Of lip-smacking food, early morning hymns, partition stories, and a farmstay.
Ila you are one of those super generous people who take everyone along in these trips. Enjoyed Amritsar a lot. I know exactly what to do when I'm there. I had been thinking of a village vacation. That problem is solved too. Thank you.
Plus what a timing. To find your newsletter first thing in the morning is very comforting.
One of my favourite pieces of yours. It seemed personal and intimate, and yet, never wavered from the theme of travelling through a state. The details are amazing, as usual.
Bookmarking this. So good.
Such a nice post! Really felt like I was traveling with you. I will 100% use your food recommendations when I visit Amritsar!
Your writing makes the reading experience really immersive ,just like the itinerary you seem to plan.
It's not rushed. Its immersive. Serene. Almost like inhabiting the place like a local.
Really enjoyed the read.
I could relate to every word having spent all my life in Chandigarh and then getting married in a family who has seen it all. My grand mother in law had shared such beautiful stories . You have inspired me to talk about them. Thanks
I was in Amritsar for a day last month, and the food was such a disappointment (no thanks to Tripadvisor). I wish I'd visited these places instead!
Also, whole-heartedly agree with your feelings about the Attari-Wagah Border Ceremony. It was high-strung, jingoistic and felt close to bullying (maybe because there were thousands screaming on our side of the border and a handful of people sitting quietly on the other side). I'd gone there thinking the ceremony would be a rare instance where the tension between the nations are set aside and we celebrate both sides. It was nothing like that.
Thank you for this 'eye-opener' .. have been many times and unfortunate to be guided by panjoos pre-occupied with shopping masalas, vadis and food only. You are a gifted story teller and make me feel I have never been to Amritsar!! I eagerly look forward to a visit to Amritsar using this as a template and doing ALL of the things you did.
Lovely piece. I liked the composition of different stories with the travel thread. This is exactly my kind of ideal travel. Knowing the culture, experiencing the history and enjoying the food.
As a kid, whenever Jalianwalabagh was discussed, I used to wonder how people can be this cruel. Of all the stories of freedom struggle, that one remained as a deep scar in our heart. I remember the sorrow and rage when I read about it in a Malayalam book called "naam changala potticha katha" (story of how we broke the chain). When I read your description, I felt I was there looking at the wall full of bullet holes.
Loved reading this one, Ila! You have such a flair of words.. beautiful, evocative writing :) Also - thank you for the farmstay recco!
Loved reading this!
I believe all of us are connected via something that cannot be explained. I am soaking myself on some history type thing and the day this post dropped, I was half way into consuming the details of Jalianwalan Baag massacre. So there.
I have been to a grand total of zero Gurudwaras but I plan to go to one soon. How did you find the music there? Gurudwaras just take me back to childhood when at around 7 in the morning on Doordarshan they would show a song or two being played in a Gurudwara...Anyway, Let me leave you with this https://youtu.be/Hw_F57FDv0E
Loved this write up but again, what else is new? We all hope and pray you keep travelling. Hamesha.
This was such a lovely read. I have been to Amritsar many times over, but seeing it through your eyes and lens was so refreshing! Thank you for writing, and thank you for enriching all Khwaabghar conversations :)
Beautifully written Ila. I have a doubt though. How did you capture the parade at the Attari-Wagah border? Have they started allowing phones? Or is a camera allowed?
Earlier this year, I resurrected my identity as a great granddaughter of the ones directly affected by the partition. I realised that listening, reading, talking about partition was the best way to keep my ancestors alive, especially my paternal grandmother who passed away almost 4 years ago. She was born 7 years after partition, so didn’t have first hand experience, but she used to tell me stories that her parents and elder siblings used to share. Reading your piece made me feel like I was listening to the stories she told me when I was a kid all over again.
P.s. - Found your newsletter today and I am so grateful for the intimate pieces you write. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do!
Sending love and warmth,