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Photographer's Note

I met David Dobbs in a tea shack by the River Yamuna, near Mehtab Bagh in Agra. It was Christmas day.

I had taken the car at 6 in the morning with visibility in the fog a mere 6 feet, with aspirations to go to the other side of Yamuna & catch a glimpse of sunrise on the Taj Mahal from the other bank. Braving the white wall like fog, I did reach the destination, but with visibility barely improving, the hope of getting the vision of the famed Taj Mahal & the effect the first rays of the sun on it was rapidly fading into the thick blanket of fog.

'Merry Christmas! An amazing view' David said, 'only that we have to imagine the vision of Taj from here'.

From his ‘Barmy Army’ cap, I knew he was English & he had just been to Mohali for the second India-England Cricket Test match (eeeks!!!).

'I have to catch the 10 o’clock train to Delhi & I’m afraid I can’t wait...the situation doesn’t look like improving' he said as he melted into the fog.

With optimism in my heart, I approached the river bank to see a faint outline of the Taj on the other bank. Then slowly a little more....I was not the only one with a camera though, there were at least couple of other guys who I could see had stationed themselves on the sand banks armed with large tripods. The fog played truant, revealing the silhouetted domes & minarets of Taj & then in the next moment shrouding the scene again...I hung around for about half an hour taking pictures almost by the minute. Then the fog became dense again & I started my retreat. Suddenly I saw David, sitting on his small backpack looking at the silhouetted dome of the Taj, which seemed to have won a battle against the fog...at least for a moment.

'Hi again'...he said with a large grin...'I came back'

So I see ;-)

'Will you take my picture with the Taj in the background? My camera fell & broke a few days back....and can you pls. send the picture to me by email?'..as he wrote his email id on a flight boarding pass.

Sure, but with your back towards me?

'It’s Taj which is important, not me'...he said with a grin.

So this is David, as he looked on at the view of the silhouetted dome of the Taj Mahal, emerging from the fog, with the faintest hint of sunrise light on the sky.

Postscript: I did send him a couple of pictures by email, including of course this one...& this was his reply - "Angshuman, you are a Gentleman of the highest order! Thank you so much for sending across the photos, looking back that morning was truly magical and having a photo is such as bonus, I will treasure it."

Wishing all of you in the TE family a very happy, prosperous & peaceful 2009

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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