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To The Taj and Back May 1, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Blogging, City , 2comments
Go and visit the Taj

Taj, as I saw it

The Taj Mahal as I saw it was under restoration. It is almost off-white or yellow today and the “Multani Mitti” (Fuller’s Earth/ Bleaching Clay)  is being used to restore or take us closest to its original color, milk-white. If the one minaret which is ready is the benchmark, I agree the Taj Mahal would be closest possible to what it would have been.

I had last visited Taj Mahal some 16-17 years back, in my recollection, it was much whiter  and river Yamuna had more water. Probably now it gets almost 10x of people it use to get, so there are lot many restrictions today.

I have borrowed photograph from my friend & colleague Bill Spicer’s update on FB, Bill and I traveled in what was definitely above 45 degrees to see the Taj Mahal. It was a dream destination for him, and it is not that he travels to India for a living, at least not as of now.
We did “supersonic speed visit” – hired a guide, in this case Dilip Guide, who worked for his money and his tip. Dilip was adequately knowledgeable for a quick trip, but depth was 1/10 of a good article on internet. His knowledge was very functional. 7-10 spots, where to stop, where to talk, where to take pictures, all set before hand and reversed.  We were quick and he made sure that he had Bill get the buck for his money, specially the “been there done that photographs”. We negotiated Rs 1,000/- for his guide trip, and Bill tipped him another 500, for good work.  I am glad, I didn’t carry my camera, with camera I would have been very disappointed as I wouldn’t have taken even 5 photographs in the little time we had. I am sure, on a good sunny day in December, I will be back at the Taj for a dawn to dusk shoot. it would drain me and they don’t allow any food inside, but i think one can manage, if weather is not too bad and one is willing to buy a couple of entry tickets.


Heat definitely got better for us, we concluded that the only way to cool ourselves was to have a chilled beer, and we did, and it helped. I have heard people falling down in the Taj Complex due to heat, not being adequately hydrated leads to enormous sweating not getting compensated enough. This leads to blood getting thicker and making it more difficult for it to reach brain. Person passes out, falls on the ground, if he or she doesn’t break their head, blood starts flowing again due to fall, situation of TIA is handled, more life to live.

Almost everyone over-speeds on Yamuna Expressway, we didn’t. We were at 100 +-10, but it was nightmarish to see a 10 year old Hyundai Santro being pushed to do 120/130 plus. Too risky for the occupants and for all those on the road.
It is a toll road and there are no ATMs on or around the expressway. In 20 years, this Expressway would be completely done with, the amount of construction which has started coming on both sides, would ensure Noida-Agra would be a commercial/residential belt.
I think if they increase official speed to 150 and ensure that every other car which jumps is punished, this expressway would be safe.

 

 

Restaurant in Geneva December 11, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , 2comments

Several years back I  visited this fine Italian restaurant in Geneva, on the north bank of the Lake Genev, they serve some very fresh lake fish with white Homemade Sauce.