It was already well past midnight. No one was around. There was only me, standing alone in a city square said to reflect the “Image of the World”, in a city, which according to a Persian proverb, called “Half of the World”. I walked around for a bit and noted Ali Qapu Palace on one side while another smaller-but-no-less-grand masjid, Masjid Sheikh Lotf Allah on the other. Located on opposite sides, both of them, along with Masjid Imam and Imperial Bazaar which occupy the other two sides, are connected to each other via the long row of shops making up the souq. And together they form Naqsh-e Jahan Square, or what is now more well known as Imam Square.
This was all done by design, of course. The guy behind this was Shah Abbas, who moved the capital of Safavid Dynasty to Esfahan. He wanted a place in his then new capital. A place to gather the people, including the three main powers that made up and controlled the city – the clergy, the traders, and himself as the Shah. And I reflected on today’s reality the world over. On how disconnected one party can be from each other most of the time...
Alone, I reflected more and more, just like the endless reflection of these buildings on the water. My thoughts rambled. My mind wandered back and forth. My eyes tried to take in every single detail of the beauty that surrounded me. My soul enjoyed the solitude.
How I just love Esfahan.
P.S: I could easily have stayed the night there in the Square, enjoying the beauty of the place and the solitude that it offered. But I needed the rest and still would like to experience the hassle and bustle of the place the next day. So I went back to the hotel and got there well after 1 a.m. only to find that the hotel’s main door was locked, the lobby was dark with all lights switched off, and there seemed to be no one at the reception counter. Panic, I remembered that I have the hotel’s business card and its number. So I called the hotel, heard a phone in the lobby rang and then saw someone came out from somewhere, answering the call. I quickly hung up on the phone and knocked on the door. Phew!! So a (not so) mental reminder to myself would be:
- Always check with the receptionist if I ever go out late at night and plan to come back even later
- Always have the hotel’s contact number with me
- Always make sure my mobile phone can make such an emergency call while roaming ;-)