Thursday, December 30, 2010

Istanbul and Me

Hi all :) Been some time since i read a decent blog, much less posted one. Been kinda preoccupied, my apologies. Nyways, here I am, 6 days into my winter hols, uploading a few pictures from our 3-day transit in Istanbul on the way home last summer. Just to add a dimension to it, am tacking on some feelings to each image.
An old tree in the Hagia Sophia Musuem. A lot of wonder and enthusiasm was poured into Ottoman relics and bejeweled daggers and teapots (yes, there was a ruby inlaid teapot), but just as much amazement and awe was found in this tree, hollow inside, yet still providing shade. 
When I see you with another, this is is how I feel. Like there's something gnawing at me from the inside out, but yet I stand there, unwilling and unable to move. Jealousy and Commitment.

A pup on the grounds of the Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque. I come from a Muslim country and transiting in yet another Muslim country, I was touched to see the casual passerby feed stray dogs and cats alike. And shockingly, the stray looks almost like a pure breed Lab, don't you think?
Each moment spent with a loved one is like the moment the pup had, lying in the sun on the fluffy green green grass. A feeling of comfort and peace. Content :)
This is the replica of the candle chandeliers they had in the Hagia Sophia Cathedral. The Cathedral is easily one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen - even in the state of reconstruction it was in! Despite the 70 odd tourists in the same building complex, there was a calm about the area, unmatched in any other part of Istanbul.
Sharing small everyday things with a loved one switches on a myriad of bulbs in me, each one almost routine, but not a single mundane one unimportant. Many small things that matter to me, that keep me warm inside.
The curved domes of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, the interior covered entirely by mosaic. Another intiguing thing is that this building has no corners, each angle is rounded. The prevailing hues of blue and gold gives it its alternative name - the Blue Mosque. And apparently it's considered sunnah for a Muslim to pray here. Aside from the central mosques in Mecca, this mosque is another one of the holy centres of Islam, or so a friend told me.
Beauty at a glance, but as we consider each slab of mosaic, we realise that's what we are. Just stone without others around us. And we realise that each of us contribute to make the bigger picture that much more alluring as we reach out to others. Humanity.
Blue sky with distant clouds, the deep blue sea. A view from the grounds surrounding the Hagia Sophia Museum. A warning to the wary, the grounds is extensive and it took us fairly fit individuals a full 10 hrs to complete it without break. There are benches around for people to sit and catch their breath, but we were on a  tight schedule and each wonder had us trotting form one to the next ceaselessly, like workaholics on amphetamine.
The want in us to seek greener pastures. The drive to go the distance and race along to an unknown destination. The stuff of dreams and that which fuels aspirations and consistent hardwork. Ambition. 
We had the chance to take the Bosphorus cruise and view the East and West banks of Istanbul. Surprisingly the cruise is government run and it costed 3 Lira - I think! I cant remember for sure now :P... 3 Lira is approximately 3USD, which works out to about 10bucks of my home currency. Not too steep a price for travelling students I feel :) Each cruise ship had floats lined up one the sides like this one and we saw the remnants of the old forts and watchtowers, the homes of the wealthy, lush greenery that later reminded me of Kerala a bit, and the famous Bosphorus bridge, a picture of which I think we and has to be somewhere in the collection of Istanbul pictures.
For a person afraid of open water, you make me want to jump into the cold waters anyway. Why? You make me feel safe and cared for, that's why. Security.

     The Hagia Sophia Cathedral and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque stand as symbols of religious renaissance in Istanbul. Also The Spice Bazaar, Central Bazaar, lighthouse, Caverna Basilica (which is eerily beautiful!), and the Hagia Sophia Museum are places not to be missed. 
     Will try to dig up some pictures and write another post some time :) 
     Oh and if you're at Istanbul, do walk along the tramline, use the tram with their cute red tokens, try their non-melting icecream, drink their apple tea, and don't forget to try their small ring shaped pastry with kas-kas on it. If you arent a travelling student on a  tight budget, Turkish tapestries and rugs should be on your wish list too :P 
     Turkey is worth the visit..! :)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Checklist

