Finally! We visit the Taj Mahal. We have booked a tourist package and a touring bus picks us up from a metro station. We drive down to Accra and have to endure a hot day of Indian tourism before we are dumped at the gate of the Taj Mahal, where they let us in and we have about forty minutes to look around. Yeon is really enjoying the building and I’m happy to see that. It is an interesting piece of architecture indeed and it’s better than the postcard. One of the world’s major tourist attractions it is, and there are a lot of visitors taking their presence and their task documenting it very seriously. A sea of cameras waits patiently to capture the building.
The actual tomb inside (this is the greatest monument a man has ever erected for his deceased wife) looks beautiful, and I like the decorative flower-shaped inlays, which I study for some minutes. But we have to be quick, and jump back in the bus. We will halt a few more times on the way, and they bring us home too late, without a decent apology. Once again, converting myself into a tourist is awful.
The next day I stay at home and try to write but it seems the demon or whatever it is that has ever helped me crafting my sentences and stories, has left the building.
Once, an old man was rowing his little boat. He whistles a melody he knows from long ago. The he takes in the oars. With a pencil he scribbles some notes on a piece of paper:
“rowing around in circles, creating meaning that we can’t understand ourselves. rowing in circles, pretending it is a straight line in order to keep going. rowing in a straight line, pretending circles in order to suspend the meaning for the time we are old and may need it.”
He picks up the oars again and continues rowing. He has built his house on a small island and every morning he is rowing up to the mainland to buy bread.