I'm 43 years old and have lived in Mumbai all my life.
For old men like me, The Taj Mahal Hotel is a part of my DNA.
It's where I ate my first '5 star' meal (Tanjore); where I guiltily grabbed my first 'late night' dinner way past curfew time (Shamiana) and where I first took my fiance for dinner (The Golden Dragon).
When the horrible terrorists attacks took place at the Taj, I was shattered. All my beautiful memories seemed to go up in flames.
Thankfully, we soon got our hotel back.
Since then, we all have come a LONG way. The Taj ROCKS and looks even more beautiful than ever.
For the past many years, I have been awestruck by the massive canvas that adorns the main reception of the Taj:
Image courtesy - Straight.com / Gurpreet Singh
This Sunday, I went to the Taj for a wedding reception at the Ball Room.
Just as we were leaving, my wife excused herself to go to the ladies room.
I was alone in the lobby and did what I had been postponing to do for many many years!
I went up to the reception, and began to stare deep and hard at the fabulous 3 piece canvas. The receptionists got the cue and actually cleared out so that I would get an interrupted view!
This is what I saw:
Canvas 1: (L to R)
The more I looked, the more I was awestruck.
Then, I asked one of the receptionists for a full description of the paintings.
She didn't answer, but instead, quietly went to a corner of the desk. She seemed to be suddenly occupied.
A minute later, she took out a printout for me - it was a full printed description of the paintings!
This is the description:
THREE STANZAS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM
It starts with the tower of info technology, next to the IT.
A Leo is seen climbing the Ashoka Pillar.
Peacock, the national bird, follows the flight of freedom.
A woman with her man in love forging ahead towards harmony and
peace lead by………………
A flying dove up in the sky.
“Sound of distant thunder”, suddenly, through the gate of golden sun,
nuclear energy in seven horses explode.
Prismatic triangle measures the infinite space.
Destiny etched on the palm of E=MC^2,
Super sonic plane break the sound behind.
The leaning lady of pitcher pours water into the fish bowl below.
In the end, chorus of Nartakis on the string of sitar, corresponds to the
beat of seven horses.
Surya chariot is in fast track.
Mr. Maqbul Fida Husain.
22th December 2000.
I was happy, satisfied and drunk with beauty, happy to have learnt what I had missed for the past 12 years.
Now for the best part:
- While researching the painting, I was SHOCKED to find out that the ORIGINAL Husain painting (painted in 2000) had been destroyed in the horrible terror attacks.
The Taj management and Husain Saab got together and RECREATED the paintings so that patrons like me could still manage to enjoy them!
As if be magic, they were recreated - as we all can see!
Even more magically, I never seemed to have missed them...
Gratitude: Thank you Taj and Husain Saab for having created and recreated something so beautiful.
Most hotels would have just stuck something new in the place of the old that had been destroyed. But you both went that extra extra mile to make good from the ashes.
Lesson: This is exactly why the Taj and Husain are one in a million amongst Companies and Men.
It's because each of them have a heart and a soul; not just a business and a bank account.
one of the rare times i didn't bother to clean after the first read. i read this a couple of times and savored it... so did my goose bumps. thank you!
This is one of the reasons why I respects TATA's.
super article Alok...what a great feel good start to my day today !!! thanks for sharing this ...cheers !
Taj is an aspiration. When someone walks up at the gateway of India, whatever the sect, class we come from. the first thing we say to us, is one day I want to be spending a lot of time inside this godly palace! the LEGEND of India.
They add value to the people. They add value to the country and the entrepreneurs want to become like the TATAs
P.S I got a taj inner circle membership card before my business card, and credit cards!!
I never been to mumbai, may be i dont know about future but for the first time i saw the reception area of taj with hussain paintings. Really thanks for sharing
thanks for this sharing sir..