Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
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Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Memoirs of Paris

Posted on October 4, 2010 | Fascinating Cities8 Comments


I lust for Paris as I know it, a small slice of the city of light. Perhaps I am just a bit homesick and missing what I consider my spiritual home, but that is impossibility, for I am here in Paris. This gut-wrenching feeling hits me every time I return here, as if the city I once embraced lovingly is now giving me the cold shoulder, as if it resents me. It hits me every single time. I have lived here and left, and re-visiting is like sitting down for dinner with an ex-lover; you can try and try, but the relationship will never be as good as it once was.

Paris city tours

Emily and I have been here for four days. Four days…how time flies when you are shaking off the after-effects of jet lag and swimming in the mutual love for one another. I almost didn’t notice that our chambre à deux personnes had just worn that air of shabbiness more comfortably than the last time we were here. But a bit of that crusty, crumbly French bread complete with butter and jam accompanied by coffee makes me forget my worries. Cupping the cup of café au lait to my own lips the way I would bring Emily’s voluptuous lips close to mine, I gave it a loving kiss and took in its fragrant aroma that lit up my senses like a Christmas tree.

French friends from trips gone by await me (“Mais vous n’avez pas changé, vous êtes toujours aussi jeunes!”) and we kiss cheek to check, happiness everywhere, but I cannot lie to myself; a lot has changed since I was last here. I no longer know which bus to take to enjoy the beauty of l’Opéra. The movie schedules could well have been written in Latin for all the good it did me. The only thing I do remember well are the rundown cinemas on their last legs showing, after some 20 years, the same films I saw when I was here in my 20’s.

l’Opéra

Was it such a different time then? I had a gaggle of French friends at every turn and corner and now merely a handful, one of whom is (very sadly) fading away very fast. I walked these streets as if I owned it, was a Parisian for all I was worth. And I loved a restaurant whose name I forget now, and they served the most sublime soufflé au Grand Marnier you could ever be so fortunate to have. It was a fragrant, eggy hat that was warm and sweet and all that was good in the world.

I lived in Paris for almost a year, but that seems a lifetime away now. That year is not mine just as this city isn’t mine even if I know its culture and speak its language. Of course, I can never be as fluent in French as I am in English, but as an outsider I can be as good as it gets. Here, on the fourth day, I lust for Paris as I know it, a small slice of the city of light. In this garret on rue de la Bûcherie, the spire of Notre Dame stands out most among the rooftops and chimneys and I know I will never get back the Paris I knew.

Notre Dame

Getting out without Emily to walk these streets at twilight, I round a corner and find Bach playing in a church and it fills my soul with hope. Somewhere, in this cluttered verticality the heart of Paris as I knew it beats strong and I rush back to grab Emily, in love once again. I still belong here, sometimes.

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8 Comments »

  • Yjee says:

    Know from this, the world’s a snare;
    How that greatness is but care,
    How all pleasures are but pain,
    And how short they do remain…

    Hope you keep this in mind..
    A lovely sad romance transpires into a poetic prose in your post!

    Thanks for the heart-rending read :-)

  • Rosemary Jones says:

    The existence of pleasure is but a mystery. The existence of pain has called for spiritual speculation.Pleasure and pain are companions for life..They are inseparable.
    The intellectual damn will nurse your Half-hurt.
    Quickly you are well.

    A GREAT post! Bravo!

  • Elbert Kiellor says:

    A poignant and flowy piece of work!
    I’m appalled! You deserve an applaud for this amazing post!
    Well-written! Kudos! :-)

  • Lloyd Marsters says:

    The heart of Paris is nothing so much as the unending interior of a house.Here,buildings become furniture,courtyards become carpets, streets are like galleries, and boulevards like conservatories.The only way of going out or shutting the door behind you is to leave the center.

  • Anne Davis says:

    No where is one more alone than in Paris..and yet surrounded by crowds.
    Nowhere is one likely to incur greater ridicule. And no visit is more essential.
    An awesome post! Thanks :-)

  • Samantha Fox says:

    If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go, for the rest of your life , it will stay with you, For Paris is a moveable feast!

    You are a lucky man indeed :-)

  • Patton Wilkerson says:

    Every city has a gender and age which have nothing to do with demography. Odessa is feminine.So is Rome. London is a teenager, an urchin, and this hasn’t changed since ever.
    Paris I believe is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.

  • Abigail Austin says:

    Good Americans when they die, go to Paris.

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