Saturday, September 25, 2010

10 Most Distinguishable Features of Paris - An Indian Perspective

In random order:
1) The world's oldest and most elaborate underground metro system - you barely walk except inside the metro stations
2) The lack of English speakers - it is worse than getting stuck in rural Tamil Nadu without knowing Tamil
3) ''Bland'' vegetarian food - on the rare occasions you find it. Rich in one ingredient - maida
4) Short skirts - everywhere, round the clock, any temperature
5) Smooching in public goes unnoticed - whether between the opposite or same genders - seen frequently all over the city
6) Pooches are a fashion accessory and available in plenty - you find creatures which you could have never imagined are dogs, the vegetarian food section is smaller than the dog food section and most pooches live on a budget greater than 3 Indians put together
7) Fashion, loads of it - most brands considered upper segment brands in India are treated as poop here
8) Fitness - all residents are fitness freaks - practising either a sport or an exercise routine
9) Architecture - every structure they create has a touch of art - masterpieces are truly at the NEXT level
10) Loos with toilet paper and without water - yuck

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Dear Paris,
Parlez-vous anglais s'il vous plaît? That's all the French I know. Chances are high what is written would not make any sense to you as well. Which world are you living in?! How can anyone not know English! I feel like a stranger on your streets.

It is good to be the stranger sometimes. You can say whatever you like without the fear of worrying about what others make of it. ''Kameeno, kabhi to hass lo'' That's what I said out loud while travelling in the tram. They didn't have a clue.

On a more serious note, your people barely speak. There is pin drop silence in public transport. The city seems like it never speaks. The calmness is conspicuous to anyone who comes from a place called India.

However, you speak through art and architecture. Every building on the streets has an element of culture in it. Be it theatre, opera or sculpting, all are taken seriously. I must commend you for being able to retain your essence in the extremely modernized and fast paced world of today.

It is good to know you have a soul too. I have realized its importance after having returned from a city that has neither a heart nor soul. I at least know I can fall in love with you as I get to know you better.

Though I have much more to say (stuff like how 'bon apetite' is a misnomer for vegetarians in Paris), I have little time on my hands. I have been invited to a party by residents of your city. Looking forwards to a memorable three hours with them and an even more memorable three months with you.

The Illuminator