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MONUMENTAL MARVEL For Arjun Maitra, a sixth grader at St. John’s School, discovering a miniature painting turned a disappointing moment into a memorable one. He is pictured here at a park near his grandmother’s house in India.
The Taj Mahal…. A monumental marvel! Towering minarets! A gorgeous marble dome! A beautiful reflection pool! The icon of India!
“Well, this is the closest I will get to it for now,” I sighed, looking at the miniature ivory replica of the Taj Mahal at a handicraft village in Delhi, India. I had started off the trip with a fever, and while I was better, a lot had been "miniature" on this trip so far: my amount of sleep due to jet lag, my appetite and especially my enjoyment of traveling. Sadly, my father caught the same infection, and his fever had spiked pretty high. My mom took him to the doctor who diagnosed him with pneumonia and advised a hospital stay. We had just learned the disappointing news from my grandmother, who was looking after my sister Indrani and me.
Luckily, his pneumonia could be treated with medicine. But, it also meant that we must cancel our much anticipated trip to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra.
“Arjun, come here!” my grandma called out, and I went over to join my sister and her to visit the handicraft stalls. The rich artifacts reminded me of India’s colorful culture, and I felt happier.
There were gorgeous silk tapestries with intricate embroidery depicting scenes with elephants, golden Buddhas, and Buddhas next to elephants! As I admired the vibrant colors, I realized that my mom would love the art here.
“Hey, Indrani, you know how stressed Mamma must be now. Let’s buy her something nice with our money.”
We searched for something amazing while also continuing to learn about the different types of art from all over India. We found a stunning miniature painting for my mom. It portrayed the Sultan and his entourage on horses and elephants.
When we gave the surprise gift to her, I remember a smile leaping out of her tired face.
With the smile also came good news. Our dad was getting better! Giving a surprise gift to our mom, who works so hard for us, made my winter break.
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