As early as 8am – the hostel used to buzz! Of occupied shower stalls and borrowed shampoos; Of coffee and goat cheese; of conversations in 5 different languages in one room; of cables sprawled across the floor; of waiting for the battery lights to turn from orange to green; of iPad and Macs by the dozen; of cab-pools and stepping out in groups; Of photos and photos and photos; but more than anything else… of Efes! Yes, even early in the morning ‘for the road’ just before stepping out! :)
Hush was never really quiet… with a soul or two lazying out in the lounge on the comfy couch; the sun pouring in the only air-conditioned room that became the meeting point ‘see ya downstairs in five’; the software of choice Mr. Lightroom fast at work – there would always be those who are passionate to capture taking notes and discussing ideas. The hustle and the bustle fed the adrenaline!
By 3pm after a quick shower and a skype/fb update for family and close friends walk down the Hush road to take a left. Predictably awesome routine as you highfive fellow foundries inhaling icecream at ‘Mado’. Another 3-min walk to the corner where the doner kebab addicts assembled at least 5 times a day. And spending the rest of the day with this new found family of friends! :)
From the moment I found out – I had 3 days left to register myself to a workshop that would change a lot. Foundry Photojournalism Workshop 2010, June 20-26 in Turkey, Istanbul turned out to be a one-way ticket to a reality check. Also a turning point that made me semi-switch my career (Again! From being a journalist to working for TV; to going to radio; and then back at TV to being a wedding photographer!) to being a photojournalist.
And this was a trip that I could not have even imagined – even after getting the ticket and the visa stamped. I had the money saved up for another potential trip that didn’t work out and I was heartbroken when that was postponed! 2 days later a friend mentioned Foundry and a month later, I couldn’t believe myself even when I was on the KHI > DXB > IST flight!
I think at some point, I will have a continuation of this post. A foundry part two that talks about being in Constantinople as one of the three Pakistanis – the other being Nariman Ansari & Qamar Ji – the feeling of being given a chance to ‘represent’ the green and the white! With around a 100 new ‘foreign’ contacts on my facebook, to always be on the lookout to show off the (little) positive stuff that I find online to link and many times, to ‘introduce’ my new friends to a Pakistan they haven’t seen before. And definitely not the Pakistan they see in the evening news.
A part two of this post – to somehow explain the trip and the ‘freedom’ I felt in a country I had never been to before. Despite not being able to speak their language, having better communicated with people who embraced me for being a Pakistani! :) And being a 25-year old (at the time I was there, turned 26 a month later!) single girl who flew to Istanbul alone.
For now – a very belated but the most genuine thankyou to Istanbul – you felt like ‘home’. <3
Some of the work produced at the workshop could be viewed here.