Yes, that’s right.

For my “outside art event”, as required by the class, I saw the Taj Mahal. While this wasn’t during my time as a student in Macaulay, it definitely was an┬ámemory I will keep with me for a very long time.

In February, my family, some close family-friends, and of course myself went on a “Bharat Yatra”, or what one would call a pilgrimage. It was a way of “closing the circle”, so to speak, because although my great-granparents were born and raised in India, no one had visited since then. So, it was our responsibility to return to the motherland to see what all the fuss was really about.

Growing up, I always heard of how great India is. Although my parents were born in Guyana, which was once colonized by the British, my grandparents, and soon thereafter, my parents always retained their Indian heritage, and so we practiced Hinduism strictly and upkeep our customs. We visited many holy places, but one that stood out to me aesthetically was, of course, the Taj Mahal.

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This picture was actually taken by me on my way out of the monument. But, just looking at it, what emotions are evoked within you?

Upon seeing the Taj for the first time, I was awe-struck. Of course, I had wallpapers previously of the beautiful monument with a sunset in the back and was familiar with how it looked, but seeing it with the naked eye was a whole other experience.

The monument built with marble and pure labor, is truly a work of art. The symmetry of the gardens in the front leave you wondering, “how is it possible that this all came from one man’s imagination, one man’s love for his wife?”.

Although it is not clear in this post, the monument is designed within the marble with beautiful flowers, paisley, and other Eastern styles of art. Inside the monument however, once you walk past the arch, there lies of the tomb of the emperor’s wife. Although the outside of the Taj is most definitely awe-inspiring, the inside was a little disappointing, to be completely honest. There was limited light, most the tomb could not be seen due to security measures taken to ensure that no one could tamper with it, and the tomb was not nearly as ornate as the outside. However, the Taj is nonetheless a sight to behold, and one of the wonders you should make an effort to see at some point in your life.

The picture seen above, was actually taken by myself on my way out from the monument, and I remember thinking on that hot day, “what makes this so special?” I had the same thought when I saw the Mona Lisa in France a couple years ago, but I always wondered – these objects have one thing in common – they are known everywhere for their beauty, but what else? What makes this art so special?

But, as we discussed in seminar, there is no one purpose of art or one definition of beauty. And in that simple, yet enigmatic answer to my own question, I guess I will have to continue to see art until I figure out a better answer!