I came across this blog post by accident when I was searching for something on Agra/Tajmahal. I am reproducing a poignant part of the post here and leave it to you to visit the blog if you so desire. It is a pity that the blog writer has not posted anything after this post. He writes well about India.
“As I’m leaving the inner sanctum I fall behind a group of six Muslim boys. They’re in their late teens or early twenties, and have whispy beards that make them look over-eager for manhood. They’re Indian, from Hyderabad. This is their first time at the Taj Mahal; it’s a pilgrimage of sorts. The boys are wearing white prayer robes and skull caps; they dressed for the occasion. Before entering the tomb they washed their feet and faces and hands to honor the dead, alone this morning in using the Taj’s prayer facilities.
Two of the boys have camera phones. They don’t do the yo-yo dangling picture, though they do strike poses that bring them to the foreground and sends the Taj to the background. They wear solemn looks on their faces. They’re trying to look serious and thoughtful. (Photo: The boys posing for photos.)
Of the six boys, one doesn’t pose in any of the pictures. He seems to have no interest in having his picture taken.While his friends rotate the role of photo subject, he stands or squats by himself and recites prayers. While praying he rolls his head on his neck with his eyes closed. Like Stevie Wonder, I think. Then I realize there’s a reason: he’s blind.
They move on after the other five boys have had their turns getting their pictures taken with the Taj Mahal. The blind boy waits until the smallest of the other boys leads him. They link arms. As they move from room to room inside the tomb, the blind boy pats his bare foot across the door frame to feel out his steps.
Settled in the next room, the other five boys take another round of photos, one boy at a time. The blind boy turns his back to them, so that he’s facing the marble wall inlaid with precious gems. While the others take photos, he runs his hand over the wall, closely, gently; praying.
In that moment I take a picture of him. It’s the one I’ll always remember the Taj by. I call it “My Taj Mahal”