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Musings in Paris

I love my writings, and now that I call myself a writer, I can’t wait to write after anything interesting happens. While I was in Paris recently, I had a lot of such moments, but since I never carried my laptop outside and was too tired when we got back to our hotel, I could do very little writing. The best I could write was a paragraph each day to capture something interesting from the day. Lack of time forced the writing to be short and precise. I am listing some of such musings below which I wrote in Paris –

“Today I saw two pairs of legs getting out of the metro, and I couldn’t help but follow them. The high heels, the stockings, the red streaks in her blond hair and the clothing breathed of chic fashion from inside out. They walked slowly so I overtook them in no time and turned to take a glance at what I hoped would be faces of two young women. But alas, I was in Paris, and they were at least 60 years old. Yet they had eyebrows properly made, that highlighter type thing was visible on their eyes, and the red lipstick was ever evident. After being in Paris for 4 days now, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Not anymore.”

“I like to walk, and I like to jog. Especially in a new city. Recently when I was in Jaipur, I went out for a jog at 6 am and got reconnected with the city where I once spent 4 years. Today, on a chilly Sunday morning, I got up early at 7 am (late by my standards, but we are on vacations!) and went out for a jog near my hotel. Being a Sunday and that early, most of the shops were closed and streets deserted except the trash pick-up trucks and some fellow joggers. It’s amazing how much you notice in an early morning jog than you would in an afternoon walk.

I saw the pick-up trucks doing their job so efficiently, stopping and picking up waste every 100 meters and then holding on to the back of the trucks and moving on. The fellow joggers – I must have seen people from France, US, somewhere in the middle east, another Indian couple, and some Englishmen certainly today morning. I noticed the construction work happening near a metro station I jogged by, and I noticed the closed Carrefour store as well as a MacDonads and Subway restaurant.”

To Eat Like The French Do Is To Cherish / Enjoy Life

To Eat Like The French Do Is To Cherish / Enjoy Life

“I notice that we are zipping past a lot of Parisians as we walk by. We are used to walking fast, living in Delhi and Mumbai. But here people seem relaxed as they walk. Some couples will stop for 10 seconds and steal a passionate kiss, right in front of us. They walk slowly soaking in the cool breeze and the smell of coffee from the roadside cafes. They seem to cherish life and this exact moment unlike us who always seem to be heading somewhere else. That makes me think – where am I going? And do I have to?”

“I know French, so does my wife. But we speak French like Indians speak any language – in different tones depending on our moods and situation we are in. But it is a totally different experience hearing French words from local people here. At first, I thought they were singing something. They speak so politely and softly, and Francaise anyways is a very phonetic language. Even if they fight (I saw only instance of people arguing), it doesn’t look like an argument.”

“Bonjour, Bonjour – it means have a good day. I was surprised to get this greeting from people walking on the streets, from people in the metro, from shop owners as we walk pass by their shops. This is the norm here, people just smile and wish others for the day ahead. Paris was cold, but such pleasantries made our days warm. Nobody ever got killed for smiling and wishing a stranger!”

“These pigeons are fat. Certainly fatter than the ones back home. Some are so fat they can’t even fly. But they are cute, and lovely. They come near you, and look for food. For Parisians treat them as well as they treat themselves. We gave them chocolates, and they were happy eating it off my hand. They sit, walk right beside you without getting scared. Sometimes they fly too!”

“They wore black dress with armor, which looks similar to the ones I wear when I go long distance on my motorcycle. They had guns too. But the best accessory the French Police was wearing, was their smile. They were on motorbikes, on cycles, on horses and in cars and vans. One child was crying in the Tuilieries Gardens, and two policemen turned around their cycles to check on the guy and his dad. How sweet and poetic!! “

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