Wagah is a village 30km west of Amritsar, straddling the border between India and Pakistan. It’s the only open road crossing between the two countries. Every evening, the armed forces on both sides simultaneously perform an elaborate gate-closing and flag-lowering ceremony, which has become something of a spectacle for both Indians and tourists.
I arrive there at about 4.30pm, after the experience in the spiritual obstacle course that is the Mata Temple. I am directed by the guards to bypass the long Indian queue and go straight into the VIPs’ and foreigners’ stand, which is supposed to provide a better view. Except that, in the foreigners’ stand, a number of men – all of whom are tall enough to see everything from a seated position – seem intent on standing, so that they can record useless, unwatchable videos of everything, ensuring meanwhile that neither they, nor anyone behind them, sees any of the proceedings with their own eyes.