After a luscious and hearty Punjabi breakfast, I was taking my small tour group back to the Golden Temple in Amritsar for another view when seemingly out of nowhere, a crowd was gathering as drums and loudspeakers began blaring. This was one of those magic moments that one must instantly grab. We had bid farewell to a few of our fellow travelers back in Delhi and now the last leg of our journey, the Amritsar Extension was in full swing. Just when we thought that we had seen and done everything that India had to show us, Ma India had yet another treat in store for us.
We followed the growing crowd that zigzagged off the main square down a narrow street as people lined up for the free food that was being given away. Savory treats and sweets were thrust into our hands while onlookers watched with heightened pleasure, expecting us to eat more. Our tummies were already full after the heavy breakfast but Sikh hospitality is legendary and we wanted to show our gratitude so we ate even more.
Then the crowds parted and a parade of sorts began. Young and old demonstrated their skills and Sikh pride. We grabbed our cameras, thrilled at being in the midst of such gaiety.We watched in startled amazement as performers expertly rode, twirled, danced and played music before our very eyes. We could hardly believe our good fortune at being right in the middle of such a glorious celebration and to feel so welcomed. In India, the unexpected lurks around every corner, offering unknown delights to all with an open and receptive heart.