memories

Memories Of The Grand Bazaar

204“You know the fountain, which you see as you go up towards Çarşıkapı from Şark Kahvesi? Since that day, I left my memories to the sound of the water in that fountain.” On which dusty shelves of yours, had I forgotten you, my youth? This is how I wrote the poem of the Grand Bazaar under its umbrella … Now, the dream of my youth that I forgot on its dusty shelves plays one more time in the mirror of my past days … Like the poet says, I did not write this poem while I was riding on a horse. First, the words wanted to flow as a prose to the first page of a newspaper. The executive editor of the newspaper, which I worked for at the time, early 90s, wanted an interview about the Grand Bazaar. After I wandered in the Grand Bazaar all day, talked to many of its people and read some books, I wrote the poem of the Grand Bazaar and left it on his desk. But since an interview in the form of a poem was not suitable for the newspaper, it was kindly refused. The next day, I rewrote the interview as a prose with ordinary words. It was published in the newspaper. This interview stil! lives in my book called “My Shadow is in the Streets of İstanbul” under the title of “The Closed Box is a Bazaar”, and the poem is published with the title of “The Grand Bazaar” in my book, Destination. “The pale mainland of the memories”, I said in the lines of the poem. Isn’t it just time to read a pal e page from the pale book of the memories? That gir!; she was from İzmir but she was a student in Ankara. The meeting adventure which started with letters, turned into love in a short time. She sometimes would come from İzmir, sometimes from Ankara.

Their meeting points were all around İstanbul during day. At nights, it was the bachelor pad of Öder Bozok, who resided in Samatya. In the morning of a night !ike this, the lovers and Öder Bozok all went to the Grand Bazaar. And they went into a jewelry store down in Kalpakçılar Street. All karats of gold engagement rings were examined anda 12kt gold ring which actually looked !ike copper was decided. “What would you like to drink?” asked the jeweler. “Two cokes, please.” said Öder Bozok and added “I brought my vodka with me.” Vodka and coke was mixed. Öder Bozok put the gold engagement rings on the fingers of the lovers and celebrated their engagements. The man of the lovers was Refik Durbaş. Öder Bozok said goodbye to the world nearly twenty years ago; now he is having the dream of his eternal sleep under a shadow of a willow in the plateau of Kozan, Adana. That jeweler, where is he now? Would he remember that day and me? That girl settled in a new life in another world with another !over. She writes stories, is a beautiful mother with three kids .. . Her name is hidden in me … You know the fountain, which you see as you go up towards Çarşıkapı from Şark Kahvesi? Since that day, I left my memories to the sound of the water in that fountain.

 Refik Durbaş

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