Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Longing



378th years ago, Mumtaz Mahal or The Chosen One of the Palace, passed away after giving birth to her 14th child, out in a tent while touring for her beloved husband's military campaign, where Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan fought for his empire.

Mumtaz was portrayed as the perfect wife with no aspirations to political power. She was a great influence on the Emperor, apparently often intervening on behalf of the poor and destitute.The intimacy, deep affection, attention and favour which the Emperor had for Mumtaz Mahal exceeded by a thousand times what he felt for the other two wives.

Too distraught at the loss of the unquestioned love of his life, the emperor was inconsolable and went into secluded mourning for one year - he came out with his hair turned white, his back bent, and his face worn. Thereafter, he ordered for the construction of Taj Mahal - symbol of devoted, undying love to his Mumtaz Mahal, his third wife - as one of the four promises made at Mumtaz Mahal's deathbed.

The masoleum took 22 years to finish by the greatest Moghul craftsmen available during those days - so stunning no castle in Europe could beat - and she was finally laid to rest inside the magnificient beauty 23 years after her demise. The tomb of Shah Jahan bears a calligraphic inscription that reads; "He traveled from this world to the banquet-hall of Eternity on the night of the twenty-sixth of the month of Rajab, in the year 1076 Hijri."

It is well known fact that to some people, the sight of Taj Mahal is capable to evoke such personal and emotional feeling that tears will roll down your cheeks, sobbing your longing for the true love - involuntarily - just like how poetically described by the Emperor himself, who was imprisoned by his son in Agra Fort till his death, across the city: -

"Should guilty seek asylum here
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion
All his past sins are to be washed away
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes
In this world this edifice has been made
To display thereby the creator's glory"

One of the myths surrounding this beauty relates that once a year, during the rainy season, a single drop of water falls on the cenotaph, as inspired by 1913 Nobel Prize Winner Rabindranath Tagore's description of the tomb as "one tear-drop...upon the cheek of time".

Sometimes, there is this feeling - that you cannot described (what, why, when, where) but at the sight, smell or out-of-nothing-at-all could trigger such emotion, that could render you speechless, gazing emptily into the crowd, listening to the silence when two hearts longing for each other.

Longing, indeed, is beautiful.




Longing - Matthew Arnold

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times
A messenger from radiant climes
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth
Come now, and let me dream it truth
And part my hair, and kiss my brow
And say: My love! why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day

6 comments:

dochisyam said...

Hi Fi sha,
Have you been to the Taj?
I have visited the place three times and each time I visit, I always want to come back.
Across the river Yamuna, you can actually go the the Agra fort and actually go the the exact room where Shah jehan sat in incarceration looking across at the monument to his wife.
I always wished that I don't have to go true that experience.
A few years ago, the Taj has been opened for night visits,, apparently it is more stunning at night.

Go and visit! Tak mahal pun. 3 hours south of Delhi.Tapi travelling in India kena 'tough' sikit.

Doc

Fi-sha said...

Salam

Dear Mr H

I wonder how have you been sir.

No, i am yet to be there and mesmerise my soul with the majestic sight of this symbol of forever love.

Thanks for sharing your experience Mr H and yes sir, one day i'll fly away, fly away to Taj Mahal.

p.s. I was once been to Hyderabad and my new found friends guarded me everywhere like im a princess - i missed out on many great things. Yes, I shall be tough sikit :) next time around sir!

The Corporate Athlete said...

Doc, three times? cool! I went to Taj 3 times too, except one in Agra, one in Shenzen, and the other one in Trengganu .. hehhehe

fisha - if you were to go on fri, it's FREE. or else you (the foreigner) have to pay 550 rupees where as the local is only paying 55 rupees. Go figure!

Fi-sha said...

Dear Bro PT CA

Hehehhehe..3 kali ek? same effect tak?

So, i guess i must learn some hindi, wear salwar kameez, put on a bindi and i might in for RP55..hows that bro? Boleh pakai tak taktik tu?

nightcaller said...

Fi-sha

Nature lovers visited Taj Mahal...
Historians adore Taj Mahal...
Adventurers scale Taj Mahal...
Lovers long for Taj Mahal...

So, when u go, in which category will u go? A friendly advise..go for the real Taj Mahal...the sight is breathtaking and if possible go during the full moon...it will captivate ur mind and energise ur soul...

We need Taj mahal to escape from our mechanised cyber prison. It's back to nature kind of thing when one rewinds and take time to take stock of life...and maybe to exchange notes too...

Finally...you don't need to wear salwar kameez or bindi...a claypot on the forehead and another by your waist will do...and in u go for free :)

Fi-sha said...

Hehheheheh Mr Dnightcaller,

I will go there with an open heart as a human being - as simple as that.

Cheerio!