another border…

I take a drive up to the Wagah border to experience the raising of flags ceremony that has been documented many times over. The afternoon is humid and hot, and the soldiers dressed in black, are streaming strands of sweat even as they march across the steaming asphalt.

The ceremony is a performance that takes place every single day as both Indian and Pakistani soldiers march, kick up legs and raise and lower the flags, but with ramzaan underway, the Pakistani crowds are thin. On the Indian side, though, across the gates are compressed bodies packed on cement stairs, and men walk through the crowd, selling flags. After the ceremony ends, a couple of clowns on the Pakistan side pound on drums and wave flags.

As we walk away, I know that this act of daily patriotism is one that I can only bear to witness once.