The Beauty in White – Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal View through the Arched Gateway


Just as I was waiting in line to pass through the arched doorway I saw a part of the Taj Mahal and I thought “ Why do people go crazy about this building? It’s just made in marble” and “ I don’t think this building was made out of love for a woman.” Just as I passed through the archway and my eyes caught sight of the Taj Mahal in its entirety a lump formed in my throat and my eyes welled up. I could barely speak. I had visited the Agra fort just before that and was spell bound by the architecture. But the Taj I fell in love with her the first time I held her in my eyes.

Taj Mahal

The Taj is definitely a woman. I believe the Taj Mahal was the love of Shah Jahan’s life. Anyone who had the time and money and the vision to build such a monument is truly an artist. If it was a Hindu Temple before the Taj. Good for the country we need such symbols. For all those who keep fighting and trying to explain that it was a Hindu temple before it was looted and demolished by the mughals to become the Taj. Well we don’t know for sure because all that happened before our lifetime.

Yes, the Mughals came from another region, brought with them another religion but look at how much we have assimilated from them. Look at the architecture they have left us. It’s mind boggling.

Each emperor or country which has ruled these lands which we now call India have left is richer in so many ways and poorer in many more ways.

Our country cannot move forward when we just keep looking back at the past.

I suggest we take a glimpse of the past take what we need and leave what we don’t need. Learn from the mistakes people have made and build a nation which is the greatest man has ever seen.

Stop dissecting the #TajMahal folks. It is heart wrenching when something of such beauty is hurt by so many words and thoughts. If the UP tourism book does not include the Taj. Whose loss is it really? It’s an architectural marvel which has been seen as a symbol of love by millions around the world. Grow UP Tourism.


Train Tales – On Reservation

Open the door for the woman, offer a seat to an old man standing… Acts of chivalry???? Or as some people put it an attempt to impress the world. 

What should you do when you hold a reserved Window Seat ticket on the train and a women comes and starts eyeing the seat? Do you give it to her or do you ask her if she has a reserved ticket and if not that she should get into the unreserved compartment or the ladies compartment. But unfortunately some people who don’t hold reserved tickets are allowed to board a reserved compartment and some of them even demand to be allowed to sit. 

I wonder if we will be able to kick some sense into some of these people who demand that they be allowed to sit according to their whims and fancies. 

There will come a day when reserved compartments will only seat people with reserved tickets. Not railway workers/officials or paan chewing men or seat demanding women. Indian Railways has a long way to go.  


Of Window Seats and Passing Greenery

Ever since my childhood I always loved the corner seat right beside the window be it in the car, train or pretty much any form of transport. Who does not love the feel of the wind on the face? If you don’t you are weird, trust me real weird because even the Dogs love it. 

So my seat of choice when booking my ticket on the Indian Railways App is the Window seat. I love sitting there watching water bodies, patches of greenery and houses of all hues and colours pass by. 

I have been noticing that a lot of these green patches of land have now turned brown. No not with the shit that people love to take near railway tracks but by land developers who are fast converting these pieces of agricultural lands into potential disaster zones. These pieces of land have no proper drainage facilities and each plot when constructed on will have its own bore well. So the way I look at it, we folks DESTROY TO DEVELOP. 

The Greenery is slowly Passing Away. 

Flying Indigo to Nagpur

I travelled to Nagpur in March and inspite of protests from my dad that I travel by TamilNadu Express I decided that travelling by air would keep me away from Pan-chewing and loud mouthed nosey travellers. But I was proved wrong.

Early morning flight to Mumbai was good. I flew Indigo and I have to say they have a pretty neat airplane and some pretty hostess’s. Next was a 4 hour wait at the Mumbai terminal to catch my connecting flight to Nagpur – The City of Oranges. It was such a relief to be back on board another Indigo Airlines flight for my new san diego vacation. But I was surprised to see about 30 people of assorted age traveling as a group. They were all hyper about being on board and there were some loud-mouthed discussions about beaches and firangi nangi women. I assumed they were returning from Goa via Mumbai. Even while the flight was preparing for take off some of the younger men of the group were busy taking photographs of the air hostess’s who seemed tickled by the extra-attention they were getting.

The minute the flight was in the air and the seat belt sign was gone the lone old man (addressed as “Kaka” by the rest of the group) sitting next to me by the window seat jumped out and was opening a bag from the overhead cabin I was worried that he had some medical condition and needed to get his medicines and but he starts whistling at the young air hostess gives her a big smile and takes out a huge packet of Haldiram’s Bhujia Sev from his bag. Next with a smirk on his face he yelled out to the air hostess just like he would yell at a servant maid and asks her to bring cups. The air -hostess rushed to get them all paper cups. Now Kaka ji fills his paper cup with Bhujia Sev and passes the pack around so that the others in his group could also have their fix. [1]


Snakes on a plane or Snacks on a plane #youprefer

Next, another man rushed to his bag and pulled out several oranges and soon the flight was filled with that citrusy smell. Kakaji offered me a cup of Bhujia Sev and some oranges. He gave me gyaan that it was the best food in the world I did not really want to eat Bhujia Sev at about 12 noon so I politely declined his offer. He was not happy and he realized that my Hindi was shaky and asked me where I was from and when he realized that I was from Chennai he started praising my Hindi saying that Madarasis dont speak in hindi and how come I could speak passable Hindi? He asked me a lot of questions for most of which I just gave a smile.

He introduced himself as a Wholesale Cloth Merchant from Nagpur and that he and 28 members from the Nagpur Cloth wholesellers association were returning from their annual vacation. It was Goa this time and he went on and on about all the white women in bikinis and how they all had a mast time. Soon it was time to land and the air hostess’s were busy asking people to put their seats in the upright position. I had to use the washroom and I was gone a a while.Next is what I gathered from an air hostess.

Apparently Kakaji wanted to sit on the aisle seat (so he could rush out first after the plane had landed ) and requested the passenger on the aisle seat to move to his window seat. The gentleman had moved and Kakaji took his aisle seat. At about this time the plane hit a air pocket and the Bhujia Sev and Oranges from the over head cabin rolled out and fell on Kakaji’s head.

It was quite a scene. The air hostess’s had to ask everyone to remain seated while they went about the job of collecting the oranges for Kakaji while he sat in his aisle seat with that smirk on his face and his hair filled with Bhujia Sev.

[1] The scene reminded me of this ashram in a city I used to live in like amsterdam and those littleamsterdam apartments. You could just walk in there and sit around the swamiji and get free drags on his chillum. The swamiji was too stoned to realize that the people were there for his chillum and not for his stoned discourses on life and death. 🙂

Temple @ Iyengarkulam

Temple @ Iyengarkulam, originally uploaded by The Pseudonym.

Beautiful Temple. A Longtime Back. Sad No One is here and it seems to be abandoned. I could not see the insides. But I loved being there. The Breeze was great and there were these set of kids who were so happy that we were photographing them. I felt joy. Joy like never before. Looking back now, I don’t even know the name of the temple.