Part A: Why relationships suck.
  • \       When A tells you that B’s talking about you, and each day you see B and smile anyways?
  • \       When you still care enough to make decent conversation with B, not because you want to make peace, but because years of companionship has to mean more than all the backstabbing and b*llsh*t-mongering?
  • \       When you’re p*ssed off enough to come up with a dumbass checklist like this one?
  • \       When you’re on auto mode and you listen to how much your loved ones are fed up with their better halves?
  • \       When you know your loved ones’ better halves are wrong, but put in a kind word anyway (a) to make it seem okay and for their peace of mind and (b) you don’t want to be the ‘bad guy’ in their lives?
  • \       When you have to tell them the other half is not worth their effort and tears and you feel like the bad guy nyways?
  • \       When you wake up to go through a routine that has long since ceased to make sense to you?
  • \       When A and B silently hate each others’ guts, and you just want to stay freaking neutral?
  • \       When you realize you’re not a saint either because you have terrible thoughts about A and B and the the whole circus connected to them?
  • \       When you want to sit in the room and not fr*aking talk to anyone because another smile or another snide remark is more than you can take?
  • \       When you wish you had the b*lls and lack of coutesy to bash another’s teeth in for a sarcastic smile/remark, but you don’t?
  • \       When you/others make mistakes and they never let it go?
  • \       When they make mistakes and forget that others have already let go?
  • \       When they go on and on and on about the same crap they’ve been spouting for years, allowing slight variations in the narration for dramatic effect?
  • \       When you hear them say freaking discouraging things about things and people you love?
  • \       When they seem to have forgotten that for some dumba*se reason you always had their back and never let others speak ill of them?
  • \       When you want to ask them to shut the h*ll up because you don’t give a rat’s a*se about who did what and said what?
  • \       When what they say about who said what and did what nags at your mind?
  • \       When you feel like a total retard dealing with f*cking retards the whole day and get that scrunched up feeling in your shoulders?
  • \       When you squint in frustration at a person who either intentionally or unintentionally made your day go from good to bad to worse and then hit rock bottom and even lower?

Part B: Why relationships rock.
  • \       When you get home grumpy, disheartened and there’s a hand that draws you close and kisses your forehead.
  • \       When there’s a friend you can sit next to and discuss things from nuclear fission and bladder catheterization to teletubbies and how cucumbers reproduce to V8 engines and vacuum cleaners.
  • \       When there’s another who wants to sit there next to you and sip steaming tea from the same mug.
  • \       When there’s someone who sees only you in a crowded room.
  • \       When there’s mum and dad and the whole family works.
  • \       When there’s home in a person you love.
  • \       When there’s a person who knows your mum and dad and the whole family works and asks after them.
  • \       When there’s comfort to do everyday small things with another.
  • \       When another wants you to know every small detail of his/her life.
  • \       When you want to hold another person close to make his/her day better.
  • \       When you wake up and you know you fell asleep next to the right person.
  • \       When you know for a fact that for every 500 screwed up relationships, the one right one makes it all worth it.
  • \       When you thank the higher powers for letting you have that one right relationship.
  • \       When you stop worrying and being afraid because there’s a person holding your hand.
  • \       When you hold that person’s hand back.
  • \       When you rant and rave at a person who cares enough to listen?
  • \       When you listen to a friend rant and rave about his/her messed up day.
  • \       When you share the good details of a day and the sh*tty parts don’t seem so big anymore.
  • \       When you share a laugh over a joke and the scrunched up feeling in your shoulder loosens up.
  • \       When you make someone’s frown bumps disappear and make them smile for real.
  • \       When you come up with mushy cr*p like this checklist.

If you have all ticked in Part A and even one ticked in Part B of the checklist, then trust me, you’re doing pretty great :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Makes Me Laugh Every Single Time :)

Everybody Loves Raymond. One of my best series ever!!Next to the Little Lulu Show. :|... K not true, but Little Lulu IS quite high up on the list of stuff I love watching. Along with Nigella Bites, While You Were Out, Globe Trekker and a whole load more. I'm a TV hog when I get home.. Few things can trump decent TV programmes for me I guess :P