Paris seemed to me an ageing Prima Donna – at once haughty and arrogant – expecting you to bow in subservience at her history, at her well-marketed beauty. Other cities too are equally beautiful (am I committing sacrilege ??!) yet Paris has attitude.

And like a child wanting to play truant from under the thumb of a stern headmistress, the urge to ‘escape’ is overwhelming. And I constantly search avenues to escape …

In the metros, alas there is no escape. Am as isolated as being on a marooned island. Noone looks at you. And I begin to wonder whether Quantum Physics has something after all – for I no longer exist because no one looks at me ! The feeling is eerie. Blank faces. Utter silence broken maybe by the exuberant young who sometimes escape into chuckles or loud talking.

I feel, if only people ‘looked’ at other people, greater understanding could come. And at once I decided that if I were ever to be a teacher, my first assignment to class would be to spend an evening looking at people – wondering about their loves and lives, their worries and troubles – and to describe their eyes and what they saw.

Being from a ‘developing country’, I guess the ‘unpleasant’ is no surprise to me. But in Paris I was surprised – to see no sign of the ‘unpleasant’ – everything hidden, out of sight, out of everyday life. What happens with unpleasant things, I wonder ? Do people ever think how it has come about and where will it go. Locally. regionally. Globally.

Another surprise – the food !! Unbelievable to see every variety of fruit, vegetable, meats, cheese … cooked, uncooked, everything ! But the surprise is not at finding them there. But at the packaging !! Tons of plastic and foil wrappers should go into packaging tiny little bite sized packets of everything. Every kind of material used for packaging. And considering all ‘unpleasant’ things hidden, where do all the used wrappings go ?!

Enough of my musings about Paris … But I think all said and done, I might get used to Paris in a lifetime !


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