065 / People Posing
065 / People Posing
If Agra would not be the host of the Incredible Taj Mahal, it would possible be as famous as Hasselt or Saint Denis. One hit is enough to become a global star. The Taj has been named by many the most beautiful building on the planet, and unless my eyes rest on a more mind-blowing construction in the future, I join their camp. It’s a sight that only exists on postcards and computer desktops for years on end. On television you see famous people posing before it’s delicate fountains since childhood. Until that very moment you walk throught the red colored entrance gate and you feel an excitement that you can not easily explain. It’s a bit like the minute before you would meet Nelson Mandela in person I guess.
When you arrive in front of schrine, the only thing you can do is try not to blink you eyes. It has the force of a USS aircraft carrier but the subtleness of a cello player… The hundreds of people who are there at the same time dissolve in the air for a minute. Your postcard comes alive. As you walk closer, it’s sheer size humbles. “Should I touch it, if only once…?”. When I walked back from the monument, passed the crowds that noisily come and go like the waves on a rocky coast, it struck me how funny everybody acts when posing in front of a monument. I decided to take some pictures of random people posing…
My motoricksaw wallah drove me around sunset to the other, more intimate side of the Taj Mahal, just across the river. There, I entirely understood the magic on India for the first time. I felt even ready to write the introduction of the Lonely Planet 2011 Edition… A group of youngsters were celebrating the end of the Ganesha festival in a ritual that consists of putting a big elephant like Ganesha god floating into the river. Their joyful moves blended perfectly in the peaceful scenery. A bunch of local women and children could not get enough of having their picture taken and looking at it on the little screen of my amazing camera.
That night in the rooftop bar (with mandatory Taj view) a quick talk with a rather pale looking guy from New Zealand about the quality of the local beer evolved into a Rajasthan discovery trip for the days to come.