Taj Mahal – beauty my eyes couldn’t behold

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Taj Mahal – beauty my eyes couldn’t behold

As I am a person from the subcontinent, I had been seen the photo of the the Taj Mahal since my very childhood. To give a list of places from my memory, the photo of the Taj Mahal was in

  • Barber shop/hair saloon
  • Library
  • Tailor shop
  • Uncle XYZ’s house
  • Small canteen
  • Book of seven wonders
  • Photo studio
  • ……….
  • ……….

The list could go on and on. The white marbled palace was something I encountered at least once a month. I thought, what so special about it? Then, I read about it and said to myself, oh, yes, it must be beautiful, at-least the description of it says so, if not the photo.

When, I went to Agra, I kept it for the very last. I asked my guide Bali Muhammad to take me there in the last. As per my suggestion, Bali took me there right after we took our late lunch in Agra. The tuktuk was parked in a dirty, narrower alley. At that moment, some persons approached me to offer to take my photo inside the Taj Mahal.  I denied straight away without thinking anything. However, I lost to their sales technique, their words were convincing. Bali said that, he would wait there outside of the gate. I just need to give him a call, he will pick me up and drop in the Agra Cantonment station for my train to Delhi.

I bought the ticket of the Taj online, when I went to the gate of the Taj, it created some confusions. I was supposed to get a bottle of water along with a shoe to wear inside the Taj. They did not wanted to give it to me initially for some reason, but, I could get held of it finally. It happened only after my photographer told that, I bought a “Bara Ticket” means “Big Ticket”. Those who doesn’t know, there are different pricing for Indian and foreigners in the Taj.

When, I approached toward the gate of the Taj, I wanted to slow myself down. I did not want to see it. I wanted to live my life with the imagination, I feared of being disappointed after seeing it. So, every step I took – I took it slowly, carefully.

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I was approaching toward a beautifully big red gate. Suddenly, with all it’s vastness and beauty, it appeared in front of me. The majestic, royal, beautiful mausoleum! It’s just couple of meters ahead of me, I can touch it if I run fast.

The most romantic thing in this world – the beauty that my eyes couldn’t behold.

I stopped in the gate for couple of moments and took a deep breath. There were tons of people in front of it unlike the baby Taj. For the first time in my life, I did not curse my luck for the big crowd, I accepted gracefully that, all the people deserve to enjoy the beauty of it.

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I started to walk toward the Taj. Finally the moment came, when, I could climb the stairs to reach to the main part of it. Before that, I could enjoy the beauty of it with the full frame. I walked in the up, went inside and ended up in the back. Every angle I took, it looked different. The 40 meters high minarets always confused me whenever I wanted to redraw the picture of it closing my eyes. This can be the most intriguing example of perfect symmetrical structure.

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The light started to fade, I came down and started to walk in the garden, at the quieter part of the complex. I started to fantasise that, may be, a Mughal emperor walked down the same path with his wife.

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I heard that, The Taj looks different during the different time of the day and night. I wish I could be there all the days and nights to observe this, unfortunately, the life is too short an busy for me. I had to leave when the sun started to set. I felt a bit pain in my chest when I was approaching toward the exit.

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I tried to imagine, how Shah Jahan felt when he was thrown in the Agra Fort by his son after he finished building the Taj Mahal. He wanted to spent his last days here in the Taj, however he ended up being in the Agra Fort seeing the Taj from far.

Just before leaving the gate, finally, I took a look to this beauty for the last time and grabbed it in the darkness.

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Back to the reality, I have to call Bali Muhammad to pick me up. At that moment, I realised that, there are several gates of the Taj and I didn’t take notice about where he should be. I gave him a call but due to my poor understanding of Hindi and poor sense of geography, everything got garbled.

I found him at last after half an hour of searching, that’s another long story.

When, I hopped into the tuktuk, I broke the silence and asked Bali – “Can we go there again?”. He said, “Why not? We can go there again tomorrow”.

I took a deep breath. Life is too short for me 🙁

Fuad Omar

Fuad Omar

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