Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Beautiful Tale

India has a rich history. It also has stuff fit for a legend. A king built the world-acclaimed Taj Mahal for a woman who bore fourteen children for him. My wife asked, why commemorate her only when she is dead? What is there to commemorate about a dead person? Men will never cherish what they have. They only know how to lament about their losses. Well, I was speechless!

Today was Friday, Taj Mahal’s off day. The guide suggested that we tour other places first before returning after sundown to take pictures. The scenery was alluring.
Agra is a place that millions of tourists flock to, but I did not like it much. After seeing it for myself, the congested traffic, the herds of cattle, dung, alfresco toilets and weirdos disappointed me. This city is too abnormal. Besides Taj Mahal, the most famous building would be the Agra Mental Hospital.

The guide brought us to see ancient forts as they were the specialties of Agra. Every fort had their unique charm. Agra is indeed a romantic city. The fort built by the Emperor of Agra King faces Taj Mahal at a distance.

The reason why I do not like Agra is because of the ancient city of Fatephur Sikri I toured on the way. There, we can only park our vehicle at the foot of the mountain. We had to take a horse carriage smelling of the animal’s dung up slope. When we reached the ancient city, swarms of bees showered me with their fecal matter.

After completing the tour, we visited a marble handicraft factory which was absolutely amazing. If I had not known Italy's Lorenzo, I would have bought the entire factory. In the end we bought two tapestry set with gems and crystal. We also bought a lot of scarves. We can be Santa Claus back in Singapore again! Ha ha.

Tomorrow looked tragic. At 6.30am we were supposed to be at Taj Mahal, Delhi in the afternoon and flight back to Singapore at night! It takes 24 hours to and fro Singapore and Delhi, so the ten-day tour is actually only eight days!

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