I thought being part of a bus tour round North India might be a bit naff but I was a fool and stand very much corrected. It was fantastic. The three of us-Anoushka, Mary and me plus six others plus our most divine and noble leader went from Jaipur to Udaipur to Agra plus some places in between, seeing the most incredible forts, palaces, temples and sights on offer. Just as I was beginning to get bored of looking around old buildings-which was after about two, my interest was brought right back by funny tour guides who tell you the story of each building brilliantly with a couple of jokes thrown in plus the use of phrases like ‘lovely jubly’ I can assume to make us Brits feel at home, if of course our home were an episode of only fools and horses. I’ve had to be actively restrained from buying yet another pair of harem trousers but it just seems like they have been made specifically with me in mind- bright, absurdly colourful, baggy, pyjam-like and covered with elephants, this is all I ever want to wear for the rest of my life, I shall never again suffer the discomfort of skinny jeans or have my butt on display when I bend over for I shall merely float around in my giant, wavy, harems with my matching tie dye t shirt and elephant print bag.
I don’t know if it’s the romantic story behind it, the fact our mother told us posthumously she wanted us to see it or the fact that it’s one of the most hyped up buildings in the world-(a wonder no less) but the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking buildings I’ve ever seen, she glows when you look at her and asks that you remember the love a king had for his queen, love that defied death, made history and orchestrated 22 years of building the most celebrated tomb in the world; the love, admiration and pride the people of India have for the Taj is clear and apparent and I imagine is shared by any tourist who is lucky enough to see it.