The Border Security Force soldiers are unfailingly polite and hospitable, but conspicuously armed and resolute. We go no further.
''Why do you need to go to the border? There is nothing there,'' we are told over endless cups of chai with progressively more senior officers, all of whom refuse us permission to travel beyond their cantonment, or photograph ''the fence'' a few hundred metres away.
The border these men patrol is not India's antagonistic front with Pakistan, nor its contested line with China.