Love transcends religion, caste and other manmade barriers! Much prose and an equal number of lines of poetry have sprung from the hearts of writers and lovers expressing this emotion called love! But, the greatest symbol of love is the Taj Mahal in Agra!
Millions fly across the ocean, to gaze in awe at the magnificent structure a grief-stricken ruler built for his beloved dead wife. The moonlight glaze, the marble sheen, the minarets all speak of an eternal love, that lives on through this spectacular structure.
But, in the state where the Taj stands, a bachelor Chief Minister finds a sentiment, which in his mind is greater than love. “The Taj,” he says, “should remind us of thousands of labourers who built it!”
He sees not love. He feels not grief but hears the sound of pickaxes on stone, craftsmen on marble, and the monument in his mind is dedicated to those workers.
Not to love
“Sir,” says a local as a foreign couple get their picture shot with the Taj in the background, “What do you feel as you stand over here?”
“Love!” says the tourist, “A love I would strive night and day to ignite into our relationship!”
“Sir, but this is about Kishorebhai the mason!”
“Who’s that?” asks the tourist, as his eyes and those of his wife gleam with love for each other.
“Kishorebhai was the one who worked under Prakashbhai! Kishorebhai carried the stones to Prakashbhai, and Prakashbhai cut them into blocks, which Kishorebhai carried back and laid the foundation!”
“Very good!” says the foreigner as he asks someone to take another picture of his wife and him, hugging.
“And sir, those tombs you saw inside..”
“Ah, we cried to see those graves of Shah Jahan and his wife, together even in death!”
“Was made by Kishorebhai’s brother!” continued the local, “In fact Prakashbhai, it is rumoured also had his brother-in-law working with Kishorebhai’s brother on the tombs!”
“Oh really!” said the foreigner as he disengaged himself from the loving embrace of his wife and they both looked adoringly at the Taj. “Beautiful!” whispered his wife, “Will your love for me be like this!”
“I wish I could pluck a flower from these gardens and give you my beloved!”
“Ah sir, meet Harishbhai, the gardener!” says the local, “It is his gardening labour, you have come to see isn’t it?”
The tourist and his wife walk arm in arm towards the edifice of love. They do not see masons, nor hear artisans, but only what true love is. A love which they feel is available for every couple, and whose expression in its majestic awesomeness is found in the Taj.
“Did you tell them about Kishorebhai and Prakashbhai?” asks the local’s wife to him that night.
“But they were only interested in love!” he sighed wearily. “Somebody should tell the chief minister that..!”