Saturday, November 15, 2008

Agra - The Quest for the Taj Mahal

taj mahal photo courtesy of jcole

So I was on a rickety non-AC bus ride from delhi's sarai khale khan station to agra. it was exhausting finding the darn station. it isn't the ISBT station either, but some 10 km from it. i ended up taking 3 CNG (a metered-tricyle taxi). The ride took close to 6 hours. By train, it would have taken me just 2 to 3, but the train hours are so limited and I wanted to get to agra for the night.

It was a bummer though leaving my friend Junaid who will also leave for Kashmir tomorrow, so I might as well go and move on with my itinerary. It's already snowing in Kashmir, thus the smoggy delhi days have been caressed by a comfortable 14-15 degrees at night.

as i reached agra, my bus turned from the main highway to the right then i alighted at an almost deserted dark road. that was a scary few minutes. finally, i found a CNG who initially asked for 20 rupees. while on the road, this fee elevated to 50 rupees and by the time I got off the vehicle, i was asked for a hundred!!! these greedy idiots are just too much, BUT what is a hundred rupee. at least they can buy enough toilet paper for all their shit! (there were 7 guys in this CNG with me, all friends with the smelly driver)...

so, i took my dinner - my first meal of the day - at the rooftop of my hotel. as I stood beside the ledge, there rose a full but blood-red moon, shining over the taj mahal, some 4 kilometers from the distance.

who would have thought i'd be here? (and that is strictly a rhetoric)

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