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Vote for the Taj Mahal

The first and only time (so far!) I visited Taj Mahal was also the first and only family trip I took along with my parents and the sibling. I had just finished my Class X Board exams and was feeling like I had conquered K2. Wandering around the streets of Delhi in the mad May heat is something I wouldn't recommend to anybody but the madcaps that we were, we did it anyway! The day we landed in Agra was one of the hottest days of that summer and I could feel the leftover grey matter getting fried.

The first sight of the Taj Mahal was indescribable. I had goosebumps on my arm and felt the hair at the back of neck stand up. I couldn't believe that in front of me was the Taj Mahal, one of the Wonders of the World, a love icon, standing in that very same spot from the Mughal times.

I have, since then, seen other Wonders like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower but none infused me with the same sense of awe like that first sight of the Taj. This majestic building, standing impressive and somehow lonely, standing all by itself amidst this vast expanse of land stirred something deep within me.

Having grown up reading about Shah Jahan and his testament to his love for his wife, how it took hundreds of men, years and years to complete it. And of course, we’ve also read about how he allegedly blinded the labourers so that they could never build anything half as grand elsewhere. All of which made for some fantastic build-up and the Taj lived up to every bit of the hype – and then some!

As the sun was blazing overhead by the time we reached the monument, the white marble was hot enough to fry eggs. So we didn’t get to do a gentle stroll around it, taking pictures hither and admiring the friezes thither. It was more of a mad dash from one shady spot to another, even as your feet tingled in the contrasting temperatures. And jostle twenty others as we fought for the vantage point to get that particular shot.

Once we came back into the gardens, sandal-ed feet and all, we were hailed by the special photographers milling around us. They promised to get that popular pic of the Taj, wherein you make it seem like you are lifting the impressive monument off its feet by holding to the tip of its dome. My momentary fascination with this vanished when I realised I had to stand there like an idiot, with my right arm sticking up top to complete the effect. Though I balked at this, many people stood so like lemons, though the resultant image made up for it, I suppose.

I have only seen the Taj in pictures and on the telly since and it is my dream to see the Taj at night, to see the marbled structure gleam in the moonlight. I keep telling myself that I’d do it one day, show my son the magic and hopefully see the same awe written on his face.

Living now, amidst the British, I have found that it is the first thing that pops into any firang’s head the minute they hear the word ‘India’. Though the country has a great many icons, the Taj Mahal is our biggest and brightest. Without it as the gateway, the myriad treasures of our country will be lost on the world’s population.

On 7.7.07, a brand new set of Seven Wonders of the World is going to be selected out of 21 worthies. The Sydney Opera House, Petra, the Pyramid at Chichen Itza are some of the icons shortlisted, apart from the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty etc. Not many Indians have heard of this because, as usual, our insipid government hasn’t jumped at the chance to promote this great icon, the one thing that put India on a world traveller’s map. Other countries are vying with one another to get the coveted ‘Wonder of the World’ tag for their treasure. Why isn’t our Tourism industry lifting a finger? As always, it is up to us, the aam junta, to show to the world what a treasure we have in the Taj Mahal. So please, fellow desi bloggers, pass the world – blog about your feelings about the Taj Mahal. And please vote for the Taj! Let the world know it fully deserves to be known as a Wonder of the World.

Posted by DesiGirl 9:45 pm  

9 Comments:

  1. Premalatha said...
    I have tagged you
    http://premalathakombaitamil.wordpress.com/2007/06/22/tag_proud8/
    Amrita said...
    hey DG, i've been a lazy bum. give me till tomorrow pls :)
    DesiGirl said...
    ok but time's running out - tick tock tick tock
    Amrita said...
    Alright, alright... guilt monster! here's my feeble effort: http://indiequill.wordpress.com/2007/06/24/vote-for-the-taj-mahal/

    btw, your vote link is broken. and D-Day is only days away! GASP!

    :D
    Anonymous said...
    whats the big deal about a place where shahjahan used to have gay orgies ? apparently the place is to be renamed faggot mahal, oh and by the way in accordance with the interests of hindus, i wish to reiterate that the taj was originally a shiva temple, goddamn pork loving goat herders made into a monstrosity.
    George said...
    LOL ! That last comment is funny. Pork loving goat herders having gay orgies in a temple. Man what a sight that would've been.

    ....still laughing. Uh oh is that the shiv sena marching on this blog ???? Whats that ? They want to kick the pork loving goat herders out and take over the gay orgy ?
    DesiGirl said...
    george,
    who knows?
    saahith said...
    in response to the comment by mr. anonymous:
    So what? Appreciate the structural intricacy and the structural brilliance of the Taj....there is no historic monument which is not marred by the dark stories of history.... History cannot be undone.... as regard to Taj Mahal as Tejo Mahalaya, the evidence is not concrete and it is speculative
    Free Cloud Hosting said...
    Hi, nice article you have provided.

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