Locking Up Before Entering the Taj Mahal

AGRA, India — My short wait to enter the Taj Mahal was for naught, as I wasn’t able to set foot inside carrying a few restricted items I had purchased as souvenirs.

Well, maybe one thing: A couple of decks of playing cards with a photo of the famed 17th-century Mughal monument. They were simple but considered tools of gambling, a vice not looked upon kindly.

My other forbidden item was an iPod that served as my lifeline to the world.

For a few rupees that I managed to scrounge up from my backpack and my pockets, nearby lockers provided temporary storage. So, I queued up again and awaited my turn to see the Taj Mahal.

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