As I sit in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge, bound for Calcutta, with my mug of cappuccino and book (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), I thought of my last update on Adi and mine few days in Paris. This seems a time as good as any to finally send this post going. Paris seems a world away even though it was just a few months ago.
Another year seems to have brought a new home our way. We just finished moving apartments in the same building. Our bodies are sore, but our souls are satisfied. It comes with the territory I suppose. Where would the pleasure be if we did not have to put in this back-breaking work. After all, man is made of pain and pleasure.
Back to that time when we walked the streets of Paris and swooned at its eternal beauty. There was the afternoon when we met Lulu. It was golden. Apart from that the fact that we had a soft bundle of canine loveliness to bury our faces into. At Les Invalides, a guard shushed me with a smile. Even remonstrations in French sound chic. I saw the reason for it soon. There was a funeral cortege issuing from one of the doors.
We had a gander at the Luxembourg gardens that is somewhere between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. Its sylvan beauty sat within a not-too-overwhelming radius. The waters in the fountain gleamed on that cold winter’s day with unerring beauty. The dappled sunlight, the bronzed sculptures of Greek gods and actors, the bare bones of swaying trees, and the soft breeze. It was one of those moments that you appreciated the effortless artistry of nature, the presence of your beloved, and the loveliness of life in one of the grandest cities in this world.
A white-haired man turned up with his two sons and decided that they wanted a photograph to be taken of them in front of the Medici Fountain. We obliged. He directed his sons to pick up the chairs around us. I thought, now for a grand photo shoot and a hell lot of creativity. What did they do? They simply plonked themselves on the chairs in front of that strip of water. That’s all. A comedown of sorts. But then remember The Hollow Men? This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang. More of a whimper.
A boulevard from the garden eventually led us to the Latin Quarter. The Pantheon with its grandeur and then the quiet hum of life in and around the Sorbonne. People sat in the shadow of the Pantheon braving the cold wind, and meanwhile, we came upon a British pub in the quiet lanes of the quarter. A pint of ale for Adi, a coffee for me. And then, back on the road. For that is the one great love affair in life. The road.