“What’s gone once is gone forever”, comes a quote from yet another victim of India-Pakistan partition and subsequently appears to be an attempt to instigate an emotional response from our fellow readers. But unfortunately, it isn’t. This story seeks today’s light because we as heedless travelers saw light in the dimmest corner of the city Jammu, the R.S Pura International border between India and Pakistan.
As the road leading to this site kept on shrinking in width, so our curiosity to explore more seemed to be escalating. Passing R.S Pura town, lied ruins of a rail route which once was a crucial trade route between India’s Jammu and Pakistan’s Sialkot and very disinterestingly it could be of an uncommon knowledge that R.S Pura railway station isn’t heritage site at all though it had all the necessary credentials to be one – shambling and crumbling walls with few old English text scribbled on it!
It’s pointless sometimes to keep on moving forward unknowingly where the roads lead to. But we definitely had to unwillingly surrender to the falling evening’s wish to atleast have a glimpse of the place. Our faces saw a wide grin when we saw Border Security Force area from a distance. This was the place to lower down the throttle. As we register ourselves within the visitors of today, we rush our breath to witness the insignia this place is left with after the gruesome partition many moons ago.
A milestone on the left read,”Sialkot 11 kms, Lahore 141 kms”. Now that’s close. We proceeded forward guided by a BSF jawan to be mesmerized more on this one fine evening. “The checkpoint beyond this Banyan tree is half Pak’s and half of which lies in India too… Trees don’t know the boundaries, you see!”, quipped this jawan and filled us with remorse as if we felt like we were the only present souls there who realized what the people might have gone through in one of the world’s largest exoduses. We can’t linger our bodies beyond this line, does this apply to the air too? Or this wide blue sky? The gunshots do not foresee borders, and interestingly even the love doesn’t!
“It may fire like a day next to another, or maybe seldom in months. It hardly has the guts to make us drive away from our own nation!”, quotes Vikram Singh, a local resident who sipped masala tea with us. Being very audacious of his rights, he spoke of what it really means to infiltrate bullets beyond borders; hatred. With our intention not to implode his cheeky conscience, we stopped not ask if it really is?
We had to return to lights again, carrying the baggage of unknown memories the people might have had with that place and to be asked what place exactly? A line that shuts hope of togetherness, happiness and an infinite longing to dream of a world without borders.
(The author is a student IIMC Jammu)