My Crystal Ball Reveals…


NEWS BULLETIN: TIMES OF UNDERWATER INDIA

“Extra Extra Read All About IT”

“BMC starts its own water-bus called FLOATUS”

Yes you heard me right. The BMC, in a most revolutionary way, has taken the BEST services to an entirely NEW Level. Come FLOATUS- the new, lightweight Water Bus service that floats on water. It is rumoured to be able to carry the weight of 200 passengers without sinking an inch.

On the other hand, scientists at the Indian Institute of Science are experimenting to device a form of fire called FIRANI which would light under water.

For more details, Turn to Page 2

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NEWS BULLETIN: The UNDERWATERGRAPH-UK

Sunstick causes a RAGE!! Mass Buyouts all over the world

Reporter:

We all knew that the Fashionable Kate Middleton left her own legacy cosmetics brand. But now her daughter and heir apparent to the crown has launched her own lipstick called Sunstick. This revitalised new brand brings in qualities of the Sun. Through cutting edge solar absorption research and through solar vehicles orbitting our galaxy, this new lipstick provides the skin some much-needed vitamins to stay young. It is claimed that even though this is a lipstick, it is edible in small quantities and provides the body some much-needed Vit-D. Since the earth was submerged 50 years ago, people have been parched for Vit-D and this lipstick has it all in for you.

We spoke to the cosmetics company, Elizh and the company claims that this research can change the world. “Staying underwater has its own perks but lets admit it, we all miss that lovely bronze tan. Sunstick is the NEXT NEW THING. We are working on SunScreen, the essential lotion our grandparents remember about!!!”

Well, All I can say is the world awaits for Elizh to work its way through and give the world what it badly needs!!

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NEWSPAPER FLASH: SYDNEY WATER-HERALDS

SHARK ATTACKS CAUSE PANIC AMONGST CRICKETERS

Reporter

The Indian Cricket Team which is visiting the famous turning underwater pitches Down Under have complained of shark attacks. There was panic in the Dressing Room as Great White’s roamed freely outside even though Cricket Australia’s Ricky Ponting assured the Indian Captain, Dr. MP. MLA. Er. CA. CS. CWA. MBA. Filmmaker. Param Vir Chakra. aka GOD Sachin Tendulkar that there was no threat inspite of the pitch running right through a shark ground.

Sachin Tendulkar, at a ripe age of 100 shows the spirit one needs int he dying game of underwater cricket. “He has been there for so long! Every title ever known to man has been given to him for his vast and rich experience. We will take his word and then face the Australians”, quoted a youngster.

This is not the first time there has been a panic among a group of people. The Great Water Hole, the worldwide phenomenon when holes appeared on the ground and the whole world was submerged, caused the Great Barrier Reef’s wildlife to spill across the country thus endangering some lives while enchanting others.

Scuba divers, now out of business are selling goggles to everyone and the BCCI has purchased 300 goggles from them to be used this series and also in future overseas matches.

The status of whether the match will go on will be known in a few days.

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The Environment-Economy debate will go on. Pages will be written and workshops wasted still people will not get the point. It is inevitable. When the smell of green notes overshadows the smell of a flower or freshly showered earth, I suppose we deserve an apocalypse.

Lets just hope that we can really “invent” some of those things i mentioned above to cope with having to live underwater.

Maybe we should read about those Great Whites. I have no intentions of being devoured by one anytime soon!!!

Cheers!!!

 

 

 

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Can You Hear Me Papa


 

Saturday, January 21st

Papa!!

Can you hear me Papa?? Papa Where are You? They told me you’ve gone but I don’t believe that. You can’t go. You didn’t say goodbye. I was just finishing off my exhibition in Jehangir when i got the call.

Papa, I… what happened then?? At that time?? They told me you were trying to help someone. And that you were carried away. Oh Papa. It isn’t fair that this should happen. You were simply helping a civilian stuck and they mistook you for Police and shot at you. Papa, I didn’t even get to see you once. I wish..wish i’d been there, to intercede, to stop it somehow, to save you. Keep you forever. Oh Papa!!!

 

Monday, March 4th

Papa, I didn’t even get to complete my phone call the other day with you. I didnt get to tell you so much. About how my exhibition went. It was beautiful Papa. 50 Oil Paintings i made. About Darjeeling. About Kolkata. About our home. About You. It was a success. Many sold. There is a re-exhibition.

