Istanbul: under the veil of death


Grey IstanbulWere you so grey when I met you first? I cannot remember. I can only now see you as a dark, sombre, city. Unyielding and stern in the face of my misery. I had come seeking you, to escape my woes. And you, Istanbul, you sent me packing in a few hours, with a much greater pain. Telling me never again to come to you for pleasure.

The error must have been mine. What respite could I find in a city which has gone through its own torments? My regular woes are despicable in the face of your tragedies.  But must you have played that cruel hand to teach me a lesson? Must you size up a tragedy for me, only so I could better understand you?

I visited your mosques, your bazaars, your streets. All of these in a listless amble. Did I have an inkling of what was going to come next? Or did you not want me to feel at ease with you. Or is it that I now only remember the listlessness? Remember when I was sitting in one of your gardens, staring at the Blue Mosque? Trying to find peace in your chaos. It was moments before the phone rang. Was is the calm before the storm, or just a dullness at your lukewarm reception?

And now, days later, so far away from you – you fool me, play tricks on me again. The few images of you that I captured – they have nothing of the death you whispered about when we met. They are resplendent with blue and green. They are nothing at all like you. What a liar you are, showing a different face to the camera! I refuse to have any of your tricks – I will turn those images into what you really are – bleak and melancholy.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Madhurima says:

    there’s an unsettling stir beneath this unstirred silence…. vivid.

    1. Madhuri says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Madhurima, as you know it came too close from the heart

  2. Interesting reaction to a city. I feel you really capture an element of the city as well as your experience.

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