India's love letter crosses the border
Times of India - 25 March 2006
WAGAH BORDER: It was their labour of love for the world's largest love letter. About 45 porters gave up some 10% of their day's earnings to carry the letter over the 250 metre-stretch ahead of the Indo-Pak border at Wagah.
The love letter that will be unfolded at an appropriate venue. The intricately painted borders would then occupy pride of place in chosen Pakistani schools. The rest of the letter would be donated to NGOs to be used for making emergency shelters.
Talking about the collective decision to carry the love letter for free, Karamjeet Singh, an LCS porter, said: "The two countries are so close together. We interact with the Pakistani LCS porters every day, they are just like us.
Yet we fight. If this initiative is going to bring permanent peace, what is Rs 50 for it. They said they are carrying a lot of love. How can we charge for that?"
Not every part of the letters' passage was as smooth though. The crossover was delayed by more than two hours (they managed to cross just fifteen minutes ahead of the scheduled closure of the border gates) as the members of the organisation waited for special ministry of external affairs clearances for their Indian members, after an unfruitful wait all morning for a meeting with PM Manmohan Singh who was in Amritsar to flag off the Nankana Sahib bus service.
The meeting did not happen but the team was offered seats in the inaugural bus, which they refused for "logistical reasons".
But once the clearances had been obtained, it was a battle hard fought and well won. "It feels strange to be leaving India after so many months, but I can't wait to get to the other side.
They have been waiting for us with the welcome bands for all these hours we spent getting past the bureaucracy here," said Yoomi Lee, one of the members.
|It may be long before the law of love will be recognised in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another. -- M.K. Gandhi|