11.05.2010 - 12.05.2010 45 °C
I have just returned from the Taj Mahal. It is breath taking, so beautiful, sad and romantic all at the same time. Built in the memory of the beautiful Arjumand Bano Begum, who won the heart of a Mughal prince. She was married at 21 to Emperor Jahangir’s third son Prince Khurram and stayed loyally by his side through good times and bad: in the luxurious royal palaces of Agra as well as the transient tents of war camps. Their tombs lie side by side in the main room.
It was so fully walking round, as many Indian families kept coming up to me and others that I am traveling with, and requesting that we be in a photo with them. I have had small children lumbered in my arms, I have done thumbs up with an elderly couple from Bombay (no one here calls in Mumbai by the way). If I had charged 10 Rps (about 6p) for every Indian family portrait I have been into day, I would be at least 50 pounds richer!
I do actually have one really nice photo when a group of older women who had traveled from Nepal invited my self and another girl to sit in their circle and share some snacks with them. They were so lovely, we couldn't understand each other, but one woman kept stroking my hair and skirt- which I will take as a complement.
I did start to question by the end of the day what these families will do with all the photos of strange sweaty white people?? I am still completely oblivious as to why they wished to have us in their photos...
Leaving the Taj Mahal was really hard, there was a pull to the building, it just looked so beautiful and peaceful. It was the same sensation as when you say bye to someone you know you will not see for a long time, just that pull to keep looking back to take one last glimpse.