Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Taj, the New World Wonder

Bill Clinton once said, that there two kinds of people in the world - those who have visited the Taj Mahal and those who haven’t.

Many moons before Clinton made the statement a bunch of British colonialists who visited the Taj Mahal looked long and hard at this man-made wonder and proclaimed.. ‘What a waste of Marble’. My thoughts exactly!

Call me a hopeless unromantic, but really it’s the most grossly overrated piece of real-estate on the planet!

But now that it’s official, the Indians are quite obviously ecstatic, finally something to vindicate for the embarrassment caused by Bangladeshi cricket team, and then by that coach who to take up the team India job. They tell me it’s was quite a campaign for the Taj, with everyone SMSing to vote, and Orkut being filled with ‘Vote for Taj’ messages.

But let’s take a step back here; wasn’t the Sigirya supposed to be the 8th wonder of the world?

Well it turns out the Environmental Ministry (a.k.a JHU HQ) didn’t feel it fit in well with the ‘Sri Lankan culture’. I mean a huge rock with paintings of naked women with large boobs, built by a guy who was hiding from his brother having murdered his father, by burying him in a wall! Hah! Sounds like a story cocked up by the opposition, or other ‘elements trying to discredit the government’, surely that sort of cultural infidelity didn’t exist in the 2500 years of history in this country!.

But Truth be told, nobody really knows what happened to Sigirya, who cares? There are far better stuff to know about - Mervin and his Porsche for example.

Now Taj Mahal on the other hand has a far better story than the sigirya, one of love (pyaar) and that too for your own wife! Clearly a significant achievement given the times, just ask kashyapa; Or DM Jayaratne for that matter.

But Bill was right; you have to visit the place. At least to realize that it’s overrated.

But I’m being too mean to the great Mahal, it’s a majestic structure, it so happened that it was scorching hot the day I visited to the extent that any ‘romance’ that were there must have evaporated. Not that I had any love interest on site, even if I did I was rather pre-occupied looking for a safe place to keep my foot in the burning marble.

But I’m glad I went (multi-part travelogue coming soon) and what can I say, I’m flattered by the fact that they made it a world wonder soon after.


Lakmal said...

I wonder why they forgot Seegiriya.

Anonymous said...

Good one!!

I remember once seeing an article featuring a book review titled "apata puthey ratak athey" (my son we have a country), and it was published/produced by the then "sinhala weera vidahana" ..and the cover had a painting of a woman wearing a sleeveless blouse holding a baby..

and abt a week later i see an article in the paper as a point of reply to that review. According to the article,in the original painting the woman does not wear a blouse, but rather is bare chested! no problems in being bare chested, i am sure the painter had the best of intentions in depicting mother-son love, but so much for our "Urumaya"..whoever dressed the woman in a blouse for the book cover apparently felt ashamed of our Urumaya.

Sam said...

If anything in India be a world wonder, it should be Indian railway :)

Theena said...

Not to take anything away from the Taj Mahal, but I was really hoping that Sigiriya would be in.

Deane AKA ~CC~ said...

i think you have to SMS for these things Theena.. dont happen just like that.

Yeah Anon. nice story, i should dedicate a post on this.

Anonymous said...

What about that mahinda bugger's cabinet? that's a world wonder you know?!

Just Mal said...

Sigiriya is just not in the same league matchang. How many people outside Sri Lanka would even have heard of it?

Deane AKA ~CC~ said...

Ya True Mal. i donno whether it counted anyway since this is 'man -made' wonders... and apparently there was a huge list which was short-listed.. and then voted on. so way.

Amara said...

"it counted anyway since this is 'man -made' wonders"

Deanne, Sigiriya is man made wonder. Yes the rock is natural, but the wonder is not the rock but the developments on top of it and around it, which are man-made.

I dont think SMS voting thing would work fairly for this. Its a wrong selection method. There can be a great wonder, which people havent visited much or a wonder people are not aware of much or a wonder located in a small country with less population. All this will make less number of votes. The selection should consider the greatness of the wonder. AAZ poor country like us cant promote Sigiriya and get international votes. So, i think our govt should oppose to this and get Sigiriya added to the list , probably thru UN.