Go back up. Read the title. Make sure you don’t think it says “!!Bollywood!!” Now look back down. Your man could smell like Old Spice.
If you don’t know those commercials, this has undoubtedly been an awkward intro for you.
Guys. It’s been a few months now that I’ve had the TINIEST obsession with Bollywood. But it’s kind of over now. I have moved on. But it’s okay! Let me explain what has happened.
Here, let’s set the scene. You’re just outside, I don’t know, Amritsar, Panjab, admiring the mustard fields.
wearing your nicest Patiala salwar
eating some saag and roti, yum.
When, all of a sudden, you get some saag stuck in your throat (wow smooth I didn’t even know that was possible). You cough. Your companion of choice
asks you, concerned, if you need some water.
EVERYONE. SPEAKS. HINDI. IN INDIA. EVEN IN PANJAB.
Okay, not everyone spoke Hindi in Panjab. But A LOT of people did. And I wouldn’t even be that mad, right? If it weren’t for the fact that Panjabi is a dying language. But it is…so…
And, I mean, I get it. Hindi is to India as English is to America. I definitely speak more English than Panjabi, and I am Panjabi. So how critical can I be to Panjabis in India who speak Hindi? But I guess I was just expecting to hear more Panjabi, at least in Panjab, you know? And after visiting Panjab, I gained such a huge appreciation for Panjabi culture and the language, even more than I had before. And there’s obviously nothing wrong with non-Panjabi cultures, IT’S NOT THAT, OKAY? It’s just that, Panjab, atleast the state in India, is so tiny compared to the rest of the country.
And while I was there, it just kind of hit me how possible it is for Panjabi culture in India to kind of be washed away and forgotten, because it’s such a small part of the country, geographically. So basically I’ve become that auntie at gurdwara that tells you you must speak Panjabi, beta. That’s the whole point of what I’m trying to say, summarized into one convenient analogy.
And so now that I’m back in da states, I’ve kind of been watching Panjabi movies a little more and Bollywood movies a bit less, because of the bigger appreciation I have for all things Panjab.
AND GUESS WHAT.
I ❤ THEM.
THE…PANJABI MOVIES. YEAH OKAY. YOU GOT IT.
No, they’re not usually as high-budget as Bollywood movies, and yes, they can be somewhat corny, on occasion. But like, who doesn’t love corn?
Aight. So while I was in Patiala, Panjab, I saw. SO MANY. Fashionable sardars. A sardar is a Sikh who wears a turban. Like, Patiala in general is so stylish. I got two of my suits from there and some shoes and everyone’s dress was soo on point. But at one point I just saw this guy with a plaid shirt and a sweater vest and a red pagh riding a bike and it was like the swaggiest thing I’ve every seen and I was like yo. I have to start documenting this. And so the pictures you see I took over the course of about an hour during which I resolved to take a picture of every swaggy sardar I could capture. It only lasted an hour because I soon realized that there was no way I could get them all. But here are a small fraction of the sardars of Panjab. Some of them had style, others had swag, and each of them had it going on in one way or another. Annnnd some of these pictures have no sardar in them at all, but the internet is being funky and I can’t delete them. Okay, enough of my technical woes. Enjoy the swag!!! 🙂
I was looking for “I’m back” gifs and I stumbled upon this and I was overcome with frustration over not having put this in my last post before I left that I just abandoned the gif hunt.
ANYWAYS. GUYS I’M BACK. I WENT TO INDIA. I WENT THERE. AND NOW I’M BACK. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. I HAVE TO GO CHANGE MY ABOUT. AGHHHHHH.
It was amazing!!! I don’t really know how I’m going to go about blogging about the trip, because there’s soooooooo much I want to talk about. But one of the things that’s been sticking in my mind the most since I came back is Amritsar. So why not start there 🙂
So we were in Amritsar on the 3rd and 4th days of our trip. (AM I REALLY SAYING THIS RIGHT NOW IS THIS FOR REAL WAS I REALLY IN AMRITSAR WHAT IS THIS REAL LIFE?!!??) We landed in Delhi (WHAT??), stayed the night there, drove to Chandigarh (NA-UH!), which is the capital of Panjab the next day, drove to Amritsar the following morning, and drove BACK to Chandigarh the following day. Lorrrrd have mercy. I’m tired just typing it!
We were pretty tired by the time we got to Amritsar, but we were also excited 🙂 We had planned on quickly stopping at our hotel, matha taiking in Darbar Sahib, and driving 30-40 minutes to Wagah border, then driving back to Amritsar and spending the night there. But parking was really hard at the time so we decided to just go straight to Wagah and skip the initial matha taiking. Wait Wagah was amazing btw. How am I supposed to not talk about WAGAH RIGHT NOW OMG
M CALM DOWN STAY ON TOPIC
YOU’RE RIGHT VOICE OF REASON YOU’RE RIGHT.
