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1-min read

Wah Taj! It's an artist's inspiration

The Taj Mahal, the eternal symbol of perfection and love.

Varsha Pillai | http://Justajoo

Updated:July 5, 2007, 4:12 PM IST
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Wah Taj! It's an artist's inspiration
The Taj Mahal, the eternal symbol of perfection and love.

Mumbai: Some call it monument of love, some say it's a tribute to beauty, for some it's the perfect postcard and for some it's a must-have show piece.

The reasons for everyone may be different but bottom line is, everyone wants to capture and preserve their moment with Taj Mahal. Tourism apart, the Taj has always been an inspiration for artists.

Says art connoisseur, Neville Tuli, "It's inspired everyone who's ever seen it - whether it's romantic couples or people in advertising, cinema or fine arts. There is always something they can take, and then they transform it the way they want. I don't think any monument in the world has been photographed the way the Taj has been from all angles."

From being framed by well known photographers from all angles, the mausoleum has found itself the subject of many books, the most popular being Taj Mahal by Raghu Rai.

And the inspiration continues in different forms of advertising as well. Artists themselves believe that the monument is still very much the tar-mortar symbol of love.

"The Taj would probably inspire artists in Cuba and Indonesia just as it would inspire artists in Cochin. I think in terms of culture, specifically, it will have a global reach," says artist Jitish Kallat.

And even popular culture cannot but be impressed by the poetry that the Taj Mahal stands for.

Eulogised on 70mm, the story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal in 1963, starring Pradeep Kumar and Bina Rai, the Taj is not only the backdrop in this film but also stands for the king's deep love for his wife.

The story was revisited in 2005 as Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story by Akbar Khan with actors Zulfi Syed as Shah Jahan.

So be it Bunty aur Bubli to Umrao Jaan and more recently, The Namesake, the lure that the Taj Mahal holds for our popular culture and the arts remains undaunted by the passage of time.

(With inputs from Atika Rao and Suchetna Ray in New Delhi)

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