Welcome to Amritsar, where the Temples are Golden, the Baghs are Jallianwala, and the students are the instructors. We run it now.
Following an early morning taxi to a slightly less-early flight, a brief foray in the New Delhi metro, and a delirious and snack-y train ride, we arrived in our hostel and deposed the previous administration. The former instructors followed us laughingly as we stressfully finagled our way through flights with free hats, metros with more baggage than feasible (or reasonable), and trains full of naps and fatigue-induced hilarity. Nick-ji, Saurabh-ji, and MJ-ji remain in our magnanimous care (shackles) as we explore and learn about this new city in all its wonder. Since mom and dad and dad no longer have any jurisdiction, every night it’s chocolate for dinner and bedtime is never.
Today, our very first day, we visited the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial, a beautiful garden commemorating a tragic massacre of the same name. After a delicious lunch at Brother’s Amritsari Dhaba we returned to our hostel to try and recover from a twenty-hour travel day and a nearly-sleepless night (shout out to the people blasting Despacito outside our rooms at one in the morning! Love you guys!) During this recovery period, we had a short blackout. In an attempt to find her headlamp and shed some light on a bleak situation, Julia (me) grossly miscalculated the strength of a carom table and took a tumble. Clearly, the beginning of our X-Phase has been as auspicious as could be.
Tomorrow, the twelve new instructors plan to take the three new students to the Golden Temple to teach them about Sikhism and stuff (sick!). Other plans for the next few days of unopposed dictatorship include a visit to the Pakistani border for the daily border-closing ceremony, a trip to Gobindghar Fort, and the devouration of every sweet in Amritsar (Nick-ji told me that “devouration” isn’t a real word – but only instructors get to decide on grammar).
Our reign, though it will be short, will be unforgettable. Lord Acton, whoever he is, said that, “power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This next week will prove him irrevocably correct. We will return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast, and your regularly scheduled instructors, on Sunday, December 2nd. Until then, everything is okay (maybe).
“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command” (Orwell 63).