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Monday, October 31, 2011

Romantic Taj Mahal Working Its Magic


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It was around quarter to nine in the morning. The Taj Mahal is packed with tourists. I couldn’t capture its beauty the way I wanted to since it was still foggy, and it looked like it wasn’t going to improve any time soon. I still have more than an hour left before I meet my friend outside the complex. I decided to find a bench where I can sit down and just appreciate its beauty. I always try to sit down in a place, church, temple, or mosque I go into, and not just take photos. I believe that all these grand and sacred structures deserve to be appreciated and respected.

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entrance to the Taj Mahal

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early morning at the Taj Mahal
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winter fog, makes the Taj look mystical

I saw a bench on the western side of the complex. It was the only one empty. I sat down and just looked at the Taj Mahal and realized how romantic it really is. I met a couple at the hostel who told me the same thing. But I never really thought that I’d feel the same way when I saw it up close.


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For people who are not that familiar with its history/inspiration, the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan, in memory of his third wife who died during childbirth. His wife’s remains are now kept in the mausoleum inside the Taj Mahal.

“Inspired by love and shaped to perfection, the Taj Mahal immortalizes one man's love for his wife and the splendor of an era.” Source: Here


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“Let the splendor of the diamond, pearl and ruby vanish like the magic shimmer of the rainbow. Only let this one teardrop, the Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time... “ (Poet Rabindranath Tagore)

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beautiful walls of the Taj Mahal

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calligraphy of Persian poems on the walls of the Taj Mahal

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Taj Mahal Mosque

And then for some reason I thought and prayed “Taj Mahal, please work your magic.” I just really wanted to try and see if it's going to work. lol.

And then I saw this guy who I thought was just passing by. But he came over and asked “Do you mind sharing the bench?”

We shared travel stories, backgrounds, all the things you talk about when you first meet a person. What was funny and interesting was when he mentioned that he saw Thomas Friedman (author of The World is Flat and From Beirut to Jerusalem) entering the Taj Mahal. For economics graduates like myself, it would have been great to meet him and have a photo taken with him. So yes, it was interesting to meet someone who also knows and likes Thomas Friedman books. And to meet someone who was easy to talk to the first time around. And in India, for that matter.

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After taking photos of the Taj Mahal and conversing some more. We decided to find a cafeteria inside the complex.

And then I saw my friend while nearing the exit, and we both decided to leave and go back to the hostel to eat breakfast. So I said goodbye to him. And that was it.

It wasn’t really the person that made the experience funny and interesting. It was more of the fact that somehow, for some weird and random reason, someone heard my thought/prayer.

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Sorry for being so cliché and cheesy. But I found the whole experience quite sweet and romantic.

The Taj Mahal and a bench. And oh, he’s got blue eyes. :)