[從觀光客變背包客的印度行3]My first time to be a backpacker in India_ Agra
照著旅遊書的指示到了其中一家「頂樓房可遠眺Taj Mahal的旅社」Shanti Lodge，的確可遠眺只是「隔著鐵窗」，既然明天一大早就會去Taj Mahal，當下雖然有點失望但就接受吧！
We followed the instruction of the guidebook to Shanti Lodge (Hotel), since it is said the rooftop room has good view of Taj Mahal. After we got to it, we found Taj Mahal could be seen from here only through iron grating outside the room. Although we were somewhat disappointed about it, we still accepted, for we will visit The Taj in the early morning.
Although the guidebook recommends to visit Taj Mahal as it is open at 6am, we still arrived there after 7:00. Tour guides always came to foreigners just after their entry. Diky rejected all of them since he couldn’t understand their English. However, I was moved by an old guide, for he said if his introduction didn’t satisfy me it will be free. Therefore, Diky and I went around The Taj separately.
旅行書上說「Taj Mahal見證一份的千古愛情」，導遊說那是一位國王(Shah Jahan)在幫他生了14個孩子的愛妃Mumtaz Mahal過世後，為紀念她而動員上萬人力，費時20多年才完成的白色大理石陵寢。假如這流傳的故事為真，那麼我就好奇為什麼有眾多妃嬪的Shah Jahan如此鍾愛Mumtaz Mahal？Mumtaz Mahal有什麼過人的魅力？只是這些問題都不是導遊或旅行書會有答案的。
A guide book said, “Taj Mahal is testimony of eternal love”. My guide told me the Taj was build by Shah Jahan as a memorial for his loved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died for giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Some 20,000 people from India and central Asia worked on the building. It was not completed until 1653. If the historical records were true, I was curious about why Shah Jahan would pay so much attention on Mumtaz Mahal, even if he had many other royal ladies. Mumtaz Mahal must have special attraction for him.
Taj Mahal是世界遺產點之一，有人甚至恭維它是「世界上最美的建築」，我無法斷定它是否「最美」，但它的確「很美」。Taj Mahal有很完美的平衡結構，白色大理石主體讓它總是散發著光輝。導遊說，不同時間造訪Taj Mahal會見識到它不同的光芒，據說在有月光的夜晚它是紫色的(我最愛的顏色)，這說法讓我很想再訪Taj..
The Taj was designated a World Heritage Site in 1983. Somebody said it is the most beautiful building in the world. I could not judge whether it is right, but the Taj is really very beautiful in my point of view. The Taj is made of semitranslucent white marble and has perfect exercise in symmetry. The guide said it shines in different color in different times a day. In the full moon night, it will be purple--my favorite color. That makes me consider visiting the Taj again.
1小時的解說後，我自己逛了好一會兒，連Taj musem裡每件館藏都細看了，卻再也沒遇到Diky。當初分開時沒約定會合的時間地點，想說再遇到應不難，且兩人都有印度手機門號，但當下就是聯絡不上他。 在進場的西門口等了一會兒仍徒勞無功，於是先去訂從Varanasi折返Delhi的機票，寄明信片。然後在旅館附近一間大落地窗的餐廳吃午餐，心想假如他在附近逛我會看到他的。
After one hour guide, I went around everywhere in the Taj by myself. I even had a thorough visit in the Taj Museum. However, I didn’t meet Diky anymore. I’ve tried to contact him by phone several times or even waited him near our entry gate for a while. I had no choice but to start my solo journey. First, I booked my flight and found a mail slot by myself. Then, I choose a restaurant with big windows near our hotel and still hoped to see him on the street.
After finishing many new postcards, it’s time to leave. The last words I wrote, “ Since Diky was my only companion in India, I was afraid to lost him. However, this situation happened now. Even though I was eager to find out why, I still have to wait to understand the meaning of these coincidences in my India trip”
落單後，我自己搭人力車前往Agra除了Taj Mahal另一個必去的景點—Agra Fort。Agra Fort起初被建造時是個軍士基地，Shah Jahan在位時用他最愛的白色大理石素材讓他成為一個宮殿，後來他篡位的兒子將他囚禁在這裡，每天他只能隔著Yamuna River遠眺Taj Mahal。因此在Agra Fort旅人無不尋找遠眺Taj Mahal的點拍照。但我對Agra Fort一進門的大樹印象深刻，因為當時正熱，假如不是底下已有一群印度人占據，我會選擇在那兒小歇！
Agra Fort is another highlight in this city. This red-stone fort is one of the finest Mughal forts in India. The fort was built primarily as a military structure, but Shah Jahan used his favorite building material-white marble transformed it into a palace, and later it became his gilded prison for eight years. He could only view The Taj from here everyday. Therefore, all tourists try to have a picture of The Taj in Agra Fort. However, the only big tree there impressed me most, for the sun was scorching. If there were not Indians clustering together, I would choose there to rest for a while.
Agra Fort逛完才不過下午3點半左右，還要去哪裡呢? 附近有個Jama Masjid清真寺，估且散步過去吧！沿途Agra Fort紅色的城牆依舊在一旁，還發現有個綠意盎然的市民公園緊臨Agra Fort城牆，裡面有很多印度人或坐或臥非常悠閒，我也很想離開繁忙的道路到裡面歇一會兒，但影單形隻實在不敢！ 一路走到了Agra Fort Railway Station附近，Jama Masjid近在眼前，但我就是找不到過去的路，問了幾個人，答案都很模糊。想到在Ahmedabad清真寺看夠多了，且沿途已經收集不少Agra Fort不同面相的風貌，於是心滿意足折返。
I finished my Agra Fort visit around 3:30pm and then walked to Jama Masjid nearby. On the way, I found a civic park just outside the Agra Fort. Many Indians enjoyed their leisure time there. It’s a pity I dare not to do it by myself. Finally, I got to Agra Fort Railway Station and saw Jama Masjid was near. I asked several people how to go there, but the answers were always unclear. I thought I’ve visited many mosques in Ahmedabad, that was nothing to give up this. I was already satisfied by the views I’ve seen during the process. In the meanwhile, Diky called me by another cell phone number.
實在不想和他共進晚餐，於是一個人往Taj Mahal北門的路走去，這條路很寬敞，一旁還有許多行道樹，但就是沒人，幽靜到令人懷疑這裡是印度。路的盡頭是Yamuna River，由下往上這兒也是另一個欣賞Taj Mahal的點。 那天傍晚特別挑了稍微高級的咖啡店犒賞自己，一邊寫著明信片「其實一個人的Agra也相當充實，雖然無可避免遇到很煩的人，但只要態度夠堅定，他們也不能怎樣。一個人反而能更自由地在想停留的地方停留，也許這也是Diky想要的自由吧！」
When I met Diky again in the hotel, he didn’t say anything. I ask him why not contact me earlier, he said he thought as least we would met before taking train. As a result, he used WiFi to search other Chinese nearby and went to Agra with them. I felt he didn’t care about me at all, so I rejected to eat dinner with him and went around the north gate of the Taj. That road was full of trees but no other person; the quite atmosphere let me hard to imagine I was still in India. I came to the bank of Yamuna River and had a final look to the Taj.
Last, I had my dinner in a good café and wrote a postcard to myself, “Although I inevitably bothered by those who tried to beg or those who were too eager to chat with me, I could always reject them successfully if my attitude was firm enough. My Agra solo day was quite fulfilling, since I could stay in where I preferred. Maybe this kind of freedom is also what Diky wants.