Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reflections on the Taj Mahal and What Is and Isn't Awesome





The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful structures in the world by pretty much anyone's standards. Although it is dramatic to see it from the vantage point that provides the typical frontal view, I was most in awe standing close to this famous mausoleum that combines Persian, Ottoman, Indian and Islamic architecture. Dwarfed by it's massive walls and gliding my hand across the cool marble surface, it occurred to me that the word "awesome" gets overused.  The Taj Mahal is awesome. That latest electronic gadget or the fact that I am going to Bali next week is not awesome. 

While I was strolling the grounds and finding interesting views, I was often approached by Indian men who would want to guide me to the best places from which to take a photo. Of course, they were the typical places where crowds of people gathered so they could all snap the same photo. Most Indians speak English, but these men did not. They just couldn't understand why I would want to be crouched in the dirt under the tree at the side, or standing directly beneath the Taj Mahal looking up. I kept repeating "but I don't want to take a photo from there." They wanted to be paid for their ineffectual efforts and eventually left me alone.

As you can see I most certainly did take a typical photograph of the Taj Mahal. I overheard someone complaining that it was too misty that morning, but I relished the opportunity to see it any light. You can see in one of the photos that the mist is rising from the Yamuna River which flows behind the Taj..

4 comments:

  1. Yes, exactly! You want the "different" spot! Well, you found them and I have the notecards to proove it!

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  2. Oops. I spelled Prove wrong!

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  3. I think your misty photos are fantastic! I had a similar experience with mist at the American Cemetery in Normandy. Gave the photos an ethereal feel.

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