Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tell-A-Tale (Part 14): Her, INDIA

Warm were her summer days
Spreading her arms wide
Unto acceptance of the unworthiness
With her colours of life.
O how one sing praises of her songs.
Of her beauty.
Of her grace.

- Sharma S.N. -

Her Jaipur, the Victorious City was a construction of infinite shapes and colours. The majestic Rajasthani city speaks of ancient gloriousness with the majestic City Palace and Amber Fort. Pink and crimson hues steal the daylight from the Old City, only to resonant as one at sunset. Life begins with the first beam of sunlight and the Jantar Mantar (Royal Observatory) is a testament of the superiority of the sun in sustaining the order of the day, and life. Her bustling Johari bazaar sparkles with fabrics that can untangle even the saddest of expressions of a woman.

13 May 2008: Bomb blasts in Jaipur killed 60, injured 150.

A city of love should be a measure of devotion, not the amount of bulbs lighting a lifeless metal structure. Her city of Agra spoke of such with conviction as Shah Jahan devoted his mortality to completing his “teardrop on the face of eternity (Tagore)”, his Taj Mahal, in memory of his deceased second wife.

But is devotion mere beautification of a mausoleum?

Or a startling Agra Fort overlooking the mausoleum and the holy Yamuna River?

No, devotion was his imprisonment in the fort by his own son, Aurangzeb and his last, perpetual glimpse of his love through the window, as he exhaled his last breath.

Her Mughal-reigned Old Delhi humbles the largest of men. Lal Qila, the Red Fort greets its visitors with a stunning entrance, the red-sandstoned Lahore Gate, promising a view of the respected, royal, liberal Mughal governance.

Cleaned and barefooted, worshippers walked on the burning ground to reach the largest mosque she offers. Patience is part of faith. The grand Jama Masjid. 40 metres high, the climb to the top of the minaret further described the vastness of her Delhi, her pride. The wind seemed to guide the eager ones towards the right direction.

The chants and veda inscriptions in the Laxminarayan Temple or Birla Mandir transports one to a state of meditation, and serenity.

25 July 2008: Bomb blasts in Bangalore killed 2, injured 20.
26 July 2008: Bomb blasts in Ahmedabad killed 56, injured over 200.
26 July 2008: Mumbai, Calcutta, Surat and New Delhi were on high alert.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, north. The exhaust fume from the "horn, please" trucks spurs a welcoming gesture onto the passengers' face, from Kalka onwards. They were mostly trucks of apples, the in-season fruit. Scandal Point, Middle Baazar, Lower Bazaar; they promise happy faces and beautiful mountainous smiles. The Jakhu (Hanuman) Temple and English Christ Church remind us of guidance we all need. At over 2200 metres above sea level, one can never not be curious to know the Tibetan life beyond the Great Himalayan Range. It often takes a song to greet. And flowers to know.

She had been kind. For the usual, awaited cooling rain did not dampen our clothes or spirit (not even once) during this time of heat.

I left with a melancholic song.
Wrapped with praises and hope.

I wish her peace.
I wish her well.

Her, beautiful India.

32 comments:

CUMI & CIKI said...

gorgeous! i am going to delhi in sept! cannot wait :D

backstreetgluttons said...

O nostalgic time traveller , we await your next startling intriguing authentic fabled tales & grandeuric reflections of faraway kingdoms as yet undreamt of by staid modern children of Kuala Lumpur who only have 1,2,3 and 4 Utamas & some Big SMALL valleys for giggles

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

so beautiful..so beautiful..awesome..

fatboybakes said...

ARGH, CIKI, i hate you! i wanna GO INDIA.....I WANT I WANT.
hairy berry, gorgeous pics.

Weekend Peach said...

Opulence as an expression of devotion, to me, is equal to charity as an expression of devotion if the execution is the only way in which Shah Jahan is able to cherish the memory of his wife.

You have great storytelling skills, Hairy. To misquote Tagore, one tear-drop...upon the cheek of Weekend Peach.

Rafleesia said...

Not bad for a D40x!

Jason said...

I don't want to just see, I wanna touch the Taj Mahal!

Nic (KHKL) said...

cumi & ciki, you are going to delhi! awesome! so much to see, buy and EATTTT!!!! will be awaiting your experience!

backstreetgluttons, your compliment has indeed inspired this enthusiastic child/traveller to explore further, but can only succeed when the modern financial control takes a better turn. in the meantime, his dreams linger on.

joe, thanks, thanks! glad you enjoyed the post! ;D any holiday plans just yet?

fatboybakes, wow, if you were there, i'm sure your posts would have been different and of course, much more entertaining and insightful. and thanks for the compliment!

weekend peach, opulence is indeed a form of expression of devotion, and always about love, be it in the science of time or beyond the realm of life.

and thanks you for your compliment. if it's a tear of joy, you know he'll be smiling. ;D

rafleesia, hey, thanks for dropping by. D40X is kinda good, i feel. the disadvantage being the expensive lenses.

jason, i feel we should just view in awe from a distance. because the environment has deteriorated the surfaces of this beauty. if we touch it, chances are it'll be damaged further. oh, i forgot to mention that no cars are allow within the 500m radius of the taj. ;D

sc said...

breathtaking pictures dude....btw,in one of your pic, there's a man who looks like he's moving around headless! hehehe

mimid3vils said...

