“It’s the Taj Mahal, it’s a monument of love. People find that romantic.”
“It’s a tomb. There is nothing romantic about a tomb. It’s like a fancy graveyard. Why don’t people take their girlfriends to the graveyard?”
“Oh come on, you know the story. The Emperor had it built for his fav. Queen, and when he was imprisoned by his son, all he wanted was to be able to see the monument so he could be close to his love.”
“Dude, he was an Emperor. He wanted to build something to show off his wealth. And please, you think he knew a thing about love? What, he got workers’ hands cut off after they built the monument. Didn’t think they had someone at home who loved them?”
“He wanted it to be unique, just like his love was.”
“Hey, there was nothing unique about his love. Strip away the mystery and mumbo jumbo, and love is just like all the other emotions... Totally common. Think about it... Love, greed, hunger, anger, sorrow, joy. You find them everywhere. Every human being experiences them. Nothing unique about a King falling in love. If you want to buy into that idea, of course.”
“Yeah? What makes you think he didn’t love her? What about spending ten years staring at it from his prison?”
“Umm, did I mention he wasted a load of money on building that thing to show off? Of course he spent ten years rueing his mistake. If he had used that money in better governance, he wouldn’t have been imprisoned. And his wife died in childbirth. Her fourteenth kid in fifteen years, or something. Not romantic, just sad that the woman had no say over her body, that he had no control over his lust and that he tried to use her death to glorify himself. Oh and it's a totally valid case for birth control!”
“Wow, that's harsh. And so politically incorrect. So I take it you don’t want to visit it?”
“Says who? Of course I want to visit! It’s a beautiful piece of architecture. I’m just not interested in buying the romance that people try to package it with. That’s like saying the pyramids are romantic.”
“You do realise that people do say that the pyramids are romantic?”
“See, you just proved my point. They’re tombs as well. Tombs of Kings with egos bigger than mountains. Nothing romantic about self aggrandisement!”
“Do you ever take anything at face value? Ever just appreciate something for what it symbolises or just let it have a sentimental meaning?”
A secretive smile... an almost blush... a grin. Your hand in mine.
“Yeah, sometimes. But not when I’m with you. You’re too much fun to argue with, even though you don’t counter half the rubbish I spew, even when I know I’m being ridiculous, and even when you have valid rebuttals. It keeps me happy.”
What does a guy say to that?