India 2013/2014 · Travel writing

My Taj Mahal Toy Tragedy

When I went to the Taj Mahal (and how surreal that I can just write that; that that’s a thing I did), I had a little quest. I aimed to have an experience that was a little bit different to the normal tourist itinerary. And the other day I went through many of my photos from my India 2013-2014 trip and I realised that I had never written about this quest. (It got featured on the OUP blog, but I didn’t write about it myself).

I present to you: The sad tale of Dr O. Yupi;
or, How travelling alone can make you go a bit crazy.

We got the train from Jaipur to Agra, incredibly excited about seeing the Taj – Dr Yupi had been dreaming about it even since we arrived in India. Its beautiful spires were always on his foamy mind.

He made friends with some of the locals. Here he is in the Shahjahan Gardens, looking very proud of himself.

We went to the Agra Fort, one of the oldest and most impressive forts in India. He loved it, but his heart longed for the Taj – the world’s most beautiful building and greatest testament to romantic love.

We tried to get in for the sunrise, to see the pink light play across the Taj’s face. But sadly, astonishingly, the authorities do not permit toys to be brought into the complex. The closest that the Doctor will get to the Taj is to gaze at it from a rooftop restaurant.

He blames himself.