The GREATEST night of my life, all because of you people - 6th September 2010, Istanbul.

I’m alive
I’m being born
I just arrived,
I’m at the door of the place I started out from
And I want back inside

Its been a week since i came back from my monumental trip to Istanbul, and i have to confess that mentally, i am still stuck in the code +90-212. During these last few days, i have often tried to put down my thoughts into words, or write a travelogue or a small memoir of sort to remember this trip but every time i sat down to do so, words just failed me. Absolutely failed me. I was completely numb, with writer’s block all over my mind.

However, one thing that emerged from all this thinking and reflecting over that fascinating week i spent in the magical city of Istanbul, was how lucky I am to have a most special bunch of friends. People knew my U2 obsession, and upon hearing that i will finally be making a pilgrimage to see them perform live, the outpouring of love was just way, way overwhelming. The amount of messages, calls, facebook wall posts i received,  it truly moved me beyond words.

And this realisation brought me here, as I want to convey my deepest gratitude to all those who wished me luck for the success of this trip. However, out of all those people, some of them deserve super special mention because without whom, the dream to see U2 would have remained just that, adream, nor i would have experienced the ‘life’ they way i did.

First and foremost, I have to thank my ex-boss and one of my real-life inspirations, GP, without whoseefforts i wouldn’t have been able to even think about this trip. I still remember it, the day i showed to him the U2 tour schedule last year September, without a second thought he said ,”If there is one person who deserves to go there, it is you and I will personally ensure that  nothing stops you from going.” Guess what, despite all the dark politics of our organisation, the man was true to his word in fulfilling his promise. So thank you GP, it really meant a lot and i do wish we get to work together again soon.

One can dream all they want, but there are people who help you realise that dream and keep telling you to focus and don’t give up. For me, this was done my best friend who kept pushing me and reminding me to just do it, without caring for circumstances and ‘ground realities’. She was the one who paved the way by her own trip to Istanbul in the most astonishing manner, which really set the tone and the inspiration to pull this off. Insi,  you know and I know, these words do not really do justice to what our friendship is all about. All i can say is, THANK YOU. 🙂

As time passed by, and July turned to August, it was on the 6th night the month when U2 opened their latest leg of tour at Turin, Italy. And it was on THIS night, when a most special friend kicked me on my bum and put me out of my funk. I would have almost jeopardised my travelling plans had we not had this conversation. For that, and much more (which includes 5 quid worth of newspapers :P) , Emm Jay, I cant thank you enough. 🙂

Nothing of this would have been made possible, though, without this person. She has been a real life saviour for which i cannot thank her enough but more so, she is the one who for the last 7 years, kept on fueling my U2 passion. Maryam Baji, I know you hate thank yous and we have had long convos about this but really, this deserves as public a shout out as i can give. You told me to have as much fun and believe me, I had THE BEST time of my life. When I was shown the way to the inner circle as i was running on the pitch of Ataturk Stadium, you were the person i thought of. It truly is All Because of You and i cant thank you enough for this and everything else.

Ultimately, the biggest thank you, that can be for nobody but my brother, without whom i wouldnt have known about U2 at all. The person who got me into music, the person who introduced me to U2, the person who brought Sydney ZooTv VHS tape [which i refused to watch because i thought it was all junk] to eventually, the person who brought home POP Mart Mexico – the turning point when i finally became a U2 convert. Without you Rehan Bhai, nothing of this would have been remotely possible. Thank you , thank you , thank you.

Aside from them, I must thank Annie Baji for lending me her camera, without which I wouldnt have taken 2200 pics in 6 days including those fabulous U2 concert pictures and Sadia, for the late late help.

The bottom line, however, goes to the band which gave me songs for my life, an experience of a lifetime, but most importantly, the greatest set of friends one could ever hope to have. It was because of U2, i got close to a lot people and have some of the greatest memories, friendships and relationships. Something that shall always remain priceless and most precious to me.

As the title of the post goes, it really is ALL BECAUSE OF YOU, and you and you and you and you  🙂