A Poignant Blog Piece.

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.)
taj posingPICT4618

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”
taj 2PICT4624

Light and Shadow

This photograph was sent to me by a friend who found it on the internet to illustrate a story that he wanted to convey to me. The story, for this post, is unimportant but the photograph caught my imagination. Whoever is the photographer, my compliments to him for this very effective way to convey how an Indian mausoleum looks from inside. There are many, particularly in the Northern parts of India and I am unable to figure out quite from which one this is. The most likely place is the Agra Fort.
light and shaldow3525728810_c19fd47bee

I then searched for something suitable to post along with this post and found this wonderful poem at this blog.

“Shadow of Light”

Written in 2001 for no particular reason.

Despair’s the path of life I walk,
The shadows in which dwell
A goal I seek with all my heart –
Escape from any hell.

Fear and terror bar my way,
And darkness blinds my sight,
But all these things will flee before
The shadow of a light.

The journey’s rife with sorrow… pain…
At times it’s hard to cope…
But I’ll endure… search deeper still…
Where burns the flame of hope.

Simply beautiful.