don’t drag me down to your controversy

lift your eyes toward the sky within you

from here, stand by me and sense your dream

your paradise, your most exalted soul

what’s beauty if it won’t even take you there


do you see the evening light on the ripples?

there, before you beyond the fastidiously

carved quiet balustrade of noontime sun white

i know, its brightness is somewhat dimmed, tinged

with ochre and time, and conversations


with the river and the wind and the surge

in the air: now love, now hate, now betrayal

now treachery, now suspicion, now maligning

drifting about all around, to adore, to deplore

what is beauty if it won’t even invoke that


let your eyes roam over me here, or here,

there were skilled hands, there was unstillable

passion, precision, eyes unblinking, watching for

every sign of perfection, for they’d detected that in

a love mostly imperfect, blameless those eyes and hands


listen, if you still can, if the noise without hasn’t

bludgeoned, hasn’t stolen all that’s yours,

your astonishing pulchritude, your very breath

gasping as you sever ties with your own immanent self

what is beauty if no one wanted it destroyed


three hundred years and a little over seven decades only

not that long if you think about it, that this transcendent

marble has made wonder a destination, children stand

at the gateway clutching parents’ hands, lovers inch closer

you walk down the fine gardens and terraces toward me


i am not mughal, not hindu, jain or christian

no marauder nor ruler, no applicant of power am i

i am the hope of an emperor, i am the fantasy of the visitor

i am the breath of an artisan creating immortality

with his bare hands, i am the name that you take

as if you own me, you, and no one else


you and i, bound to each other by promises whispered

by time, long before either you or i were here

neither tyrant nor tyranny can fathom that

leave them to their games, those controversies

look, the fingernail moon is up

come, stand by me and sense your dream

your paradise, your most exalted soul

what is beauty if it won’t even take you there



never thought the taj would get embroiled in the dirt and mudslinging of politics. right now it is. every day, some ridiculous assertion or claim. today, i think i just lost it. all i could do was write, in the end.

if you’d like to share your taj memories, thoughts, mutterings, please post below. here’s another taj poem and a quick snapshot

indrani’s index