It was mid-January. Istanbul was hot and humid during the day. Well, relatively speaking. He’d spent his last 7 days in Delhi and Boston. Both of which were exceedingly cold. He had come to Istanbul with his MBA class and it was their ‘cultural exploration’ day. It is a fancy way of saying that they were paid vacationists in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. They visited many a beautiful sites, but one that caught his attention the most was the eerie and mystical Basilica Cistern.
Basilica Cistern, rightly called ‘The Sunken Palace,’ is a marvel. He was amazed at how well preserved it was despite centuries of conflict and siege. He relished the elegant spotlighting that made water shimmer and the classical background music with a child-like fascination. He was most intrigued by the two giant Medusa head pillar bases at the far end of the cistern – one face placed upside down and other sideways – to ward off evil spirits. ‘Mythology tends to have the similar ethos everywhere. They add an enigma to historical events and touch as at a deep philosophical level.’