Turkish Delight and Then Some

Photo of Turkish Delight and Then Some 1/1 by Prathima

I am a Shah Rukh Khan fan. That’s right, I *heart* SRK.

So someday, like any fan, I would not mind meeting him in person. Maybe I will squeal in shock and awe, maybe I will take a picture with him and even look good in it or maybe I will say something really intelligent.

Until that day comes, I will be happy with the young Turkish SRK impersonator that I met in Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar.

It was love at first sight… for him.

Now I’ve never been spice shopping in a foreign land before. And I’m Indian, so masala is not alien to my everyday life. Still I’d like to believe Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar is quite unique.

I mean, there’s more to this market than just turmeric, chili and saffron.

Heaps of Turkish delight, baklava of every kind. Tea is available in multiple varieties – from fruity to herbal to the kind that will make you fall in love.

So there I was, taking a leisurely stroll, completely captivated by the sights, sounds and smells.

I could hear someone shout, “Pardon! Pardon!”

But I was too busy gazing at the large bunches of dried aubergines and chili hanging from above. As I took a few steps backward to get a better view, the cautionary shouting grew closer.

I turned and my foot bumped into a pile of cardboard boxes sitting on a carrying cart. Manning the cart was a young Turkish boy, the same person who’s voice I had been ignoring.

“You need to watch where you are going!” he said, not unkindly. In fact, he seemed genuinely worried.

He was the same height as me and fair with tinges of pink in his cheeks from the cold (and probably from yelling at me to get out of the way).

I grinned in embarrassment and said sorry. I moved out of his way and started to continue on mine, but he stood right there. He wasn’t done.

“If you lose your life, what will happen to me?!,” he called out dramatically. His Turkish accent only added to the effect.

I turned around to face him partly shocked, partly amused and of course, partly flattered. I began to laugh but it did not deter him. “I love you!” he shouted, arms outstretched and everything. Right out of a SRK movie. He even got that signature pose down pat.

And just like that, before I could digest this bold declaration of love, my Romeo (or should I say Rahul), pleased as punch about his performance, went back to being, what I assume was a delivery boy.

I stood there perplexed and wondering, even to this day, will the real SRK live up?