Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Taj hugging story

For those who wonder where I have been, I was off to Agra to meet the dead queen :P
Quite literally this month has been the most apt definition of adventure, not necessarily pleasant though. With a weekly record of losing almost everything valuable, including a phone (and hence no communication for days now on) I have done it all. This trip was with the Mumbai friend who had also (like many of us) not seen the Taj Mahal! Back when I was a little girl, my mother showed me pictures of her first trip after marriage ( I won't say the word!) and there she was, standing as tall as the Taj Mahal and touching its tip with her fingers! The photo caught my fascination and ever since I had been wanting to make "the" trip to Taj Mahal. We also visited the ruins of Fatehpur Sikri. A small advertorial note: choose youth hostel if you know not where to stay!
But, all the minute travelogue details apart, I have been asking myself, why write a travel entry? You would surely find a million others on famous places as such and once they are old, the information obsolete. Also, I have realized that increasingly, my travels are not about the place, they are about places within. Astonishingly how, while reprimanding a wicked bus conductor or bargaining with a guide, frowning at the fellow tourist or laughing as you eat aloo tikki in Taj ganj, every street, every wall, each man's two eyes and every woman's pocket holds just one little thing out to you: mirrors. They keep reflecting facets of you that come out, or are born in not-so-ordinary circumstances.
Coming back to this trip, as we walked patiently entering gate by gate to see the white marble monument of love and grandeur, people's voices kept ringing in my ears. Many told me how I'd be disappointed,how places don't live up to their hype. For me, it wasn't true. It was so gorgeous that we circled it for almost two hours before we even touched a brick of the main building. Almost postcard-ish in memory.
Such was the romance of the dead silent place it continues to ooze in bits and pieces, I can hardly visualize it entirety. While leaving, as I hugged it, I donated two beats of my throbbing life to the slumbering queen inside.

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