Wednesday, July 6, 2011

memories of Paris





this time next week i will be in Paris. i still have a city guide here, from a previous trip - but realized that this was really years ago. so in now ordered a new one, with flip-map and walking tours. and then went and looked for the photos from my first time in Paris.

the photos are Kodaks, laid out as collage - the trip was in the time before digital cameras. and before the internet was such a huge part of life. the scenes in the photos are: Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame (with me), Versailles, L'Arc de Triomphe (here's a larger version of the image 1)

and the second collage: Seine River with Notre Dame, Les Halles, Centre Pompidou, Moulin Rouge (which really means: Red windmill). (and here, a larger version of collage 2)

oh wow. memories.

at that time, i was just finishing school. a friend just had turned 18 a bit earlier, and had a car – and so the plan came together to drive to Paris for 2 days. i still remember how approaching Paris, the highway moved from 2 lane to 4 lane to 6 lane. and then suddenly, we were in the middle of this city, swirling around roundabouts, map in hand, and a rough idea of where to go. which, thinking of it, was like a snapshot of the stage of life we were entering.

back then, i wasn't a writer. i wouldn't have been able to imagine that i would travel to Asia one day. would see Thailand. Cambodia. India. and would write a book. with Smitha, a stranger that turned into a friend. while both of us live in places with a distance that lead to the title of the book: WOR(L)DS APART.

and now, Paris will be the place where i will see the first proof copy of the book - brought by Jessi from the US. and there is a plan that now even connects to one of the places in those images: the Centre Pompidou (next to Moulin Rouge) is a museum. and the exhibition that is on there is, of all possible themes: “Paris – Delhi – Bombay”.

so Jessi and i will go visit it. and in her latest mail, she came up with the idea to bring the book there: "I would love to video you reading an excerpt from Wor(l)ds Apart at that Indo-French exhibit, so that Smitha could be with us in spirit."

ah, life.

2 comments:

Sherry O'Keefe said...

goosebumps....how we could not know then what was to come and now, here you are returning and meeting someone else there, book in hand. looking forward to the video!

Dorothee Lang said...

i really got nostalgic revisiting those photos, and the time connected to it: all the possible turns my life could have taken. and added to that, this combination of old and new buildings, like life circles of a city rooted deep in time. and we, just wandering through it, through some years.