In Hinduism and Buddhism, the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
For some just a mystic word that resembles to how cool you are, for me a whole concept thought since my childhood.
From Varanasi (India) Mauricio Arenas Buitrago, Rodrigo R. Queiroz and I would take a flight to Srinagar, in the Kashmir Valley. A place known for its snowy mountains, the proximity to Pakistan and different traditions.
There most of the people are Muslim, which changes everything, from food to clothes. Lamb will be in almost all dishes, and the colourfulness of the Hindu holy city will disappear, to give place to the heavy gray coats and hats.
Lots of trekking options and lake activities around, and a memorable Cricket match: India x Pakistan. The most followed and practiced sport on these countries, mixed with a lot of rivalry.
Being on the Indian side, I was expecting some support for them, but I was completely wrong. Talking to some locals I noticed they felt themselves more Pakistani than Indians. Also, fireworks after the duel could not deny the satisfaction of all.
Trekkings and hikings after, it was time to head to Amritsar, located in Punjab, and place of the holiest temple for the Sikh religion.
I am sure you have already seen the image of their followers. A common practice between them is growing hair during the whole life and wearing a turban on it.
Arriving at train station you get already amazed by the colorful adornments on almost every head. Another usual activity (on this case in all the country) is the looks you get everywhere you go.
While in Brazil I was (and I am still) a normal guy, without anything special or beauty patterns, basically just one more in the crowd, in India I didn’t have a choice. With your Visa application, you automatically join the SuperStars’ Club. Wherever you go, you will draw a lot of attention to yourself, so please use your 15 minutes of fame wisely.
In Amritsar we met with one friend of Rodrigo, Kevinn Stefann, a Colombian who lived there and showed us around.
Don’t forget to taste the best Butter Chicken of the entire galaxy.
Where? You may want a more precise information,so I will give you the best advice in finding a good restaurant ever.
Follow always the criteria below:
- Look for local places with cheap prices and big portions;
- If the spot is full of locals, it is definitely good. Go for it.
If not, go back to step 1.
There is no error.
Amritsar (literally, the tank of nectar of immortality) has more than 1 million inhabitants, lots of visitors and the main Gurdwara of Sikhism. The Golden Temple, of formally Sri Harmandir Sahib receives more than 100,000 people a day, but the most impressive is what they offer. A tradition in Sikh Gurdwaras is having a free community kitchen, where meals are served to all, regardless of any distinction, and there we were, in front of the world’s largest free kitchen.
After covering our hair with a sort of turban, we were allowed to enter the dependencies of the temple, and from the inside admire the venerations.
In the middle shining is the Golden Temple itself, surrounded by water and other facilities.
Free accommodation is offered, but there were no available rooms for those nights.
In another hall a metallic plate was given. Following a line we got into a room with carpets and rows of people sitting on them.
Rich or poor, black or white, men or women, religious or not, it doesn’t matter. There everybody was equal. We should share it all and eat together.
Volunteers work in order to provide more than 50,000 meals a day, all being vegetarian, and consisting of rotis (bread), rice, daal (lentils) and kheer (dessert).
It is amazing!
No differences, people helping each other and promoting goodness.
My father always told me: do the right things. It is better to succeed slowly and have good values, than achieving a status by trampling on others.
Pure Karma, but with just one life validity.
Respect, tolerance and faith in humanity restored, until I got to the Wagah border. At one side India. At the other one, Pakistan. In the middle, a freaky show. The lowering of the flags ceremony held there seems like an attempt to show who is the best.
Patriotism, rehearsed choreographies, and the forgetfulness of the equality shown before. Unfortunately Indians and Pakistanis don’t share a common understanding, and attacks still happen in both sides.
Last byrianis (mixed rice), tandoori chicken and samosas, and it was time to split our ways. Mauricio and Rodrigo to Rajasthan, and I to McLeod Ganj, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
This entry was posted in Asia