Let Taj remain eternal symbol of love

Let Taj remain eternal symbol of love

SEEING the religious politics of mandir and masjid over Taj Mahal, whether or not the mausoleum was actually a Hindu temple, I’m reminded of the aforementioned Urdu couplet penned by Saqib Jaunpuri. - File photo

Sumit Paul

Jaa kar inn arbaab-e-siyasat se ye kaho; Alaamat-e-ishq hai Taj, alaamat-e-ishq hi rahne do (Please go and tell this to the people in politics/Taj Mahal is a symbol of love and let it be like that only).

SEEING the religious politics of mandir and masjid over Taj Mahal, whether or not the mausoleum was actually a Hindu temple, I’m reminded of the aforementioned Urdu couplet penned by Saqib Jaunpuri. There’s no gainsaying the fact that Taj is the ultimate tribute to love and it must be viewed in that way only sans an iota of politics, besmirching its splendid image across the globe and ages. Urdu poet and lyricist Shakeel Badayuni aptly wrote, ‘Ik shahanshah ne banva ke haseen Taj Mahal/Saari duniya ko muhabbat ki nishani dee hai/Isi ke saaye mein sada pyaar ke charche honge/Khatm jo ho na sakegi woh kahani dee hai’ (By getting something as magnificent as Taj Mahal constructed, an emperor gave the symbol of love to the world/It’ll be the future reference point to all love affairs/A story without end is Taj Mahal). Or Mahshar Badayuni wrote from the recesses of his heart, ‘Allah main ye Taj Mahal dekh raha hoon/Ya pahloo-e-Jamna mein kanwal dekh raha hoon’ (Allah, am I looking at Taj Mahal or is it a lotus on the waters of Yamuna). There’s a succinct adage in English: Love needs no politics. It indeed doesn’t need any politics. We’ve been sparring over mosque and temple for ages. Yet, we don’t seem to have had enough of it. Now an innocuous mausoleum of sublime love is being dragged into the murky waters of politics and one-upmanship. This is tragic. Rabindranath Tagore wrote on Taj: ‘You knew, Shah Jehan, life and youth, wealth and glory, they all drift away in the current of time; You strove, therefore, to perpetuate only the sorrow of your heart...Let the splendour of diamond, pearl, and ruby vanish like the magic shimmer of the rainbow; Only let this one tear drop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever.’

Taj is indeed a ‘tear-drop on the cheek of time’. The splendour of Taj is so overwhelming that even the most insensate person will stop and appreciate its eternal beauty. British reporter, broadcaster and travel writer Trevor Fishlock once said, ‘Taj is a marble (marvel) metaphor for the architectural excellence.’ It sure is. See it on a moonlit night standing on the banks of the Yamuna. I bet, it’ll transport you to a different realm. I experienced this ethereal feeling when I observed Taj on a moonlit night from a distance. It was Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata exquisitely played on the piano of time. Even the sight of grand Pyramids at Giza, during the twilight will not give you the kind of goosebumps that you get when you see the Taj in fading light, suffusing and subsuming its wordless beauty, charm and mojo. Enjoy its breathtaking beauty and keep it away from politics.

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