Agra: The city where love and hate collide; Palash Krishna Mehrotra; India Today

India – Taj Mahal

Looking back, one might call it a designer elopement. My girlfriend and I were running away, to Agra, for a holiday. It was a partial elopement for while her parents – being more conservative – were not aware of our little plan, mine knew the itinerary all along. My father had also deposited some extra money in my account.

In the 1990s India Post offered something called ‘hybrid mail’; he sent me a message: ‘For your honeymoon.’

I was about to leave for Oxford. My then girlfriend wanted us to have a last romantic holiday to remember, only the two of us. We were a self-obsessed and self-sufficient couple, devoted to and absorbed in each other.

The Taj Mahal, the undying symbol of lasting love, was her idea, a happy memory to fan the flames of an impending long-distance love.

The trip to Agra was dreadful.

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