Culture · Letters · Turkey

Dear Istanbul,

Istanbul: The Autumn Roads

Istanbul:The infinite road

I am a girl from India who came to you about 8 months ago. I hear that things are not right with you. People are protesting and you are engulfed in fear. I would like to ask what happened.  I browse through the Google pages to understand why is there so much unhappiness.  I read about your political issue and I feel sad. Has your dream been broken or mine has been shattered? I looked up to you. I told people who were less fortunate to see the grandiose of history , that a place exists which has panache of the past and gift of the future. L

I came to you as a wanderer. A girl who was facing an identity crisis. A girl  who  was unsure of transcending from tradition to liberal universe of science and art. I was truly tired of the despondency around my personal life which was pretty much linked to the ideas and dreams served by my nation. I happened to fall on your lap. I walked from Sultanahmet to Taksim square looking at the reinvention of modern society. The myriad opportunities excited me. I thought one day I will walk too on my streets and I would know that the people did not have to elicit a choice.

I am not saying my country is bad but it has problems, more problems than there should be and fewer problems than it deserves. I grimace and shudder when I think  of all the issues which are tearing this country apart.  I wish I could protest like you but I cannot. I am too scared and a coward. There are too many questions for me to handle. You see , I too am a  common man and policies of the government are not my only problem. My problem is why I can’t walk towards one goal. Now to think about it , I envy you. I think standing up for secularism is a noble thought. I remember I was sitting with my friend in Hague Sophia and I told her, I feel that God is resting here.  This is the place where he must be strolling, thinking nothing.

My dear friend, I hope you come here soon. When you do, we can make a start. We can walk on the paths of free belief and faith. We will believe in warm sunshine, full moon on calm rivers, smiles in gully and oblique water drops of rain. We will find spirit for my people if not God. We will find trails where we can all walk together and not digress. The elections are knocking at our doors. I hope people will make their choices right.  I have always heard when a man makes his choice , the cost of that choice is borne by him. What about the choices made by collective people? Who bears the consequences of those? I hope the people see that the country is just a reflection the people living. I know India is reflection of me – full of love, because I am vivacious and born to fall for someone. I am scared because my heart was broken. I am losing my faith because I don’t see humanity anywhere, let alone God. I am a criminal because I want to be happy at the cost of others.  I do not want to be this person. I want my reflection to be you.

My darling friend, I hope you soon resume to your full glory. I hope you recover and forge the path for us. I have complete faith in you. Once you are healthy, do visit me. We can calm the tempestuous echoes of misery and paint the cities red.



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