What we can't do. Experience at Wagha Border.

by Sunday, March 22, 2015 4 comments
Wagha Border, a gateway between India and Pakistan is situated near the Attari railway station was at the pinnacle of attention when the then Indian Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee chose to visit Pakistan using the Delhi-Lahore Bus service. But since then it has been in news for all the wrong reason, the 'Beating Retreat'.

Situated on the Grand Trunk Road, Wagha Border is part of the International Highway between New Delhi and Lahore. From Amritsar the gradual shift from painted walls to monochromatic fields is as mesmerizing as you can imagine it to be. When I got off at the stop 1 Km away from the ceremony grounds I could easily feel the strange atmosphere. I walked further towards the border passing through multiple check points to climb next to the “Swarn Jayanti Dwar” to seat myself to watch the ceremony. The place was already filled to its capacity and the crowd was equally eager. The setting sun was mocking me and I was missing my cap and sun glasses.

After finding a place for my knees I started to look around. I never found people so excited to see a daily routine, lowering of the national flags of India and Pakistan. Actually it is more than just lowering of flags; it involves the electrifying and coordinated parade of military personals on both sides of the international border. When the parade was about to start I didn’t knew that the following 25 minutes were to become one of my greatest experiences for all the different reasons. No doubt it was a great experience to watch soldiers showing off their power at minimal distance of a white line demarcating the countries, but what is to be watched is more than this. It felt like “reading between the lines”.

The people were cheering the soldiers so as to supress similar sound from the “other side”. I failed to find similar intentions. Amidst all the roaring the idea of cheering just to prove prowess over others failed to convince me. I turned my head in all directions to grasp all that I could from that moment. I could see the glimpse of the “other people” on that side of the border, the colour of the farms, the sky, the sun and the birds. All “guarded” by state of the art weapons and surveillance. 

There is no difference between both the sides of the border, there are just differences. 
To me the weakness of humans was exposed to its core. That tenderness of nature blew away any border. When I looked as far as I could on the other side of the fence I couldn’t notice anything different, because there is nothing different at all. The farms are equally green and equally bear the crops. The soil is of the same colour and so are the people on the other side. The longer I saw, the black fences started to seem more like an eyesore to an otherwise perfect scene. The same fence that could stop people was unable to stop the blowing wind and the flying birds. By the time the ceremony ended the border ceased to exist and I could find no reason to assume two sides of the same land.


No doubt both the countries involved here have had a scarred history for a long time now and their bitterness towards each other doesn’t seem to end very soon. But once you too see the similarity here your heart won’t allow you to believe all the hatred news coming over. It is pretty evident that not all the people want war and destroy their neighbour. Anyone thinking the opposite must die with the unfulfilled wish. Hailing peace I took a deep breath and walked away, feeling pity for those who nurtured the idea of a free nation and later succumbed to their political/regional ideologies and ambitions.