Monday, November 30, 2009

The Taj Mahal - A Dog's Dinner

"A Dog's Dinner" is another one of those dog phrases that has nothing to do with the words that make up the phrase. I'm a simple beagle. I think that phrases should mean what they say. If it's a dog's dinner, then it really should be what a dog eats for dinner.

But, as we've discovered through the entire "Dog Series" this year, dog phrases aren't as simple as it seems. In this case, "A Dog's Dinner" means "Dressed or displayed in an ostentatiously smart manner". Since mum was in India recently, we thought that a good example of this phrase is the Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. Located in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years to complete. Mum says the Taj is more that just a smart display, it is a magnificent architecture showcasing Persian, Indian and Islamic elements. I'll have to take her word for it since I wasn't there in India with her. As always, I get left behind when my humans travel. My only consolation is that dad was left behind this time too...

Anyway, if you're interested in reading a bit more about the Taj and viewing some more photos, pop by mum's blog and read her post on "The Taj Mahal - Seven Wonders of the World"

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's a dog's life in Delhi

I had started off my blog this year with a post on "It's a dog's life". There are 2 schools of thought as to the meaning of this phrase. The older definition which dates back to the 16th century- "a miserable, unhappy existence" refers to the terrible life of working dogs during this era. The second meaning, which seems to have evolved over time is in direct contrast to the first -"A life of indolence where the individual may do as he or she pleases, just like a pampered dog."

Well, mum is in India at the moment, her first trip to this country and she says that for the strays in Delhi, the first definition seems to apply. During her 5-hour car journey to Agra to visit the majestic Taj Mahal, she had her first encounter with one aspect of Indian rural life. Her heart broke when she saw the strays rummaging through rubbish, some with limps from being hit by a vehicle. It's not just the dogs that have a 16th century dog's life. The cows and horses do too. Admittedly, the humans themselves are poor, some of them living on the sidewalks. Of course, when she saw the strays, she can't help thinking about one very lucky Indian dog - Oorvi. It only takes one human to make a difference to a dog's life!

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