We left Fatehpur Sikri for the Taj Mahal.
The Agra heat was intense; but we were excited for what laid ahead. We checked into the hotel; and after resting for a couple hours, met our guide Ahmet, who took us on a horse drawn carriage, to the Taj Mahal.
Once we made it thru the east gate, into the courtyard and thru the final gate, the Taj Mahal presented herself to us in her fu regal splendor. My entire life, I’d heard about the Taj from my parents who had visited her almost a half-century ago. I’d read about it in countless books. I’d seen even more pictures of it. And none of can compare to its awe-inspiring beauty, its massiveness in scale, its attention to detail, it’s sheer perfection. To see it is to truly appreciate it.
The Taj Mahal is the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan’s ode to love – to his third wife. After almost twenty years of marriage, she died giving birth to their 17th child. Grief-stricken, he built a monument that would last an eternity as a symbol for his undying love for her. The Taj looks much the same today as when he had it built 500 years ago.
The line to get inside the Taj encircled the building twice over, making it nearly impossible for us to enter given the time constraints. We walked the grounds instead, taking in its perfectly manicured courtyards, its fountains, the mosques on either side (each a perfect replica of the other, and impressive buildings in their own right), and all the Indian peoples.
If India is all about love, which I truly believe she is, then the Taj was the symbol of that love, of which the love between two people the reason for its existence.
And so of course, I thought about love.
I thought of how in the infinite possibilities of so many people on this planet that two people could ever find each other, let alone falling in love. I thought of how people fall in love and why. I thought of how they express that love to each other. And I thought how people rise to new heights, realize the potential within themselves because of the strength they derive from the other person’s love. The odds are against all odds that true love could actually be found. And yet, while gazing at the Taj, I believed true love could really happen.
I’ve tried to find that love and I’m still trying to find her. Looking at the Taj gave me comfort that someday I will.