Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Taj...


Her tiny skirt caught on the rusted old seat, as the little boat dipped suddenly. Her pink knee, turned red as it scraped against the much-used wooden floor. But that was too little to keep her still. She was up again, running towards the side of the boat, looking for her favourite place in all the world. Even as the salty spray from the sea stung her eyes and the sharp sun pierced through the back of her head, making her dizzy, she stood there, looking for her jewel, on the other side of the horizon..looking for her Taj...
And there it was, she could see it now. To her tired eyes, the hustle bustle of the Gateway of India was muted. All they could hear was the melodious red of The Taj..her Taj.
Every time their ship came to Mumbai, her 5 year old feet couldn't wait to get onto the lurching boat that would take them to the shore at the Gateway of India, right behind which stood the object of her fantasy. Taj, with its gigantic walls, majestic windows, cool marble floors, leveried waiters who always treated her like the princess she knew she was, and most of all the breathtaking fountain right in the middle of its shiny lobby, which she loved to dance all around, was truly her haven.
And as the boat neared the harbour and the half naked boy jumped over the pier to tie the little vessel to the port, her excitement knew no bounds. Her father had to hold her back forcibly, kicking and spitting, lest she fall off the side and crash against the rocks. As soon as they were at the pier, her parents asked her with a grin, already knowing her innocent answer, "where do you want to go today darling?". And with her eyes bright and her cheeks red, she said, "My Taj".
And off she went sprinting towards it...

Today, that Taj, My Taj is getting ravaged by reasonless men. Its gigantic walls are being blown apart like a pack of useless cards. Its majestic windows are being used as gun slots for shooting down are brave guardians. The cool marble floors are being made slippery with hot flowing blood. Its leveried waiters are being taken hostage and being sacrificed by men who are trying to bring alive their own sordid misshapen fantasies. And the fountain..my pure magical musical fountain is being silenced by the cacophonous disenchantment of a vile death...

PS: This is a tribute to the Taj that I had known, the palace of dreams, the epitome of grace, and to the countless smiles and memories which it gave me and many more like me.. No AK-47 bearing terrorist can kill those smiles or burn those memories...

13 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

A beautiful and very unique tribute to the incident!

Nice to see you back in a new avatar :)

humbl devil said...

let's just hope that we learnt our lessons...

Rakesh said...

Touching to say the least. "My Taj..." fantasies of the little brains, too good Umang.

anuj said...

hmm .. one hopeful thing to say at such times and indeed a big spat on their face.. but these are times to think ..

If someone can hold us for more than 48 hrs in our own house .. we are loosing the battle .. moreover how can somebody just come n start shooting around .. ridiculous !!

times to think n prolly revamp .. or strike back.

Sam said...

Time wud prove tht Taj, Mumbai and India would bounce back with vigor and zeal like never b4......

umangexuberance said...

@sameera..well wherever I went, be it TV channels, or blogs or the office cafeteria, all everyone was talking about was the destruction of Taj, everyone had forgotten what it had been like, it was like they had shot down our very memories
I just couldn't let them do that.

umangexuberance said...

@humble devil..hmmm
I too hope so but I don't think its about the lessons we learn, if we make our hotels safe, they'll strike our airports, then its schools, then hospitals and then its our very homes..
something a lot more than
"learning our lessons"
is needed..!!

umangexuberance said...

@Rakesh..thanks, it really did mean a lot to me as a kid..

umangexuberance said...

@anuj
yes, Its time to think
but what is the solution? Go into their homes and kill them?? but how do you define who "them" are??
Is it the young child walking down a pakistani street "them"? or is it the muslim woman shopping for her first home them?? Is it the business man trying to figure out the best deal for his company? who is "them"??

umangexuberance said...

@Sam
yes they will be..but then is that the solution? being shot down..standing up again, only to be blown up the next minute??

rebel_on_loose said...

I have fond memories of The Taj during my visit in 2005 too...
I guess you've summed it up quite well...
"No AK-47 bearing terrorist can kill those smiles or burn those memories..."

Akshay said...

UUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *&^K ..... I am sooo mad over what had happened in Mumbai..... Embarrassed, ashamed, disgusted, wrecked.....

umangexuberance said...

@rebel
yes, but its not just the memories of The Taj that we have to save, but its the Taj itself and the confidence and faith of people which needs to be rebuilt

@akshay
yes, we are all angry, but we can't let this anger turn into hate and destroy our own country and our people..we have to turn this anger into a revolution to change how things are done and to show the world that nothing can keep us down...