 

Wednesday, April 16th

Papa. You pushed me into this even though i never wanted to give myself a chance. Where i am now is because you believed in me. Papa, I’ve got photos to show you. I did the paintings, i did the exhibition. I did paintings for corporates. I’ve been published about. I’ve got to tell you stuff. Now please come back.

Friday, May 7th

Papa…I’ve even started gardening. Keeping your roses and lillies like before. They miss you too. I’ve even painted some of them. Papa your room is full of my paintings now. PLease come back na.

Papa, the whole house is filled with guests. They keep coming and giving me their sympathies while i brew tea for them. But you’re coming back. You said so yourself na papa. Then why are they here. I dont like it. All these sad people in one place poking around where its not required. You’re totally fine. I just met you yesterday.

 

Monday, June 6th.

Papa, I’m painting from home now. I’ve relocated back to Darjeeling. I frequent those tea gardens and that stall you go to everyday. I think you’re teasing me by not coming and saying hi when you’re just around the corner.This is not fair papa. You’ve been playinh hide and seek for so long.

Thursday, August 29th

Papa, they think I’m mad. Just because i talk to you and i can see you. Papa but isn’t it true that you talk to me. There is so much you tell me. Everyday. About your experiences. I know you’re around coz you’ve used some of your cologne. And your clothes look fresh and pressed when you meet me.

Sunday, October 1st

Papa, they are taking me away to an asylum. Papa, mum agrees with them. She thinks i am mad too. They are taking me papa. where is this place….papa do something. I’m being locked in a white room. They are putting some jacket on me. Papa..Can you hear me Papa?? Papa where are you…papa this is not happening..

papa..do something….can you hear m..!!

The Mesmerising Topkapi Palace


So the first thing we did was we climbed up the path and up ahead of the Archaeological Museum. And then when we went up and saw the whole Imperial Courtyard lined with army men!!!! In Turkey, every young man Has to join the army for atleast a year. The logic is that this will make the Men a Little (=Read LOTS) smarter and sensitive (=:P) and also develop patriotic feelings. As well as get everyone to compulsorily do community service.

And just then we saw…!!!!???

What did we see?? That remains to be seen in another Story, Stay Tuned.

Now Continued!!!

The Topkapi Palace gate was large and imposing. I looked back on the crumbling palaces I’d seen in my travels and wished we would care about our history as much as we cared about money. India would have a lot more visitors then for we’ve got a cultural heritage worth the envy of any country.

The gate led us to the main courtyard where we looked at the huge grounds split up into a star. We walked into a room which in Indian Palaces is commonly known as Diwan-E-Khaas (or the room where the Sultan held meetings with the priests and noblemen). In Turkey though it was called the Imperial Council.

And as we entered..whoosh!! The ceiling stunned us. Such beautiful gilded paintings and maintained so well!! Plus there were spots demarcated as to where the Sultan sat and where the Council sat. We were 4 of us sharing one audio guide and so we had to pause for a while to catch on to all the information we were being told.

The council hall has multiple entrances both from inside the palace and from the courtyard. The porch consists of multiple marble and porphyry pillars, with an ornate green and white-coloured wooden ceiling decorated with gold. The floor is covered in marble. The entrances into the hall from outside are in the rococo style, with gilded grills to admit natural light. While the pillars are earlier Ottoman style, the wall paintings and decorations are from the later rococo period. Inside, the Imperial Council building consists of three adjoining main rooms. Two of the three domed chambers of this building open into the porch and the courtyard.

We do not have many photos from what we saw in other parts of Topkapi. The reason being, we passed the Imperial Treasury, The Jewellery Room, The Ancient Relic Room.

All these rooms had items precious to the National Heritage of Turkey which is why we were not allowed to click photographs.

The Imperial Treasury contained relics from the Byzantine Age. Also there were articles of daily use by the Ottoman Sultans. The collection we see now consist of gifts of ambassadors, enthronement gifts, and purchases of the Sultans themselves.

There were shields and armours encrusted with pearls and precious stones. There were fragrance holders and goblets made of gold with rubies and emeralds. Queens would be proud of their jewellery boxes so carefully preserved.

Even the Peacock Throne of Emperor Jehangir which was stolen by Nadir Shah and lost in time, was preserved. I don’t want to be biased to India but amongst the other jewels, our Indian throne shone through. The pearls were set so carefully and evenly. It was a delight to look at it. Of course i was happy it was preserved in Turkey and not in India.

