I came there alone hoping to catch the last boat back to Alibagh; people quickly surrounded me, a kind swarm watching at me intrigued as if I was carrying a golden secret. And maybe I was; I didn’t know it at that time, but I was holding a seed deep inside of me, as if I was pregnant. My heart beating uncontrollably after the long run, his voice ringing “We’ll meet again” –You wish, what an arrogance!- I said to myself. I turned my head just to be sure nobody had followed me, and then I saw it for the very first time, and by that I mean I apprehended it. This great architectural body, the Taj Mahal Palace rising up reflecting the sun and establishing a visual dialog with the Gateway of India. Splendid.
Wait a minute. How can a facing reflect the sun in that particular manner at that particular time of the afternoon? Up the Mountain, Down the River? Was not W.H. Auden’s brother who said that the hotel’s peculiar appearance was due to a mistake? The builders could not read the plans that the architect had sent from Paris, and they build it backward.
Damn, busy as I was looking for Art I haven’t paid enough attention to the construction. How could I have missed such a huge, evident feature? No doubt, the Taj is built backward, its front facing the city, its back turned to the sea,…… the last boat to Alibagh is taking me away.
Nohemi Dragonné / Mumbai, 2013