Taj Mahal

A truly lovely building, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Yet… already when I was working on the replica, I had my doubts…
Love or madness?
Then I found this poem of Sahir Ludhianvi (1921 – 1980, India),
who seems to have had some of the same doubts, as he wrote:

आपके लिए, प्यार, ताजमहल सबसे बड़े प्यार का प्रतीक है
और आप सुंदर बगीचे की बहुत सराहना करते हैं।
फिर भी मैं कहता हूँ: जानेमन, अब से किसी दूसरी जगह मिलते हैं!

Luckily, I also found the corresponding translation and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did, when I read it!

For you, Darling, the Taj Mahal is a symbol of the greatest love
and you appreciate the beautiful garden very much.
Yet I say: Sweetheart, let’s meet in a different place from now on!

Isn’t it strange that poor people visit royal resorts?
Strange that lovers walk hand in hand on paths
on which once mighty rulers strolled along?

Look behind the facade, Love, and you will see
the signs of imperial power,
well protected and shielded.

You, who enjoys the graves of the dead kings,
should remember the narrow apartments
that you and I grew up in.

Countless men of this world have loved. Wasn’t their love great?
But no memorial is erected to their love.
Because they, like you and me, belonged to the common people.

These structures and tombs, these ramparts and fortresses,
relics of the mighty dead, are no more than canker sores on earth.
Fattened on the blood and bones of our ancestors.

The workers must have loved too, Dearest,
they, whose hands have created all this beauty.
They chiseled and shaped this marble monument so gorgeously.

But their loved ones lived and died
unknown and not being honored.
No one even lit a light on their humble graves.

These banks of the Jamuna river, this building, these groves and lawns,
These walls and doors, arches and niches.
An immeasurably wealthy emperor seems to have played a cruel joke on us.

So I beg you, lover of mine: meet me in a different place.


So recited Sahir Ludhianvi
and Tosha Tyran wholy agrees with him.
You find the Taj Mahal on the region with the same name.
Wear comfortable shoes… it’s a varregion!

The Great Nations: a Tuareg Poem

By Souéloum Diagho, a Tuareg poet from Tessalit in the North of Mali. His father is Tamashek, his mother Fula. He writes in the tradition of the controversial eighth century Arabic poet Ghaylan ibn ‘Uqbah. His poetry gives us a view of the Tamashek as they see themselves: a more useful thing than another reduction of recent events.
Souéloum Diagho writes and publishes in French. This poem was translated by Blaisep

Tuareg Tent

There are the Great, America and Russia,
And the small, never spelled out.

Fishing Grounds

There are nations where water flows,
And others dreaming of their own share of the world,
There are the talkers, pushing their agendas
And those seeking to escape.

Sahara Sands

There are Indian and the Tuareg,
The Pygmies and the children with cholera.

Tuareg with cattle

There is peace and rage, constantly boiling
In a pot, a stew of misery,
In it are the guts of the discontent,
The people abandoned by those who call themselves Great.

Timbuktu, among the houses
Timbuktu, marketplace
Timbuktu, the restored library

There is this little country surrounded by a desert landscape,
All it shows for itself is oil flowing from a rock
A spring of living water to quench the thirst
Lasting for many moons,
it does not compete with the Great Nations
And their satanic pride.

The oasis

The Great grow Greater
The small again become even smaller,
We need a third way, the chance to reconsider the status quo,
Such as the UN, but with more freedom,
And greater justice in the Hague that considers
The statements of those oppressed in their thousands.

Mangroves at the Niger delta

We write poems in the sand
then they can be carried with the wind
or they remain a secret
that is so
what I write in the sand
will be carried with the wind

(Unknown Tuareg poet)

Now, if you want to visit Timbuktu, the “lost place” in the desert, type the region’s name (Timuktu) into your map and then – be sure to visit the grand library where you can find some detailed information about the the history of the city.

Tosha Tyran
(Laying in the warm warm desert sand)