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Monday, November 02, 2009

It wasn’t just another day.

On October 31st, since it being a Saturday, my entire class (attending the training with me in Delhi on Child Rights & Protection) decided to go to see Taj Mahal in the city of Agra. We decided to travel by a bus with other passengers and my classmates were 15 in number. It took almost 4 hours to reach.

First we reached Agra Fort. This is where some of the mogul emperors lived and ruled. It is amazing how intact and strong the structure looked in spite it to have been built about 400 plus number of years ago. One of the emperors had 1000 concubines and apparently he was a very caring man towards these women but he built a small prison to put them in when they fight among themselves.

Then we reached Taj Mahal. Because of the pollution and security concerns, we had to get off the bus about 0.6 of a mile (one kilometer) and take horse/ camel cart or a battery operated motor vehicle to reach there. I almost felt like the whole of India was out there that day to see the Taj Mahal. Easily, there might have been about 40,000 people when we were there.

It took us about an hour of standing in line to get in to see the structure. We were standing in concentric circles around the Taj and moving inch by inch. Actually that gave us an opportunity in the evening’s cool breeze of Yamuna River, to study the structure in detail. I was completely awestruck by the architecture.

It was built about 450 years ago when there was no electricity. Entire building was built manually and it took 24000 people, 32 years and 32 crores of rupees of those days. It was built entirely with locally available materials. Taj Mahal was built by an emperor called Shajahan in memory of his third wife named “Mumtaj Mahal”. When the first two wifes bore no children, he married Mumtaj who gave him 14 children and died at the age 34 during child birth.

With the kind of details I stated above swirling around my mind, I wasn’t impressed to call it a ‘symbol of love’ but certainly an architectural marvel. When we went in there, it was a bit dark as the dusk had already set in. I touched some of those colorful stones that were ingrained in to the marble and one of the tourists flashed a light on to those stones and they changed color. It was an absolute treat to the eyes. Before I knew it, I was pushed out of the Taj Mahal by the people standing behind me.

I didn’t want to go home empty handed from this symbol of love but I absolutely had no idea what to buy for my wife? When we went into one shop of local items, my eyes fell on one item I knew my wife will certainly like it. When I heard the price, I swear to God my heart skipped a beat but I wanted it so badly for her I gladly paid for it. You keep guessing till I show it my wife to surprise her on November 22nd. .

After all, October 31st was my birthday and it certainly wasn’t just another day. I got a call from my dear wife and the kids to wish me and I just knew that I am blessed.

1 comment:

Nirmala Ravi said...

Belated happy birthday Ruby. I know I am not able to follow your blog as much as i love to (blame it on work and a demanding child). I do visit once or twice in a month and read all the pending posts though.

As far as Taj is concerned I do admire the beauty (though I have not visited) but somehow I do not accept it the symbol of love. It is written in various places that shajahan got the hands of the sculptors cut so that they don't build the similar beautiful structure anywhere in the world. For me that definitely is not love. It definitely is architectural wonder.