My experiences of Amritsar in 1983.

My parents and I went to Amritsar in July 1983 on our way back from Kashmir trip. We reached in the evening and stayed in a hotel near the railway station. In the morning after breakfast we went to visit Golden Temple. We entered into the temple through the main gate crossing the stream of water which was made for the purpose of washing the feet of the pilgrims. After entering we waited few minutes to think from which way we should approach the temple as it was a huge area to cover. It was a sunny morning, we found an old man had been talking to few young college going boys. As soon as he saw us he came to us leaving those guys behind and introduced himself as an honorary guide who gives service to the temple on Sundays. He guided us all through the time we spent there.

We had “Halwa” prasad in the temple, reached the top floor of the temple, then he made my mother and me to do “Kar Seva”, then we went to the huge Langar where we had daal and roti. One roti and one ladle of daal was more than enough for our Bengali stomach of three. When we were giving a round within the temple we saw many half underground closed rooms and many men with brain gun and stain gun moving around. My mother asked what was there in the rooms and my father inquired of why were people with weapons present within the Temple premises. The man replied that those were store rooms of the temple and the Sikhs believe in Vakti and Shakti (devotion and power) together, that was why they were carrying weapons. Then the old man saw us off till we boarded on a Tonga, after taking us to the temple book shop where my parents bought some books and memoirs. From there we went to the infamous Jalianwala Baag .

After several months, on June 1984 there was operation BLUE STAR. It revealed that, there were lots of visitors along with few foreigners, they were kept imprisoned naked in the half underground rooms of the temple, who were rescued by the army after confrontation. We then realized and felt grateful to that old man. My mother called him an angel who saved us from being captured. We all know that as an aftermath of this decision Mrs Indira Gandhi was assassinated on 31st October 1984.

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