India was a part of a five country 5oth birthday trip which consisted of a 6 week-long trip with the first leg being a visit to India with a final destination Taj Mahal. Travel has always been a part of my life. I travel because I am intrigued with how other people live. I love the colors, the hustle and bustle of a big city. New Delhi did not disappoint. I was on sensory overload most days. I can honestly say it was and still is the only place I have both loved and felt such intense frustration at the same time. The diversity of cultures, languages, religions and food are among the many reasons I fell love with India. It is one of the oldest societies in the world. On the other hand the begging on the street, the caste system now hidden, the overwhelming levels of poverty is mind boggling. I recently heard the term ‘compassion overload’. I honestly believe that this is what I experienced when I was in India. While it appears the term is usually associated with caregivers and therapists I believe that’s what I felt in India in one short week. I volunteer and donate to many causes and give money to beggars on the street. It was frustrating when I realized that no amount of money or volunteer time can solve the situation in India in my life-time. But there is always hope. What are we without hope?
India offered enough adventure for a life time. When I left I loved it but questioned whether I would return.
The Taj Mahal was built in honor or Emperor Shahan’s third wife who died giving birth to her 14th child by the Emperor. Although he had many wives, his third wife was said to be the love of his life. The initiation of the building began one year after her death and took twenty years to build. The building is perfectly asymmetrical. In the pictures below you will see there are four minarets surrounding the building. Theses spires were built in such a way that if a earthquake happened, the four spires would fall away from the tomb. A team of 20,000 artisans, 1000 elephants were used in building the palace. Muslim scripture line the walls of the building.
Of course a trip is not complete without a visit to a couple of Toastmasters Clubs.
Yes I do take cheesy tourist photos (I just don’t post them often)