 

This website was one that gave excellent descriptions of the Treasury Room relics.

http://www.ee.bilkent.edu.tr/~history/topkapi.html

 

There is a huge line getting into this exhibit. It is a hugely popular exhibit. At the entrance of the exhibit is the Ottoman Symbol for prosperity and money.

the huge rush for getting into the Treasury Exhibit

I’ve yet got the Room of Ancient Relics and other points to do. But that remains yet another part of the journey!!

Stay Tuned

Topkapı Palace: Back to the Ottoman Times


Day 4: 13th April

  

This was the day when we finally visited the Topkapı sarayı. This Palace is a spectacular example of the Ottoman exuberance as well as the passion the Turks have to conserve their wealth and monuments.

As soon as you enter the Topkapi, there are two paths, one which is called “Valentines Path” which is a path that leads a little into the grounds where couples can generally practice some PDA and an uphill road leading to the palace.

 

A note about Istanbul: This is a city that has a lot of walking involved..lot of uphil walking and climbing. To check the museums and especially to feel that you got your money’s worth, you’ll no doubt check every tourist attraction thoroughly which means considerable walking. If there are any plans  of visiting Istanbul soon then work on your fitness…you will need to!!!!

Back to the Sarayi.. (=Palace in Turkish). We had to climb on a cobbled road that had some marble columns at the side on the grass. Cars could be driven inside though. On the way to the Palace, the Istanbul Architechtural Museum presents itself.

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is something that presents itself in 3 chapters (=Trilogy ishtyle)

1.Archaeological Museum (=arkelogi müzesi)

2.Museum of Ancient Orient

3.Museum of Islamic Arts

 

Beyond the gate, the road continues still forward to a large ground with paths and gardens. There you can see the gates of Topkapi Sarayi

Now In Our Professional Opinion (=Oops oh crap copied the wrong stuff out of an Office Doc!!!)

Back to the point..what i was saying is this place merits a full day. They charge TL 35 to get in and it doesnt make any sense to rush it. There is So much to see!!!

 

Now i know keeping up with the typical Indian Itenerary (=I know we tend to Run, Daud and Race…oops someone’s movie list spilled over!! I mean we Indians tend to run across a country in 2 days and be proud of that!!) , with a travel agent, this would be done in say 2 hours but believe me there is so much more to the Palace. Not only are you seeing an important part of Turkish history and tradition but also has a Stunning Treasure Room.

 

Topkapi Palace was not only the residence of the Ottoman sultans, but also the administrative and educational center of the state. Initially constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, and expanded upon and altered many times throughout its long history, the palace served as the home of the Ottoman sultans and their court until the middle of the 19th century.The Holy Relics of the Prophet Muhammad, and the imperial archives continue to be preserved at Topkapi.

 

Following the abolishment of the Ottoman monarchy in 1922, Topkapi Palace was converted into a museum on 3 April 1924, on the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

 

 

Alrite for me to give you the coup on Topkapi Sarayi I’ll have to split it up into

1. What we could Photograph

2. What was Hidden from the Camera

 

As per the Literature that the Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi gave us, it was divided into

1. Main Palace (=TL 20)

2. Harem (=TL 15)

 

But we didnt end up going to the Harem 😦 we indeed were running on a tight schedule. After Topkapi we had to go to the Bosphorus for our cruise which meant we were having a pick up from the Hotel.

 

Like all other Turkish Monuments there was a full closet of information here. Which will be decoded and presented (=Sigh some disadvantages of working!! It does affect the language!!)

 

So the first thing we did was we climbed up the path and up ahead of the Archaeological Museum. And then when we went up and saw the whole Imperial Courtyard lined with army men!!!! In Turkey, every young man Has to join the army for atleast a year. The logic is that this will make the Men a Little (=Read LOTS) smarter and sensitive (=:P) and also develop patriotic feelings. As well as get everyone to compulsorily do community service.

 

And just then we saw…!!!!???

 

What did we see?? That remains to be seen in another Story, Stay Tuned.

An overview from Miniaturk

 

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

 

The Army

 

Whats Up

 

The Ceiling Lol

 

The Sleeping Chambers

 

Ottoman Splendour

 

A sign of good luck

 

Entrance to the Treasure Room

 

Tulips around

 

Sea of Marmara

 

 

Tulips outside the Topkapi

Istiklal Caddesi – Dinner, Churches, Some Fancy Arches and Consulates


Day 3: 12th April 2011

 

I suppose i ended the last note at the point when we just edged past the Galatasaray Lisesi. And after the yummy snack we picked up. The rest of the walk was filled with plenty of fun and lots of memorable photos. The walk ahead also had a lot of buildings with beautiful carvings and intelligent lighting.