Okay we will talk about Wagah soon. But Amritsar was amazing too 🙂 Sooooo we got to our hotel after coming back from the border, and we quickly changed our clothes and walked to Darbar Sahib. Our hotel was literally less than a minute’s walk from Harmandar Sahib. It was awesome. And the two guys who were working there at the time were very nice and really respectful towards my grandparents and one of them gave me the wifi password and idk you just always share a bond with a person after something like that. Okay, so after enjoying a couple minutes of wifi, we walked to Harmandar Sahib. Yup, we walked. Our hotel, Hotel Darbar View, was true to it’s name. It was maybe a 100 feet walk to Harmandar Sahib, like how perfect is that?! PLUS OMG, mine and my brother’s room had a balcony–
looking out from the balcony
looking to the right from the balcony
Do you see why I loved this city? Or am I being irrationally obsessive as I usually am in all aspects of life?? Idk! It was so…magical!
Okay sorry. So we walk to Harmandar Sahib, and my bro and I see the most significant gurdwara in the world for the first time ever.
It was sooooooo beautiful. Everything is worked out really well, it’s super clean and everything. You go in and matha taik and then you can just kind of chill. You can sit and listen to kirtan or do paht or just take it all in. Yes, we got to go upstairs, and it was amazing. There are spiral staircases and original walls and you can even go on the roof, which is amazing.
The next day, my grandparents, my Massi Ji and I all walked to Harmandar Sahib at dawn. It was the most beautiful thing. I know I keep saying that over and over but I have no idea how to describe how it felt. I mean, first of all, it’s a holy city. And when you get to Harmandar Sahib, it’s just so big and there’s such a sense of unity. Everyone sits and takes their shoes off together and everyone is super chill and, in the morning, they had cha for whoever wanted it in different colored cups–free of charge, obviously, because that’s how Sikhs roll– and when you look up there are pigeons flying and kites and the moon setting and the sun rising and you can hear the kirtan and your bare feet are freezing and yet somehow it feels good…
I think it’s time to let the pics do the talking.
A memorial dedicated to shaheedis (martyrs) from the 1984 Sikh genocide…the entire place was actually a huge complex consisting of so many beautiful buildings…this was the first we saw.
Close-up of the memorial. That’s all stone-work.
Another close-up…I loved the carved khandas.
Inside the memorial, notice how cool the ceiling looks.
Entrance to the main building!
Nishaans, which are our flags.
People doing seva (selfless service, which is part of Sikhism) polishing the metal.
On the walkway.
Walking there from our hotel.
I love me some minarets.
Leaving Harmandar Sahib…the sun was up!
Hotel Sapphire, which was right next to our hotel.
We were walking away from Harmandar Sahib and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures…the entire city is so beautiful.
I missed the shot, but this man came out of his house or shop and gave this stray dog some food…only time I saw that in India.
Y’all know I’m a sucker for religious diversity <333 Amritsar is full of it!
Our gali (street/alley)
At some point I just started taking pictures of everything…
…this is all over the span of maybe 15 seconds
From our balcony again 🙂
And yeah 🙂 That was Amritsar, guys. We weren’t even there for 24 hours, but it somehow managed to be my favorite city. I loved how you could see things written in Gurmukhi and Urdu and other languages all over the place, I loved the nice people, the atmosphere, andddd it was pretty cool knowing Lahore was maybe an hour’s drive from us. They say Lahore and Amritsar are twin cities…one day I’ll be able to judge for myself 🙂
Well you guys, that’s it for this week. I MISSED THIS! IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK! How did the automatic postings go, by the way? Did they work? At first I thought they didn’t, then I thought they might have, then I was like wait what I thought that was a post I published myself, and now I’m just confused. But hopefully it was okay? I can’t wait for next week’s post, I have sooooooo much to tell you guys. Like I don’t even know how I’m going to do it. I even have stuff I’ve wanted to post since before I left, AND next week is a gurpurab, AND Valentines day is coming up and lawd knows I have to do something special for that bc it was such a hit last year…we are in for a crazy few weeks 😛
I can’t wait 🙂
P.S–I thought about it for a couple days, and I agree with the coalition…#pAnjab
P.S.S–It’s okay if that didn’t make any sense to you…MAYBE I’LL POST ABOUT IT UGH SO MUCH TO POST ABOUT AHHH