“Excuse me how much for one ticket?”
“Sir, 20 liras”
“I don’t have liras, can you take dollars instead?”
“Sorry sir but we only charge in Turkish currency”
The girl at the counter said that with a smile, she was cute and unsurprisingly pretty because of which I was not ready to move away from the counter until the old,black, ugly lady at my back said:
“MR. if are done with her then please step aside my kids are waiting for me and I want to get tickets for them plus I have lira’s”
I felt like putting my black Sputnik 9 number shoes straight in her mouth, but then thought I don’t have another pair.
“huh lucky you” I whispered and left the counter and the charming girl behind it. With a heavy heart I was slowly and unwillingly walking away, it was not that my heart fell for that girl sitting behind that counter, yes the one with mesmerizing smile, for when I looked back and hoped that she would be looking at my way for one last bye, she wasn’t , instead she was now exchanging the similar looks with another guy, he was tall, slim and more then that, had white skin.
“huh, what a flirt she is, totally professional”
On the other hand I was rather frustrated and somehow upset because the great Topkappi palace was right in front of me. I was at the counter, the entrance was few steps ahead but what a crap, I was out of Lira’s and now I would have to go all the way back, find an exchange shop and then come back again.
“Am not going to do that kind of labor”
My nature doesn’t allow me much to get help from people of my gender. Over some past years I configured that women are more polite and helpful towards men and men show the same towards women. However when it comes to the same gender bonding, the similar ions oppose each other. Under same theory of mine I stopped her. She looked very young; her height was just average, black short hairs over her white skin were making her fall into the category of beauty, blue tight jeans with white shirt and brown leather jacket was enough to attract any man towards her, so it was not my fault that ignoring every other soul around me I went to her and bumped right in front of her.
“Amm… Hi…. Am Abdullah”
“hi, ..am Elma” she brought her right hand forward
“ I guess she wants to shake hand’.
“No, don’t”, I told myself, but then the very next second I came to know that my hand was not under my command and was already building up bilateral relations. I looked at my hand which was now happily in touch with Elma’s hand waving signs which said:
“Stupid you won’t getting such chances everyday”
“So, you are here for …..” her incomplete sentence brought me back to Topkappi palace
“oooh yeah well can you just tell me where is the nearest exchange office, I need to get a ticket for the entrance into the palace but I don’t have lira’s and the girl at the counter says that she can’t accept dollars”
“well I don’t think so that there is any exchange near by, you need to get down to Sultan Ahmet Market, which is about six kilometers from this place ”
“ohh allright then I guess I should go back and come tomorrow, well thanks a lot ”
I was about to turn and walk away but her voice iced my feet right there.
“If you don’t mind, I can buy a ticket for you, we can go in together and then you can pay me back by buying me a cup of coffee after that from Sultan Ahmed”
How I could have rejected such an offer. It was like night meal of pizza hut, buy one and get one free.
“I will surely not mind that” I said that with the biggest smile I could ever give, though my mind was telling me that hide your teeth man, you forgot to brush them in the morning.
“So where are you from?”
We both were walking slowly towards the main entrance of the palace, she was on my left, and for some reason I felt that my chest got extra broadened, shoulders tight and straight and feet on ground being kept so as to depict a strange brisk walk. With out looking at her I answered.
“Wow PAKISTAN, the Green Land right? You guys are all over the media and cover pages, and I have read so much about your country. You know despite of in what crises you are, in between the power politics, you guys are doing a great deal , and as a Muslim if u ask me, am so proud of your country, you guys are may be our last hope, Islam here is loosing its grips, but we all are looking towards people of green land…………..”
She continued her speech for the entire time, though we discussed many other things but through out that evening, her words were echoing in my ears….
“YOU GUYS ARE MAY BE OUR LAST HOPE, WE ALL ARE LOOKING TOWARDS THE PEOPLE Of GREEN LAND”