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Pushing the warm, feather quilt from my face, the sunlight fiercely blinded my eyes. Yawningly, I stretched my arms. The room had large windows from which I could see the greenery outside. Lazily, I crawled to the end of the bed and as my feet touched the ground it felt painfully cold.” We are going to see the Taj Mahal today”, announced mother. Excitingly, I tiptoed to the large window and sat on the ledge. The view was amazing. There were fields surrounding the house and, discreetly, grazing cattle was seen.
It picturesque scene was very attracting and persuaded me to continue to admire it. There was a knock at the door so I had been forced to escape from such view. As I opened it, a man walked in with our luggage. “They must have servants too”, I thought. What an easy life!
Washed, dressed and ready for an interesting day out, I walked through the corridor and down the stairs.
My mother and auntie were having breakfast at the dining table and father was reading the paper in the lounge. There were a variety of dishes for breakfast, all set out on the table, but I was tempted to try each of them so I could choose which one I most admired. Having fulfilled my hunger, my cousins were told to give me a guided tour around this huge residence.
They spoke very little English but I was embarrassed at the fact that I was unable to speak my own national language.
As they leaded me up the circular flight of stairs, I noticed an oval shaped pond on the side. These features were seen to me as walking around a palace. Eventually reaching the top, we walked into a huge spacious room, which was only furnished with an average sized snooker table. My cousin handed me a cue and striking the ball on the table, my uncle called us down. Leaving the room, I definitely knew what I was going to be doing as soon as we returned from the visit tonight.
We divided into two cars and my sister and I were put with our cousins. It appeared abnormal to see very little traffic on the roads and also for it to be so quite. The driver inserted a cassette into the system and the music was very catchy and rhythmic. Admiring the scenery, I noticed sugar cane plants, hundreds of them, and there were labourers cutting them down. As we drove off this country road it was fairly obvious that we had entered the city. The city of Agra. The home of the Taj Mahal. The roads were congested with traffic, people were cycling to work, children were walking to school and this was everyday life. After following directions, we fortunately arrived in time before the busy hours.
Enthusiastically, we walked towards the large wrought iron gates, which had a counter for where you paid the admission charges. The snow white building stood out dramatically from miles away. It was enormous and tourists near it at the time looked like ants from a distance. Leading towards the building were gardens with flowers that had almost every colour in the rainbow and even more attracting were the fountains that entertainingly danced in the waters. The scent of roses roamed the air but departed as we moved away. Approaching the ninths wonder of the world I was amazed to see the architecture and labour that had been performed to build such structure.
The story of this building fascinated me immensely. It was ordered to be built by a king in the memory of his beloved wife. His wife had died at a young age and to show how much he loved her Shah Jahan directed more than twenty thousand men to labour for twenty years until it was completed. Inside the building were both the king and his wife’s graves. A beautiful marble screen surrounded them and all around the room were lit candles releasing a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The flames danced to the movement of the breeze. The tranquillity and manner of humanity in this area was very respectful and strict. Visitors remained quite at all times and volunteers who cleaned and supervised this palace appreciated this. Leaving the palace, after a knowledgeable visit, I was now looking forward to my next excursion throughout India.
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