Adventures of The Last Crusader – IV


The glaringly bright yellow taxi was one of many such adding to the vibrant chaos on the vintage streets.

His eyes went everywhere; his mind sharply alert, even as his body told him otherwise.

A sight that was daunting to say the least was soon to overwhelm him, as the opulent structure slowly made its looming presence felt.

A cluster of narrow lanes, bustling with frenzied activity, converged at the main entrance of the highly venerated edifice – its monumental stature being as literal as it was historic.

Built on a site that had housed religious worshippers since 2nd century BC, the story of the land upon which the great Umayyad stood today began with an ancient Aramaic temple.

A Roman shrine dedicated to Jupiter followed, which then cleared the path for the reverent flock of Christ’s forerunner John the Baptist; before being turned into one of the foremost places of worship for Sunni Muslims.

One could, if one wanted to, literally lay a hand on that aura of mystique that surrounds such places of astounding historical and cultural significance.

***

The sunshine ride screeched to a noisy halt a few feet away from the ticket counter near the main entrance, as it became increasingly difficult to maneuver through the milling crowd.

J stepped out precariously, as much nauseated by the array of meat smells that attacked his senses with full force, as he was awed by the architectural behemoth that stood in front of him.

This was a researcher’s haven, a cultural connoisseur’s delight, a Mecca for the anthropological crusader that he was.

But, the impressive Umayyad was not where J’s salvation lay.

It was a mere means to an end.

To be continued…

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~ by eugenicist on August 30, 2012.

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