I am starting this blog to be able to write to my heart's content. I dont want to advertise this blog but I would want people to chance on it and give their comments. This is the first of many contradictions that will make up this blog

Location: India

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Paris - Winter in the air

The buildings here are proud structures - confident in their permanence. They are fresh
faced in contrast to the grime stuck on to the walls of buildings in a similar city - Kolkata.
The metro in Paris is a jumble of multi-coloured lines; green, red, yellow and blue, like the circuit diagrams from science in school. The metro is an underground lifeline, making travel quick and affordable. The wide roads are paved in stone. There is a delicious welcoming warmth to them.
This is also the warmth that emanates from the smaller shops lining the Champs De Elysees (Shau Ze Eli Ze as the french pronounce it). It is the lighting that only the soft light from bulbs can produce. Tubelights are harsh and efficient; bulbs, profligate and warm.
A light rain falls on and off. It freshens but does not drench. The road-side cafes still spill into the pavements on the street, the temporary roofs and discreetly placed umbrellas a shelter from the rain. A sparrow pecks at tid-bits as it hops on the ground between tables. Tourists flood the streets in a frenzy, taking in the maximum number of sights in the limited time available to them, capturing them digitally, to experience it all later when they are played back to friends, like cows chewing cud.
Christmas is in the air and the Santa costumes and the lighted Christmas trees are out in the open. Chocolates, hot wine, soft toys, puppets, crepes and breads, earthen lamps, shawls, earrings and bangles, caps and hats are displayed in the shops lining both sides of the street.
Carousels and Giant wheels spin in concert with the delighted screams of the children in them.
A group of 6 young men are performing a choreographed hip-hop routine in the street. Each one has his own specialized moves all of it culminating in a group routine. One of them performs incredible contortions, doing handstands, taking off his cap with one foot and putting it on with the other.
His group mate dances his way to a two year old girl in a pink raincoat. He leads her to the centre of the circle and moves her hands and feet to the rhythm of the music, like a baby hip-hopper. The child is dazed. The crowd loves it.
Another dances his way to a lady in the crowd. He thrusts his left cheek at her, motioning her to kiss him on it. Obligingly, she puckers up and leads her lips to his cheek. At the last instant, he turns his head around and their lips meet. The crowd roars its approval. The lady smiles embarassedly and the dancer retreats quickly.At the end of their performance, they hold out their caps for the coins.
The Champs De Elysees is a beautiful street.

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