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Aparna Andhare

Curator, Art Historian, Blogger, Educator

Museum of Innocence, Istanbul, Turkey



1. It started with a novel— as most amazing adventures do. I love Orhan Pamuk and my favourite novel is, without a doubt, The Museum of Innocence.

2. All my favourite themes converge in the Museum of Innocence— writing, nostalgia, the allure of objects and conflicted romance. The collection of ideas becomes tangible, as the book transforms into a physical space, into an actual museum, tucked away in a lane of Istanbul. I made a short stopover in the city only to visit a beloved novel.

3. To prepare for my trip, i had re-read this massive book, carrying it with me all over England, where it was caught in unexpected rain more than once. I also attended a talk by Pamuk, and showed him my weather-beaten copy, which amused him, I think. I was excited, but a little anxious, never having ‘met’ a novel. This was more nerve-wracking than a first date. On a fall afternoon, I turned the corner and was at the Museum of Innocence, the only visitor, given free entry because I came with the book.

4. It was glorious— true to the book. I walked up to the top slowly, lost in words, remembering passages, revisiting some. There were things I had missed and some I had forgotten- everything came rushing back. The book and the museum were magnificent.

5. I had a flight to catch and on the plane there was only one thing I wanted: ice cold Raki, drunk in silence.

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