I have a habit of continually changing my desktop background (perhaps some of you understand!), and when I was browsing through Flickr, I somehow ended up seeing these stunning pictures of Topkapi Palace. Oh, I remember how I ended up there. I was searching for pictures of fountains, and a Topkapi fountain image caught my breath. From there on, I was hooked. I mean, I knew Topkapi was gorgeous and home to many treasures of Islam’s past, but I was whacked between the eyes by these pictures. And as I was looking at one picture after another, I kept saving the spectacular ones for my wallpaper collection. But one image in particular just made me want to cry (click for larger image):
For some reason, it looks so sad and forlorn, like the room is weeping at being reduced to a state where it is no longer used for its original purpose. Like the room has lost its lovers, and is patiently awaiting their eventual return. Every tile that was so painstakingly formed, painted, applied to the walls…now bereft of the people who would appreciate and use this tribute to Islam and its beauty. How much sadder can they get? And as I looked at this picture, I thought, “Attaturk replaced this with what? Progress?!” Some change with the times. Others change time itself.
Perhaps I read too much into the picture. Maybe it was just taken on a gloomy day, or the light filtering through that corner window hit the room just so, so the colors on the tiles look a bit sadder and melancholic. I really don’t know. But it sent me down this trip, where I am reading about the Topkapi and its many treasures here. Amazingly amazing, mashaAllah.
Image above from Flickr, more specifically here.