Seeing the Taj Mahal left me a bit confused. Like reading Adiga’s White Tiger- I wasn’t sure what my reaction was or even is weeks later.
The book is not particularly well written. There is nothing especially new about the events outlined – we have at least second hand or third knowledge of such things. Yet I read the book non stop. He is a good story teller and the characters linger on strongly.
The Taj is exactly like all its pictures. Is this all? is one reaction. The sheer size is astonishing though. The beauty is in its simplicity the whiteness, the perfection – the attention to every detail. And the grace of it all. You can just stand there and keep on looking at it.
And of course click a hundred pictures. It is picturesque from any angle. And that’s the sad part of it. The thousands of people milling around are more busy getting themselves photographed with the Taj rather than looking at it. And so did we:-)
Except that we missed out ‘the bench’.
One has to see it at least once in a lifetime. We went in a tour coach ( I do recommend Panickers except for its shoppers stop) and it took us first to the Agra Fort where we got the sad history and were in a suitable frame of mind to appreciate the thought behind the Taj. Although Darshini did keep saying ’ why is this guy going on about honeymooners and romance? What is so romantic about it all?’ I guess the thought about undying love is difficult to really imagine in these cynical times and less so in those harder times. Mumtaz seems to have been pregnant for most of their lives together too. How did a husband stay madly in love even then?