istanbul 300x179 Traveling to Istanbul   The Indian WayBy Sunil Kumar

Istanbul Travel – Aglaia Interactive

Now, my name is Sunil. If you did not know that, it is plastered on many pages on this site. There is a city called Istanbul on the Bosphorus, formerly called Constantinople. Growing up in Bombay(now known as Mumbai), I once heard a strange Shaolin practitioner talking about this other-worldly city. And there were a few boys smoking something in the canteen, when there was a recess on. The true nature of inspired schooling.

Unlike a few other people, I love the sights and sounds of gloomy books, especially the ‘Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova. Vlad Dracula crawled out of the woodwork, and really scared me. I cannot actually pinpoint the genre of this book, but since I love the sights and sounds of exotic places in my mind, this book is totally unreal.

Istanbul Escapade

In a verbose, Blackberry-obsessed, ego-centric world, circa 2012, there are a few rotten privileges. One of these is the freedom to imagine, and attempt to extract joy in an otherwise seemingly strange world, which is seriously self-obsessed. I will not bore you about the other details, and get straight to the point, in a roundabout way, about the true nature of Istanbul.

Since you have read so far into this review, I will not tell you about how to find a bargain in the city. I think you are intelligent enough to do that yourself, in fact the world is quite adept at technology. All of the surfing public knows which site to surf, since they have been informed by their relatives, friends, etc. I also am your good and sincere buddy. So let us get to Galata, the Jewish quarter of this city.

In fact, in a scene out of the world’s greatest movies, I land in the capital of Turkey. This was after a few blondes had brightened my day in London. No, it is not what you may be thinking, I am not like Bond or our Debo Nair men from Keralam, I still remain Mr. Sunil.

The Orient Express

The person at the counter of the hotel looked strangely reminiscent of a villain from a Hollywood movie, but was quite nice in the end. I managed to see a few sights and sounds of this city, apparently the third biggest in Eurasia. Since Turkey is neither Asia nor Europe, and attempts to be both. Nothing against the country, my friends there, it was just an observation. It is similar to how some of our racist writers(our means “Indian”) indulge in the most patronizing and profane insults to other people, subvert the very idea of the country, and still get away with it, consistently.

To Istanbul, my brothers! Ahem, aha and garam dharam! The natives are a strange mix of Orient and Occident, probably an offshoot of Southern European. The one thing I liked was the fish: an amazingly different concoction, something we don’t get in the regional exotica of India.

Otherwise, walking and communicating without English remains quite a challenge. The museums, the mosques are certainly different, but better in imagination than reality. Our country has amazing monuments, more history, and the British maintain it properly. [In their own country: England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland): They really robbed everywhere else, they say this themselves, lest I or you forget. So anything on my mates in the great English yonder.

Ideas And Agatha Christie

Let me talk about Beyoglu, the Galata Bridge, Sultanahmet and the Golden Horn inlet. I liked the city’s strangely peculiar feel, but it is definitely more difficult to get around rather than England. For one, the person at the currency counter again looked like a villain from a Bond movie, and (un)surprisingly acted like one.

The Bosphorus is definitely a very interesting river. Layers of history in this city. 1453 saw the destruction of the old Eastern Roman empire, and the beginning of Turkish rule. However imposing the monuments, I am firmly of the opinion that architecture reached its pinnacle only in India, in the North, the West, the South and the East. Diverse traditions at work in the world’s greatest melting pot, our nation. I remain intensely patriotic, I was born that way.

The Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque are definitely interesting for a visit once. You may like the raki-soaked meyhane (tavern) or tranquil çay bahçesi (tea garden). The British grande dame Agatha Christie imagined the “Murder on the Orient Express” when she lived here at the Pera Palais Hotel. I would imagine that very few of the people reading this post will actually try and find out where that is. But do try to engage your brains, it may be a sometimes interesting task, if you ever really get there, and only if you are so greatly in love with a lady who is as dead as a doormat.

If you want to really get there, the best time is from April to May, and from September to October. July to August is hot, and in winter, it’s chilly. Till next time, but do visit the capital of India, Delhi and the golden triangle, the cities of Agra and Jaipur.


300px Bridge and Galata Area%2C Istanbul%2C Turkey by Abdullah Fr%C3%A8res%2C ca. 1880 1893 %28LOC%29 Traveling to Istanbul   The Indian Way

View of the "Third Galata Bridge" (completed in 1875) and the Galata area from Eminönü, Istanbul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Traveling to Istanbul   The Indian Way
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