Day 143

Taj Mahal

At dawn today, we visited one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. It is a majestic white marble monument with immaculate inlay work using precious stones from across the world to form delicate and ornate floral patterns on the inside and outside of the tomb. This is where the Moghul king Shah Jahan and his third wife, queen Mumtaz Mahal are buried. The Taj Mahal was built by this king as a symbol of his deep love for her over a period of 22 years with 20,000 artisans working on it.

While telling us their story, our guide mentioned that the queen died at 39 years of age in childbirth (of their 14th offspring). The king died 35 years later.

Suddenly I felt great sympathy for the king. It must have been very painful for him to go on living for so long after having lost the person he loved so dearly. But he must have found a way. May be it is different for men, especially if they are kings. I wished I could speak with him about how he coped for so many years.

The Compassionate Friends is a charity that provides grief support after the death of a child. This is their mission statement:

“The Compassionate Friends is about transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope. It takes people out of the isolation society imposes on the bereaved and lets them express their grief naturally. With the shedding of tears, healing comes. And the newly bereaved get to see people who have survived and are learning to live and love again.”

This is a 16 minute long film about their work:

What a great cause!

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