Nostalgia in a Glass of Boza

A slightly modified version of this article originally appeared in The Hindu Sunday Magazine, which can be viewed here.

The setting sun casts a golden glow over the otherwise nondescript street in the residential neighbourhood of Vefa, Istanbul. Not far from Sultanahmet, which is famous for its numerous historic attractions including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, Vefa is quieter and calmer, but its weary streets are steeped in a different kind of history. During Ottoman times, this quarter was home to scholars and aristocrats, and it remains the home of a 142-year old boza shop, Vefa Bozacısı. Continue reading “Nostalgia in a Glass of Boza”

Travel Sketches: From Paris to Bali

I don’t paint often when I’m travelling. Being pressed for time—or, more often, sheer laziness/the social media sinkhole—gets in the way. But when I do make the time, I find that it intensifies the experience. There’s something about capturing a place you’re passing through in the pages of a sketchbook that feels both personal and indelible.

Continue reading “Travel Sketches: From Paris to Bali”

Visiting the Galleria Borghese on a ‘Free Sunday’

(2019 Update: This scheme was brought to an end last year, but has been reinstated this year by the newly formed government.)

I was out the door by 8 o’clock, so I could be at the Galleria Borghese when it opened its doors in exactly an hour. It was the first Sunday of the month; I hoped to beat the crowd and spend all day taking in the works at one of Rome’s finest art galleries.

Clearly I hadn’t done my research, because little did I know:

a. You need a reservation in order to enter the museum in the first place.

b. The Galleria Borghese is relatively small when compared with the likes of the Prado, Louvre or Uffizi Gallery, and doesn’t actually require all day to soak in every inch of the two-floor space. Continue reading “Visiting the Galleria Borghese on a ‘Free Sunday’”

When in Rome

I’m nearing the end of my time in Rome, where I’ve been living and working on various projects for the past month.

Two months of continuous travelling and eleven cities later, I came to the realization that I needed to stay put in one spot for a little while if I were to get any real work done. And what better place than Rome to halt for inspiration? Continue reading “When in Rome”