Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pilgrimage to the Taj Mahal

            I realize the word "pilgrimage" carries with it a spiritual connotation, yet I can't think of a better way to describe our journey to the Taj Mahal.  It felt like the kind of expedition one would need to take to appreciate a destination of such significance and beauty.  We had to leave early- literally at sunrise.  The trip was long- I can’t remember the last time I was on a bus for so many consecutive hours (unless you count the trip back from JFK to Albany- but we’ll leave that one for another day).  It was hot- I think everyone was pretty much drenched in sweat by the time we arrived.  It was crowded- I have never seen such traffic before in my life (I don’t think I’ll ever complain about traffic on 787 again).  We needed to stop and take breaks along the way.  These weren’t just rest areas- there actually are a couple of smaller sites you needed to see before you arrived at the big one.  But it was something we all did together.  I think each of us appreciated it just a little bit more because of that.  I personally feel the adventure to the Taj Mahal is what it was all about.  When you first look upon the structure, you can't help but be in awe of its grandiose elegance.  You need to look at it from afar for a while to really take it all in and appreciate it what it is you're seeing.  There's an optical illusion of sorts associated with the Taj as well- as you walk towards it, it actually looks like it's getting further and further away. I saw it as just another opportunity to really appreciate it before you get inside it.  Because once you’re inside, it kind of loses a lot of its majesty (“This is it?  Really?”).

            After taking some time to reflect back on the journey I can truly say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience (as awesome as the Taj was I really can’t see myself going back- sorry).  But it was the journey that we all went on together made the payoff that much more rewarding.

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