding examination centre location in time was a big thing in our journey. A little inquiry about the time bus takes to reach Amritsar made us to believe that by 8.30 we will be in Amritsar, if we board the bus at 6.30 am. And after that we will have around one and half hour for finding the centre locations.
By 7.30 am we were standing midst of Amritsar bus stand. Mornings in November are cold and thankfully we were all wearing sweaters. I was wearing my favourite one, light lavender cardigan. The cold at bus stand seemed more penetrating when no was present there except four of us. We were one hour ahead of our plan and now finding examination centre was next in the list plus we were hungry. No Auto driver was willing to take us to the location on cold morning. Hypothetically the examination centre was moon away from us and missing the exam was beyond horror, not because we had burnt oil for preparations and now missing it would have wasted our time, but because it took lot of persuasion to make our parents to give consent for our hostel outing. Leaving hostel for a day actually needed a lot hard work, a consent from parents, then from the warden, at the hostel gate and finally at the university campus gate. That one consent slip which required immense persuasion was to be kept more secured than our own selves, so that it could be shown back at all the places while entering hostel. If somehow we missed examination, next outing would never come into play. Finally one autowala took pity on us and agreed to take us to the location. It took him only 15 min to take us there and with having a lot of time, we enjoyed a chola batura and tea before actually entering the examination centre.
Examination was just a pretext of hostel leave. We were all null at preparations for the examination. Three hour long examination finally was over and we were having a few hours to roam around the city which was unknown to us. Few locations which Amritsar is famous for were on our mind to visit. Just few hours we had, and making best out of it was sole purpose of the day.
By now it was already 1 pm and sun was warm enough now. We set out for the few hour day trip. First thing in the to-do list was lunch. A proper punjabi lunch definitely will make you sleep after cherishing it but a day out was not going to end like that. After lunch we roamed around the market and were looking for the place to go. Though there are number of place you can visit there but in our short time we wanted to visit the best. And Golden temple was chosen.
Amritsar is specially known for the Golden temple and it’s shines brighter in moonlight. Our trip was taking us to this gurudwara. November days are shorter and by the time we reached to the lane taking us to gurudwara, it was already 4pm. We wanted to enjoy the walk through that place. The place is well maintained and beautifully designed. Along the sides of street you will find the structures representing the Punjab. You will find it that this place is different than rest of the Punjab. The street that takes one to temple appeared foreign to me. Decoration and design has added this street a different charm. I really loved that place and everyone else loved it and that’s why we chose to walk. Along the street we enjoyed the view of market, and the sculptures representing the punjabi tradition.
We took hundreds of photographs while just walking through. By this time I was sweating and pulled out my cardigan, hung it around my sling bag. We were watching photos after every click to find whether we are looking good or not and wheather we should take another or not. It was during one of such sessions I realised that the sweater was missing. My favourite. We walked back along the street to the place where in photos it was still hanging around bag, but we found nothing. With heavy heart we carried on our journey. Before actually visiting temple (gurudwara), we decided to visit a near by place. Just outside the temple is Jallianwala Bagh. This place is surrounded by high brick walls. A place having high place in the Indian history.
The place where on 13April,1919, a massacre took place and was named Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where in more than thousand people died and more than five hundred were injured. Visiting such place sends the chills through the spine. A well is there in bagh, for which is said that people who tried saving themselves from the bullets during massacre, jumped in to that well and died. There is Amar jyot in the bagh that translates to the timeless flame, which burns throughout days and nights. It is a symbol to pay the tribute to the ones who lost their lives in the massacre.
By the time we reached gurudwara, it was already evening and in the evening light, temple looks so beautiful.
Though I come from another faith but visiting this place was good decision. Gurudwara is such a beauty at night, though I visited it again after months in day time but the night beauty has gained my vote. Such a long queue was there inside waiting for the glimpse of the shrine inside. We walked around the whole gurudwara, watching people to bow their heads, and asking for the things they want, it was a different experience. It has a free kitchen, infact, it has world’s largest free kitchen (langar) which serves anyone who visits the gurudwara. You guessed it right, we went to langar and had meals( daal chawal,
By the time we came out, it was already 9 pm and going back hostel was a huge task now. To get back to hostel we had to first reach to busstand and grab the bus to Jalandhar. One of the friends suggested the train. As per hostel norm, before 12 at night, we were supposed to be back to hostel. If not, then our families will be I formed of the misconduct. Going via train saved our time that was supposed to take from bagh reaching to bus stand and then the time bus would have taken to start the journey. Railway station was nearer than busbstand. By 11.30 we were at Jalandhar railway station and again autowala motivation took the lot of time and somehow one agreed and it was 11.55pm that we entered back to campus and 11.59 pm back to hostel. A narrow escape.
The picture quality might not be up to the mark