Thursday, April 14, 2005


Originally uploaded by ashishgorde.
Although the poem was inspired by Ropkapi, nevertheless, it was this photograph that was the main catalyst behind my writing the poem.

When I stood there in Topkapi and drank in the scene, the place intrigued and fascinated me for the rich history of the place and the magnificence of its architecture.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


i searched for comfort in history's
forgotten backyard, a reckless debris
it was: angry stone and mute granite
cobbling together in an ornate dance,
and the wind like a swirling dervish
swaying with the fury of a woman
scorned. the ottoman walls wailed
over memories of miseries enacted here,
and over pleasures that were played out
by the banks of the nearby bosphorus –
a pliable backdrop, if ever there was any,
to this decaying palatial harem
where eunuchs and courtiers conspired
to stretch an empire beyond the marmara.
i was all alone when i witnessed all this
from my zephyr burnished perch, an impossible
privilege in the days of the sultan
and now a mere salutary stop
in a tourist̢۪s itinerary. i was perturbed,
to say the least, at what this meant
and found no comfort in pitying
the significance of this moment
as i saw before my eyes
centuries of conquests collapse
into a parable of the inevitable.