“Parlez-Moi d’Amour”


To Paris…

If you have ever visited Paris, inevitably you probably want to visit again. If you have never been…you must!

Paris is all about aesthetics. It is about being pleasing to the eye, to the ear and to the tongue. Even the mums in the park oozed style in just their trainers, shabby jogging bottoms and effortlessly tousled hair dos. Their children and husbands, not to be left behind, carried themselves as if they were models from a bohemian fashion magazine called, “How to look Parisian and Stylish Without even Trying!” We could only look on in wonder and hope that some of that effortless elegance rubbed off on us during our 5 day stay but I’m not sure that it did.

I would describe Paris as a cross between Birmingham and Kolkata. I know these two places relatively well to be able to make a comparison. It is efficient, cosmopolitan and pleasing to the eye, yet it is laid back, full of culture and is all about enjoying the journey.

You cannot walk for very long in Paris, without being encouraged to sit down and light up with a coffee in the many cafés and eateries. The bookshops and souvenir stalls line the pavements as you navigate your way around, firmly keeping the Eiffel Tower in view, and the River Seine in sight. Couples hold hands and children just nonchalantly and so beautifully get on with things as they babble in delicate French, making everything they say, simply enchanting.

I must have fallen in love with the charming waiter who took our order for fresh, fresh croissants and café au lait in the mornings, only because of the way he said, “biensur, Madame,” and looked deeply into my eyes when offering me back my change.

Oh, it was a lovely, lovely experience and I need to go back again, WITHOUT the kids! Please don’t misunderstand me; Paris is VERY child friendly. It just would have been friendlier to us, without the children. Paris is a city to explore and get lost in and should not be tackled with the just the guidebook in tow. Routines should be abandoned and the city should also be enjoyed at night, as much as in the day.  Our children wouldn’t have been able to cope with all that romance and exercise, considering they were getting bored of the metro and walking on day 3. So bored, in fact, that my daughter took it upon herself to hail a cab without prompting when her little legs were tired, despite it being only a 10 minute stroll from the hotel.

Paris holds you in her arms and allows you to fall in love again, be swept away with romance and idea of love with an undying passion, all set within the city’s backdrop of grandeur and beauty.

I enjoyed Paris. One day, I’d like to live there for a time, learn to speak fluent French and cook like Julia Child. I’d own a cat called Pierre Le Chat and write a column for a popular newspaper, but that seems like an alternate reality in an alternate universe, light years from now. So, for now, I’ll just end with the immortal words of that song… J’attendrai.” I will wait for you, Paris, and you must wait for me, at least until the children are all grown up!

 

Notre Dame Cathredral

Notre Dame Cathredral

The Rose Window at Notre Dame

The Rose Window at Notre Dame

Notre Dame's Gothic Architecture

Notre Dame’s Gothic Architecture

Le Metro

Le Metro

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe

Crepe

Crepe

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

The View from the Eiffel Tower

The View from the Eiffel Tower

 

 

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Memories of England


We’re back in Kolkata now. It’s wonderful to be home, but memories of a lovely time remain.

Life is a little simpler in my mother’s house, although a little cramped. It’s a house full of love and affection and emotions that spill out at every opportunity. It’s where I learned to love cricket and how to chop onions. It’s where I tantrum regularly, just because I can and it’s where I know I will always have a place in the retelling of the stories from long ago.

I’ll have memories of the dandelion clocks and the neighbour’s cats; the roses in my mother’s garden and the golden evenings in the duck park, where we saw the sun set and sky change. But most of all I’ll remember the feel of my father’s embrace and my mother’s cheek as they bid us welcome and then later, farewell.

 

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Babu Ghat


Kolkata is such a magical place. It really is. Its meandering pace is just right for me. Oh my goodness, what would I do, who would I be, were I in some bustling metropolis with no time to think of words to place in lines of poetry and prose? 

On Saturday evening, around 4, O’Clock we set off towards Babu Ghat. Through the centre we drove in stop start traffic, towards an oasis of calm and tranquility. On the banks of the Ganges we were blessed with the golden light of a setting sun and in her arms, we were borne safely to a new kind of peace

 

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A Shift


I’m not who I used to be. Or I’m more of who I am than I ever was before. Does that make sense?

When you’re part of the rat race, when you’re rushing about worrying about how to pay the bills or what time to pick up the children, or what to cook for dinner, when you have the bare minimum of ingredients and no budget, you have no time to be yourself. When you leave the race, it’s easier to see the beauty of a pepper pot or the perfect symmetry of the view outside your kitchen window, or wonder at the robin with his red breast atop a bare branch, making a picture worth taking. It is for this reason I am blessed.

There may come a time, very soon when I will have to go back to the race, to start running again. But I hope that this time I’ll be able to take time out of every day to watch the colours in the sky with my children and to watch the rise and fall of their chests as they sleep. I hope I take the time out to treasure their hugs and the light in their faces. Because as you know, Kolkata has brought about a shift in me and I so dread going back to the way things used to be.

Here are some images I have taken the time to see. Every day is beautiful here. Everyday holds a jewel.

 

 

 

 

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