Hustlers, homeless bodies, stray dogs, rattling rickshaws and everyone has something to sell me. Agra train station is an ordeal. I battled through the chaos towards symmetry: the Taj Mahal.
There it stood, a teardrop on the cheek of eternity. Perfect order surrounded by an imperfect world. The problem with the Taj is it’s overphotographed, but nothing prepares you for the rhythmic combination of curves and lines, shadow and light.
Of course, it’s a circus of mass tourism, but a zen-like state of calm permeates. There’s no pushing, just a respectful, orderly queue to get a picture on the Princess Diana bench. I had to wait ten minutes for nine Koreans to make multiple peace signs before I got mine.
One stupid shot for Instagram and a respectable one for my darling mother.
There’s something comforting about the permanence of Shah Jahan’s masterpiece. We are situated between daily life and the world of true understanding and monuments like this remind us which is more important. The sun never shines all night and no man can live forever but the Taj will always stand.