It’s one to read about battles in history books; it’s another dimension to stand on the battleground long after it is over and yet feel the war. Tears prick the eyes, hair stands electrified on goosebumps as one can still hear the screams of those innocent protestors who were killed indiscriminately by General Dyre and his men.

A gentle touch over the holes that the bullets bore through thick brick walls suddenly ignites a flame of patriotism in me and extreme respect for those who fought for India’s freedom. They were no great leaders who engaged in round table conferences to negotiate freedom. They were just common folk – men, women and children like each one visiting the garden that day.

The Martyr’s Well is all barricaded with thick mesh wiring. Yet the dying screams come back to haunt visitors. The only way we visitors get to say our thank you to these unknown martyrs is to drop a coin into the well.

It’s overwhelming. The visit opens up the wells of deep pain from somewhere unknown in the depths of the heart. And suddenly, we are awoken from our somber mood by the melodious singing of a large gathering of children in a local school adjoining the park. Some of them peeked at us visitors from their first-floor classroom, smiling and waving until their teacher called them back to attention. Their innocence brought back a smile on our faces and reinforced our faith in humanity.

We smiled and returned their wave and they treated us with a delightful musical recitation of multiplication tables in Punjabi, while a guard at the garden treated us to some unknown tales of people who laid themselves to rest in this greenscape.