It sucked.

The End.

Ok ok, I suppose I should write something but Im not posting any pics because we all know what the Taj looks like. While we were in Vrindavan my family was all into going to the Taj Mahal, which isn’t that far away. I find the Taj to be so super lame and cliché. Ok, seriously, ticket prices are ridiculous, for Indians its super cheap, like 7 Rs. but for non-Indians its 700 Rs. So my husband thought that as long as my family and I don’t say anything they wont realize that we aren’t native Indians. I can pass for native Indian, my sister and Dad can pass for Indian. My Mom on the other hand, with her light complexion and freckled face coupled with her short brown hair, didn’t fool the guards. My husband instructed us that if anyone asks, tell them we’re from Bangalore. We stood in line and the guard checked our tickets, he took one good look at my Mom and told my husband that there was no way she was Indian. My husband quickly changed the story, saying that we were all from Bengal and my mother had no clue, so when the guard turned to her and asked “where are you from?” She grinned and said “Bangalore”. Yep, my husband had to go back and buy the expensive tickets before we were let through. During the ordeal my sister had managed to go through, and while she waited for us a female guard asked her a question, she couldn’t respond and she rejoined us.

So the Taj was built by some king with three wives and he liked the third one best (they always do, sheesh) and built this thing for her when she died. I guess some people find it romantic and a wonderful expression of your love for someone. Its lame. You stand in a ridiculously long line that goes around the building a couple times and when you go inside it’s a dark room with two tombs, one of Shah Jahan and the other of Mumtaz Mahal and then you leave. Exciting, I know. I think if I were into historical architecture this would have interested me more because Wikipedia talks about a bunch of stuff that I didn’t really take notice of. Or I just looked at it and thought, “well that’s Muslim-y” and that was it. The thought of people getting their hands cut-off after it being built wasn’t so appealing to me either. Meh.

The Yamuna has been getting smaller and smaller due to her separation from Krishna. The Yamuna runs right behind the Taj Mahal. My husband told a story that there is a balcony that Mumtaz used to look out of from her palace and the Yamuna was so close she would look at her reflection. Its kinda romantic I guess.

So while we were outside the building I could faintly hear Srila Prabhupada singing the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. I pretty much thought I was going crazy. That maybe the line was so long I started hearing things. But even after I had gone through the Taj and we were just hanging out outside the building, I could hear it. I mean, I didn’t want to be at the Taj but would I literally become schizophrenic from not being in Vrindavan? As we were leaving I could still hear this music faintly, it was driving me crazy, did no one else hear it? Why is no one saying anything?! Finally I turned to my Dad, “Do you hear that? Its way off in the distance?! That music?!” My Dad shrugged, “Yeah, its Prabhupada chanting Hare Krishna.” And that was it.

At that point I realized something. Love was not found in that man who made a marble house dedicated to a decayed corpse. It was that personality who gave us a house the whole world could live in. Love is not seen in monuments and buildings, but is depicted through our hearts. Srila Prabhupada loves Krishna so so much that he cant contain himself, he has to share it with everyone. That is love. We look for love in all the wrong places and for all the wrong reasons, but Srila Prabhupada is so kind, an embodiment of true love, that he distributes love of Krishna freely, he is so eager for us to taste what he tastes, to give us a glimpse of his love for Krishna so that we too can rekindle our lost love. Srila Prabhupada loves us so much that even here, even in the most odd and random place you can hear Srila Prabhupada:

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare….”