Welcome to the first post of my AtoZ Challenge 2019. If you read my theme reveal post, you know I’ve chosen to write my travel memoirs. I’ll write on “26 Places, 26 Memories” through the month of April, one for each letter of the alphabet. These are not travelogues, in case that’s what you’re expecting. Instead, I’m recounting life events that’ve taken place during my travels. Do follow my blog and social media platforms to stay updated with all the posts.
A FOR AMRITSAR:
Amritsar is a place of great historical significance in Punjab, India. It’s the seat of the Sikh religion (which I practice), but is also home to many Hindus and Muslims, priding itself on its inclusivity. The city goes back to the 16th century and has a rich culture. My husband’s family hails from here, having moved to Delhi after the partition of India.
There’ve been many places I’ve visited that begin with the letter A, but I picked Amritsar because it’s one of my favourite cities in the world. As my husband is an Ambarsariya (person originally from Amritsar), we visit at least once a year. We love the unmatched serenity of Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple– the seat of the Sikh religion), devour the delicious food on offer, and contribute to the local economy by shopping our hearts out.
I’ve been on numerous trips to Amritsar, but today I’ll focus on one memory that stands out.
APPEALING TO THE ALMIGHTY IN AMRITSAR:
In September 2012, I met a boy who made swift inroads to my heart. The swiftness seemed romantic to me but decidedly strange to my parents! On a family trip to Amritsar a month later, to celebrate my mother’s 50th birthday; my parents began to question my sudden allegiance to a boy I barely knew. They weren’t opposed to him, but would’ve preferred me meeting other boys of their acquaintance, before forming a deep attachment to one person.
If you’ve been in a similar situation, you’d understand the dilemma. I liked the boy and I didn’t want to introduce anyone else in the mix to muddy things up.
One beautifully lit evening, I sat by the holy pool in the Golden Temple, enjoying the soothing strains of kirtan (singing of religious hymns), and prayed for clarity. I didn’t want to hurt the boy I liked, and I definitely didn’t want any confusion of mind.
Sometimes prayers are answered in unexpected ways. On returning to Delhi, we learnt that the boy my parents would’ve liked me to meet, suddenly had to leave on prolonged travels. I was free to date the boy I liked. Gradually, his respectful and caring nature, along with his traditional bearing, endeared him to my family. Our love story galloped along and we were engaged and eventually married, in a matter of months.
In hindsight, I should’ve known no one would stand a chance against the Ambarsariya 😉
So, I begin my travel memoirs invoking blessings from Harmandir Sahib. See you tomorrow for the letter B and another story!
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*Unless specified, all pictures are taken on my phone. Copyright belongs to nooranandchawla. Featured image courtesy: www.waytoindia.com.
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