Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Taj Mahal by Moonlight

love this quote from T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the fi rst time.” This is how I feel about India. I started exploring the country in 1976 and worked there during my years with the World Bank as an architect and project offi cer. Each trip has revealed new insights, and I feel as I return that I “know it for the fi rst time.” This was exactly my reaction when I journeyed to India this summer with my twenty year-old son, Banks, with another mission in mind, and as the chairwoman of the Opera’s Midwinter Gala. We enjoyed the bazaar in Mumbai, attended an Indian wedding at the Taj Exotica Resort in Goa, went on a tiger safari in the Ranthambore National Park, visited sites including The Red Fort in Delhi and marveled at the sight of “the Taj.” All the while, we kept a sharp eye peeled for anything and everything that might be exciting for the gala.The night it takes place is the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, February 9 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. When it came time to choose its theme, I pondered what would be the most romantic spot in the world to represent

Taj Mahal

love – our love for one another as human beings and our love for the Opera. Of course, with my previous fascination with India, the obvious answer was the Taj Mahal – the great wonder of the world built out of love as a tribute to Mahal, the dearly departed wife of the Shah Jahan. After drinking champagne by full moonlight in the garden, I knew this was the theme I wanted.
Luckily for myself – and for the Women’s Committee of Washington National Opera –our honorary patrons, Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen and his wife Kaplana, have embraced the idea of “the power of love” and have given us their blessing.
Gala Vice Chairwoman Kim Nettles and I have been working tirelessly to bring the beauty and culture of India to Washington. We have great hopes that this evening, “The Taj Mahal by Moonlight,” will transport guests to a magical place where they can leave all cares behind and discover the romance of the Taj, be intrigued by our Indian Bazaar and delighted by authentic Indian cuisine.

Full Moonlight


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