Monday, September 19, 2011

An evening in Paris

Neither is this post about the Shammi Kapoor film nor does it have anything to do with the Woody Allen film. This post is about my first trip to Paris about 6 years back. Ever since, Paris had cast a kind of spell on me that I never leave an opportunity to visit it. A visit almost every year since then is a proof of that spell. I don't know why but I never get tired going to that city. It somehow has a magnetic effect on me. The most memorable trip for me was my first and this post is about the last evening of that trip we spent there.

Three months after arriving in Germany for the first time back in 2004, my friends planned a trip to Switzerland. Being new in a foreign land whose currency rate was 1:58 with the Indian rupee, my conscience did not allowed me to go on such a trip. I was a fresh graduate with little experience about real life so did not knew how priceless can be such trips. It is only later in life I understood that one should never miss a chance to travel as a student because once a person starts working, even though he might have money, he might not have the time or the company to travel. So, my advice to students always is to explore the world as much as possible as long as you don't have to take loan to travel.

So, after missing the Swiss trip I realized that this time will not come again so when another group of friends made a plan to visit Paris, I was all game for it. The plan was to stay at a friend's place in Paris who was doing his PhD at that time. As students, we anyways did not mind sleeping on the floor at a friend's place. So, five of us booked tickets and took our sleeping bags along to visit Paris. Our host was a generous guy and took good care of us. He took time out of his busy schedule to guide us through Paris. He was quite busy with work so he could not accompany us everywhere.

Now, our host was a guy with a big heart but absolutely zero cooking skills. So, he was quite pleased to have Indian food with us whenever we used to make in his kitchen. On the last evening of our 5 day stay, it was raining cats and dogs. I guess Indra Devta had planned this night to be a memorable one for us. Since it was raining, we planned to stay at home. Out of nowhere, our host in a very humble and pitiful tone said, "It has been more than a year since I visited India. I really miss the food. How great it would be if in this weather we had samosas". Another friend of mine looked at me and I knew what he wanted to say. We said lets have samosas for dinner tonight. Our host's eyes glittered like a diamond but he asked from where would they come from? We said, we will make them here. It was a crazy plan but everyone got excited and started putting in their part in making samosas. Boiling and peeling potatoes, making the dough, arranging for oil etc. Eventually, the plan was coming out good. One of the guys then came with another wish. He said, we are in Paris but we still did not had wine together. We must taste it. Although it was more like an excuse to get drunk but immediately two of us ran to down the street to fetch a couple of wine bottles. So the menu was made, samosas with wine. I know it does not sound really classy but as students it was more about the fun, the excitement, the life than anything else. Now the last hurdle was to arrange so many glasses for wine. Our host did not had enough glasses or cups for all of us leave alone wine glasses. So, some of us came up with another innovative way. There were some empty jam bottles. The guys cleaned it and had their wine in it. It was insane. I know but sometimes it is only such weird and crazy evenings which are left to remember the rest of our lives. I wonder if those guys would do the same today given that they are now working at high ranking jobs.


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