Sweeper, Taj Mahal, Agra, India, 2007

MY PHOTOGRAPH OF THIS SWEEPER at the Taj Mahal came early one morning in the wake of my disappointment about the Taj Mahal itself. I had arrived expecting something extraordinary, something that leapt from the pages of Kipling. No doubt I thought there would be elephants and swamis. What I found instead was exactly what I ought to have expected: a beautiful monument full of bones, the dust of history long past, and tourists. I made the requisite frames, the same ones everyone else does. And then I gave up and went for a walk. When I finally settled in the mosque to the left of the Taj (when facing it from the main entrance), it wasn’t long before this sweeper appeared, and his presence there, sweeping the ...

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