In the midst of a chaotic shopping boulevard there was a black gate and inside lay a pink building which exuded calm and serenity. That was Church of St Anthony of Padova. We didn’t know it back then but we do now thatit is the biggest Roman Catholic Church  in Turkey. It seems this Church was built by Italian settlers in 1725 but later was demolished and then rebuilt at the same site.

The building was designed by the Istanbulite Levantino Italian architect Giulio Mongeri, who also designed many other important buildings in Istanbul and Ankara; such as the Maçka Palas (which houses Armani Café and Gucci) in Nişantaşı and the Neo-Byzantine style Karaköy Palas bank building in Karaköy (Galata), Istanbul; as well as the first headquarters of Türkiye İş Bankası in Ankara.

The inside of the Church was dark with a lot of purple lighting. It was said at some time that the reason so many rulers used to robe themselves in Purple was that the colour was considered Royal. (=Not bad, explains why i love purple, maybe i was a ruler in some pichhla janam…hmmm Raaz Picchle Janam Ka..Anyone??…Anyone???)

Alrite back to the Church. There were people lighting candles in little tranches on the side a la Mount Mary Church in Bandra. In all it was a very good feeling to go there.

Oh i forgot to mention about the incident while we were snapping oops clicking pictures of the sign saying “Istanbul Shopping Festival”. Like the mad photo clickkers we are, we went on snapping and then suddenly this guy walks up to me and says “Thank You”… forget the fact that he was a decent looking Turkish dude but i had literal question marks floating over my head a la Archie Comics Style.

Then i realised that he had seen me hold the camera and had posed. (=Who does that…….we only click pics when our cams are aimed….forget it)

As we walked deeper and deeper looking at a restaurant to grab a bite, the tummies kept growling louder and louder. There were bakeries, shops with beef kebaps and roast meat with lovely smells (=Again vegetarians please value your senses and stay away from the by lanes)

Then was the prank stop . Ah this roadside stall was the best memory from the whole trip. There was this great stall which had stuff like Magic Ink, Fake band aids, swords you could push thru your head etc along with the standard supply of bugs, beetles (=More keedas for people who already have a lot of keedas :P). Thats how i get a photo of me with a nail through my finger and the funny disguise.

The stall owner was cool enough to pose with us for a picture with the stuff he has on display. (=Turkish people are really nice!!! Makes me want to go back!!) The stall opposite to this one had something for me!! Earrings!!!! Awesome ones, rock bottom price after a lot of bargaining!!! (=Bargaining is always nice!!! And funnn to see the other person’s expression)

Finally the perfect dinner opportunity presented itself in the form of BBQ Chicken. This is the place that looked really decent and I thought would have good food. Turned out the food was delicious (=For once i won’t comment on the food!!) Plus the waiter was helpful.

Totally refreshed we touched Istiklal Caddesi again when we trudged our now tired feet to the part of the Boulevard where the Consulates started. And what a Grand Procession it was!!!!! Holland, Russia, Sweden in a row with their Palatial Consulates with superb lighting. I could just imagine working in a place like this. Which opened out to a Shopping Boulevard 😉

Finally the road curved and we reached the end of the route (=Or so we thought we didn’t explore further). There the tram services started to take us back to Taksim Square (=Where we’d seen the doggie with the Fashion Jacket!! I’m telling you,, we should drop what we’re doing and invest in grooming care for pets!!!)

The return journey to Taksim was fast, not to mention the slight delay because a drunkard got into our tram and was subsequently thrown out by the driver. The fare is not much and the ride pleasurable. Photos were clicking as we passed the big malls and the Clothes Stores and the Perfume Depts!! Also there were a few mosques that we passed. (=All done with brilliant lighting.)

And then finally a cab got us back to the Golden Horn, Sirkeci to 202/203 and to thus put a close toDAY 3

(=Phew they just keep getting longer don’t they!!)

 

sTAy Tuned for Day 4’s Masti

Simits

 

Istanbul SHOPPING fESTIVAL

 

Sant’Antonio de Padova

 

WooHooo….hello, where’d the credit card go??

 

 

 

 

Holland’s Coat of Arms

 

Holland Palace

 

Russia

 

Scergie..Oops Sweden

 

The Palaces called Embassies

 

Tramway

 

Dinner

 

Lighting

 

 

A shoe made of Shoes

 

The Perfume Store