India~~ A place that I never think of I will travel to coz I have so many places 1 2 go ,haha

Precious Pea said...

Very very very nice photos! I have never consider India in my travel list but now you have changed my mind.

LiquidShaDow said...

Hey Nic,
Where's the food?

fatboybakes said...

hairy, i meant to say, fantastic writeup too. you almost made lemongrass cry apparently. but i was distracted by ciki going to delhi...
but really la, india sounds sooo fascinating, i am soooo jeles. (of you)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Very nice pics, Hairy. You know which is my favourite, but in addition to that, now that you've put words to the pics, I also like the one where the Taj Mahal is viewed thru the grilles. Your narration did almost make me shed a tear (thx FBB for bocoring whatever I told him) coz it did seem like it came from the heart.

On to more important things - why is FBB distracted by ciki going to delhi? Hmmmm???? *wink*

durianberry said...

wow they have some great architectures there. Very nicely captured photos!

J2Kfm said...

gorgeous photos. breath taking. I can imagine the heat you must have endured. haha ...

btw,the pic with the construction workers painting the wall, one glimpse and I mistakenly thought the one on the ground was headless ... =P

wmw said...

That pic of yours is like heaven meets earth...lovely!

Nic (KHKL) said...

sc, thanks for the compliment! oh, are you referring to the man painting the red wall ar? hehehe, ya lor, i also din that! haha!

mimi, oh, there are certainly many more places to go! i also have a long list but must save up money first...hehe...

precious pea, thanks you very very very much for the compliment! ;D i guess in a way, india is similar to malaysia. but much richer in terms of history. good food as well! ;D

liquidshadow, haha, good question, dude! will be posting on the food next! i'm really looking forward to it!

fatboybakes, awwww, thanks again for the compliment! you're da bomb! ;D i heard that matta fair's coming up. perhaps you can check out the offers lar. i heard can get up to RM500 off leh. woohoo!

lyrical lemongrass, thanks for the compliment. haha, i guess your favourite is mine as well! ;D so sweet of you to shed a tear. just like my friend, the weekend peach...hehe...

haha, i guess fbb wanna go to delhi as well lor. hehehe

durianberry, their architecture is such a wonderful mixture of mostly Persian, Mughal, Hindu and Islamic elements. fantastic! and thanks for the compliment!

j2kfm, thanks! haha, you are right, dude! got sunburnt by day 3 already. skin's peeling off as we speak..haha!

yeah, i also just realised the headless man when i read sc's comment..haha!

wmw, thanks thanks! but i must confess that the man in the last picture is not me leh...hehe..but i like how the arch embodied the whole picture. ;D

christine said...

gorgeously describe..magnificent place..its definitely one spot ppl shall not miss during travelling..i love the taj mahal pic thru the grill too..breathtaking

ling239 said...

nice photos.... any one of them can make a good postcard ~ ^_^

Shell (貝殼) said...

Good Job!
You've shown your colourful & wonderful India^^

Camemberu said...

Wow!

The photos are so gorgeous and the prose so thoughtful, that I didn't even think about food for once.

Yeah, India's never been on my visit list. You too, are changing my mind.

♥ ♡ Alvin ♡ ♥ said...

wowww brother u r so rich! so fast your makan trip reach india already!!

Nic (KHKL) said...

christine, thanks! i'm glad you enjoyed the post! ;D india is indeed a country of rich colours and culture. oh, food as well ;D

ling239, woah, thanks for the compliment! ;D ya hor, i should have developed some photos and send as postcards as souvenirs. so much cheaper than keychains..hehe ;D

shell (貝殼), thanks, thanks! i hope i did this beautiful country justice. it was indeed colourful! and flavourful as well..yumz!

camemberu, glad you liked the post! well, i must thank my books for the inspiring descriptions. oh, the next post will definitely make you think of food ;D

and i'm glad you are putting india on your list! i was amazed by the history and of course, food! ;D

alvin, aiyoh, not rich at all lar. now, lagi broke. i got semi-free accommodation there...hehe..that's why can eat more, i guess...hehe

Big Boys Oven said...

wah very lovely lar! now my heart pulak wants to go to India! lol!

Live2Talk said...

Did you learn how to do a sexy Bollywood dance there? How to play 'hide & seek' between the bushes ;P

Tummythoz said...

Gorgeous (pix, words) & sad (news of the beautiful country's killings). A very emotional post.

Nic (KHKL) said...

bigboysoven, glad u liked it! it is indeed a nice place! wei, matta fair akan datang! ;D

live2talk, haha! hide and seek? i did that! hiding from the scorching sun! haha! skin starting to peel off d...haha!

tummythoz, i feel the same way (about the blasts). i was in delhi when the blasts took place. definitely sad watching the news on tv. sigh....

brad said...

nice, awesome pictures!

ladyironchef

Nic (KHKL) said...

thanks, brad! i had a fun time shooting in india! well, got sunburnt as well...haha!

** Fishball said...

very very nice pictures! you make me miss India so much. when i have been there, some part of Taj Mahal is under construction, so...

Nic (KHKL) said...

fishball, thanks for stopping by! and thank you for the compliment! ;D oh, when i was there, one part of it was under construction as well...sigh, too bad lar, hor? sighh...