A Meditation on school, stardust and the Taj
I was invited to my daughter’s school to make a presentation on Taj Mahal as part of their unit of enquiry for this term: Art. Sixty action-packed minutes of onion domes,floral motifs, pietra dura, charbagh & Mughal empire interlaced with questions, we came to The End. And the inevitable one final question: Did Shah Jahan know his Taj would become this famous?
What really was being asked: Did Shah Jahan realize that some 400 years later, a young boy in modern-day Hong Kong would marvel at his creation?
We’re all stardust - Physics tells us - and yet there are few occasions when we are made aware of that thread that connects each one of us back to that original star. I felt like I had chucked a pebble in a pond and the ripples had made their way four centuries back in time, eddying on the banks of the Yamuna where the fifth Mughal emperor stood conceiving Mumtaz’s home in Paradise.
That ripple carried some sixty students of twenty nationalities along with me. Historical art as time travel - you bet!