When I dreamt of India, I dreamt of Rajasthan: its faces, its colours, its saris, its food. But first and foremost, I dreamt of the Taj Mahal.
The first glimpse of the Taj Mahal is like a dream, a dream filled with grace, with symmetry, with immaculate beauty. Shah Jahan managed to pull off a true tour de force by fulfilling his dream of building paradise on earth. But you are swiftly taken out of your daydream just as quickly as you fall under the spell of the Taj Mahal; it’s 6 o’clock in the morning and there are already hordes of tourists streaming inside one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. We can’t help but think our idyll with the Taj, as the locals call it, can’t be over quite yet, that we have to find a way to see each other again.
First, we try to meet up at sunset. For how long have I dreamt of capturing your lines and your reflections in the Yamuna river, in perfect symmetry? I quickly learn that I am going to have to empty my pockets if I am going to want to make my dream a reality, though: bribing a number of security guards in order to jump over a wall that seems insurmountable. I quickly realise that we’re barking up the wrong tree and that we’re going to have to find another spot to meet up again.
We manage to see each other again at nightfall, under a full moon that reveals your curves and symmetry even more. Our love affair is getting stronger with every minute, but again, the presence of hundreds of tourists does not allow me to appreciate your true beauty.
We go to bed, and decide to set an early wake up call. We have set up a date with you tomorrow in the hopes of continuing our idyll.
5am, our alarm rings! We quickly get up, we absolutely can’t miss our rendez-vous. We will probably never get this opportunity again: we were promised an early ride in a rowing boat. We wait and wait by the side of the road, but our messenger never shows. As night fades away and the first rays of sunshine start peaking through, we manage to scramble into a tuk-tuk headed for the Yamuna river. Our messenger appears, a few minutes later, riding his motorbike, confidently. After many negotiations, we manage to board a boat just as the sun starts warming you up.
We cant believe our eyes: the spectacle you give to us leaves us speechless.