The stress of IGCSE exam was in mind and we needed a purgation of the monotony.
“Same work for long makes you crazy. Why don’t we go for a visit to refresh ourselves,” proposed a friend of mine.
“What place do you suggest this time?” I wanted to know.
Most of us shouted ‘Agra!’
We all have our papers ready and we visited Indian IVAC for a visa. And we all were honoured. Within 3 days we collected train ticket, hotel reservation and necessary papers. They develop on 13th March. We started a journey from cantonment railway station. Moitree express runs twice a week from Bangladesh to India.
The train started and started our adventure. We roamed from one end to another end and found comfort on the dining car for our breakfast. We looked out of the window and everything were running back. There were some rhythms and I remember rhymes from our nursery class. We were singing, dancing and the people around us clapped with approving nozzle.
Getting down at Kalkata Railway Station, it was about 7 in the evening and we took snacks. We took another train to Agra. But this time the same scene from both Bangladesh and India couldn’t reach our eyes. We could only see our reflection in the windscreen. We slept until the next day.
When we reached Agra it was a different scene. Different people of different dress coat, multi-lingual people at different attires and people, maybe they are also tourists. We took a taxi cab for the hotel. Next day we went to see the long expected Taj Mahal.
As per our request the hotel authority arranged a tourist bus. There were more than 30 people all together. We ascended in the bus and it started for the Taj. From a distance the Taj came into view. It made a holy feeling as if I smelled insense somewhere. We were waiting for Taj through branches of trees. The morning sun send its golden glow among the gaps of the tree leaves. We were lucky because we were among the early comers. So everything was calm and quiet. A perfect time for watching the Taj on its waking up. It was on back of Jamuna. So a mist was hanging around the palace. The hoses of the artificial spring will open within a minute. Those are really beautiful at night when they accompany colourful lights. They glory of Taj looks more glorious. When the hoses started spring it almost drenched us. As if a shower of rain had blown over us. A big group of tourists, probably from England arrived. We followed from there. Our guide described how the monuments was built; how the materials were brought from different countries; how many people worked hard to make it one of the 7 wonders of the world. I wandered how they managed it.
‘It symbolizes holy India and you see the India is committing sin. So the glory of the Taj is dimming’, remarked the guide.
I knew that. It was due environmental pollutions. The industries emitting the acids due to rain and fading the important monuments.
Outside a green movement, a tourist group opened a remarked book. I wrote there, ‘Taj is not the soul treasure of India. The world possesses it. The government should protect it banning the industries nearby to save the Taj from pollution.’
The guide related a series of stories of the emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz and their eternal love affairs. But my mind was busy in another field. When he was at the height of describing the sad events of the emperor in the cruel handy of sons I clearly saw a drop or two tears gathered in his eyes.
Robin asked, “Was the Taj built before or after his death?”
“No, no! It was erected last year.” – the guide replied treating him as a lunatic.
“Then how did it got it the book two years ago?” – Robin asked again.
We all gave a hearty laughter and packed up our things. The disk of sun had begun to slide down past beyond the horizon.
A great silent crowd was stepping towards the exit. They were different in colour, age, religion. But they belong to the same spirits and thoughts.
Nancy again asked Robin, “Was it built before or after the death?”
He wisely answered, “Last year.”
Source: Amzad Sir