Friday, April 22, 2005

Will someone make one of these for me when I die? I doubt it.

If you had to select one image that conjures up the beauty of this country, what would it be?
It's huge, it's fat, it's made of an immense quantity of white marble, and it's mindblowing, as much for its size as for the sheer work required to create it. And of course, for those of you who have feelings, it must mean something too that it is a memorial built for a dead woman by his grieving husband.

The Taj Mahal is astounding, and amid the filth and degredation of India it is a majestic reminder of what this country achieved in earlier times. Twenty years in the making requiring the labour of some twenty thousand men, the scale and beauty of this monument is probably without comparison. Entering the gate is akin to walking into an oasis. Gardens. Birds singing.


It's fabulous.

The sight is serene, it gives you goosebumps and your heart almost melts. You wish you were sitting here with that special someone and enjoying the moment, instead of it being just you, your water bottle and your foul smelling sandals. Still, Lady Di came here by herself, and ... right, I'll move on from that analogy.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves, though of course no image can truly capture the intense majesty of this building. From afar it so ... white. Up close you marvel at the intricate work of coloured stones inlaid in marble, the arabic calligraphy that lines the recesses, the statuesque minarets that elegantly frame the entire scene. It's like nothing else on the planet.

Walking around it makes you feel somehow more relaxed, you indulge in a little self-reflection and you think that maybe it is possible that you could love someone so much that you too would build such a monument if you had the cash. Personally, I think I'd use Lego. Infinitely cheaper, and you can smash it to bits if you change your mind.

I love it. More so the second time around.

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