Category Archives: Istanbul

Memories of Istanbul


I wake suddenly at night to look at the alarms I have set on my two phones. One is set to India time, the other to local time.

The local time shows 4:45AM.

I do some quick math on the India time and deduce that it should be 5:45AM, given the time zone difference.

I am still not fully awake, and the dichotomy takes its time sinking in. I indulge a fuzzy idea that perhaps I am living two moments separated by an hour at the same time – can I live in my past as well as present? I realize that there must be a simpler explanation, and vigorously shake my head to welcome sanity in.

One perceived moment of dual existence does not seem startling here. In Turkey, hyphenated dualism exists everywhere – neolithic and recent republic history, Greek and Roman legends, glorious pasts of Christianity and Islam, even the geographic reality of being in Asia as well as Europe.

The simplest explanation is that the daylight savings has kicked in. I call the reception to confirm – yes, it is indeed so.

‘Wake up,’ I tell Sudha. ‘The day has just begun.

A view of the spice market. Click to see slideshow

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