Saturday, June 26, 2010

Games Spirit with Sufi Songs at Wagah Border

As preparations got under way to hand the baton over to the Indian side early on Friday morning, the deceptively pleasant early morning breeze gave way to the scorching heat as the day wore on. Much like the relaxed bonhomie at the border seemed to give way to a race to be heard above the other, as both the Pakistani and Indian performers tried outdoing each other.

So while the other side belted out one rousing song after the other even as spectators danced to loud music, on the Indian side, the local performers dancers and folk singers who had come from the North Zone Cultural Centre, tried to drown out the din from the other side with energetic performances. Helping the Indian performers was the BSF band. The enthusiasm of the spectators on the other side of the border could clearly be seen, as groups of young sports enthusiasts and schoolchildren clapped and danced to the music. On the Indian side, it took the combined performance of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Wadalli brothers to shake the spectators out of their seeming stupor.

Interestingly, the level of enthusiasm on the other side seemed to be in tandem with the performances on this side of the border, with the end of a song or performance signaling the start of another on either side.

The spirit of patriotism seemed to reach its peak when the baton came over on the Indian side. Spectators clapped as the baton was handed to boxing stars Vijender Singh and Mary Kom.