By Rich Stapleton
My guide Dheeraj had persuaded a boatman to take us out on the stretch of the River Yamuna that flows passed the Taj Mahal. He flashed a smile at me under a glowing street lamp. That part of its course was forbidden, he said. The next morning, we woke early and walked to the riverbank via a dirt track flanked by the Taj’s outer wall. As we passed a sleeping village to our right, the outline of the mausoleum’s main structure rose up out of the gloom. Upon reaching the Yamuna, my eye caught blue twine twisted around an iron stump. Ravens were all business, bustling along the debris strewn banks.