In their honor

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 31; the thirty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is ‘Strangers in the Night’

Image source: Wikipedia

Pavan stood watching the proceedings, mesmerized. The ‘Ritual dance between bitter brothers‘, as the Sydney Morning Herald had called it, had everyone in awe. Hordes of men, women and children thronged to watch the ceremony. A cool breeze refreshed the otherwise parched streets of the village. He stood to one side, watching the members of the ceremony as well as observing the crowd that had gathered around to watch. Cameras and handy-cams were out in full view. As he spotted a teenage boy watching the proceedings through the camera’s viewfinder, busy filming, more enthusiastic about getting it on camera than living the experience, he wondered what would be the fun in that. It wasn’t everyday that one got to see an event like this, feel its impact on our conscience. He shrugged, thinking maybe the boy was too young, he wouldn’t have gotten it anyway. All around him, there was an excited murmur, people enchanted by the event, a feeling of togetherness and brotherhood inadvertently seeping its way into the mob. Instrumental music played along, in perfect symphony, the patriotic kinds that would be played during national events.

Beside Pavan, a father hoisted his baby daughter, who was clearly in an excited mood, onto his shoulders so she could get a clearer view. A few geriatric men stood at attention, in silence. The attitude seemed to be percolate through to him, or maybe it was the purpose which had brought him here, but he stood erect too, at attention, focused on the events unfolding in front of him. His friends had not wanted to join him, they did not think it warranted the time and money he was spending on this trip. But Pavan had always known he was different, he had wanted a higher purpose in life, like he was born to do more just save some money for foreign clients or earn big bucks for himself. While his friends had been landing hot jobs in campus interviews, he had been scouring local newspapers and the internet for the career of his dreams. Now he was here to reaffirm his calling, to make sure that this was what he really wanted. He did not want to ever regret this one decision in his life.

Image source: Wikipedia

In the distance, the sunset cast deep red hues across the sky giving a magical look to the entire show, as if nature too chose to honor them. His chest swelled with pride as he recollected that he was standing at a place that had witnessed history. This was the village through which the controversial Radcliffe line, the boundary demarcation line dividing India and Pakistan upon the partition of India was drawn. The village that had been divided by independence in 1947. He watched as the parade drew to a close and the crowd erupted in a thunderous applause. On their respective sides of the border, Indian and Pakistani flags were lowered in a perfectly coordinated effort and soldiers from both sides shook hands.

Dusk was settling in, soon it would be pitch dark save for the light from the moon and the stars and the few lamp posts distributed far apart. As the retreat ended and the crowds started to disperse, his eyes sought out infantrymen on both sides of the border. What did they have to gain by their noble attempt, he wondered. Who were these men and women willing to make such huge sacrifices for billions of complete strangers? Standing alone, taking in the entire view of the Wagah border, the answer came to him from deep within the recesses of his mind. Standing guard, these strangers in the night would stay awake and alert so that the rest of their countrymen could sleep in peace.

He turned and walked back towards his destination, his hand on his shirt pocket, making sure his entry form to the Indian Armed Forces signed and ready to be posted was still there. Along with a smile on his lips, there was a spring in his step and a marked determination in his eyes. There was no doubt in his mind that coming to Wagah had been the best decision of his life.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Gayathri Kannan, Participation Count: 02

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