Louvre

After figuring out, lots of museum have free entry on first Sunday of every month we started with our museum tour with Louvre. Oh!! It is a museum in itself. I am sure all of you know some thing or other about it. We started our tour with Egyptian section last month. We are still visiting & we think we only covered 1/3rd so far after two Sundays. God knows how many sundays it will take to complete this whole museum.Some times it felt like how these people stole so much from Egypt. But again these practices were quite common in India with all the invaders from Persia to London. Any way the stronger ones are stealing oils and other resources from another country now.....

Visit to Ram Krishna Mission

Ramkrishana Mission or center of Vendantic Society as we know it, commonly is situated out side of Paris. A great place just to go and spend some time in peace. It was birth anniversary of Ramkrishana when we went there first time. We were very unsure how to reach the Center. But it was a miracle we found some one speaking English at the station to guide us. This center is quite big area-wise compared to San Francisco and Berkeley one that we visited. If you are interested, please check their web page for the same.http://perso.wanadoo.fr/centre.vedantique/We met some nice families of our mother tongue. They are living here for quite a long time, more then 30+ years which was big shock to us. I am not yet in love with the idea that I really want to live here for long or not. But it was nice to know some people.

Terry and Greg in Paris

Terry "long hair" or that Canadian came to Paris from Palo Alto. It was nice of Terry, Jaroline (Wife of Terry) and Greg to spend two evenings with us. It was a great as for the first time we had some friends while dining. The big surprise was Terry got a nice hair cut in Paris at end of his trip which was a big change. But,I am sorry I did not have a camera to capture the same.Now, it was time to say goodbye to them just like others whom we left at Bay Area.Hope to catch up with this crazy "F***" guy some time some where.......

Moving to Apartment

OK, we moved to our own apartment after all. This whole week was very busy and hectic.Monday: It started with getting informed that my checkout from hotel was the very same day. But I was not informed about this before. And hotel people informed Pamela and disconnected telephone; a real mess. We could not connect each other and convey what was happening at two ends. I must have to admit the HR practice is worse here.YES, it is the worst. I didn't have so bad HR even when I was in a contracting company. May be these HR people feel like they have done a great favour by hiring you. So I told I am not going to move out from hotel if needed I will pay from my pocket and wait till the delivery of my shipment from US is done. So after heated arguments they say oh!! No problem how many days you want to stay more ....Tuesday/Wednesday: I took two days off from work. I think I should have given time off to get settle in my apartment. Any way the movers came on time and really worked hard to make the delivery at 3rd floor without lift. I realized the sofa is too.. big for my place and I still wonder how I am going to get rid of this big and heavy stuff. Lots of box to open and arrange and we are trying our best. I must admit Pamela did a great job. In mean time we went to get curtains and other needs from nearby stores.After, all these I still realize the weekends needs lots of work.Weekends, started with Darty - the Electronic super store here to order freeze, washing machine etc and we ended up going to IKEA on Sunday for some small furnitures.

Signing the Lease

First time we went to sign the lease. They asked me to write cheque of almost 3000. Oh!!but I didn't had French cheque book yet & there was no money in the account either. What a shame!!! No one told me. So I went back to work and found I will be paid only once a month here. Need to wait till month end.So after a week I came with the cheques and got the keys of the apartment.

Visting top sights

Another nice weekend in the month of March and we are trying to see all the top sights on our guidebook. We must admit this book is indeed a very good and very nice gift from Akiko and others. A highly recommended guidebook on Paris by Avant Guide.This time we started with St. Chappell at Heart of Paris. Wonderful craftsmanship on glass windows, which tells the story of Bible. Next to it is high court of France.On the way back to hotel we got down at Champs-Elysses Etoile. After walking on that famous road we decided to climb all those 200+ circular steps to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. It was worth going at top of the arch to have a clear view of 12 roads connecting at that point. We spent a good time finding all other major points which we could figure out from our limited knowledge of Paris.With the dawn,as soon as the lights were lighted on Eiffel Tower it was really looking magnifique.

Tour Effiel

It was a bright and bleak winter day, we headed straight to the number one attraction of Paris or Europe as you might say. A great view; this picture was taken by a Japanese tourist. There were lots of people from Indian sub-continent selling momento of Eiffel Tower for cheap. But we left after a while, as it was too cold and windy that day to go at the top of tower.



p.s. Added link for more pictures of this monument for other days.

Finding Apartment

It was now time to find a roof in Paris . But this day was the first day we really went out in Paris. We were only 5 days old in Paris and the relocation lady started with a very very bad apartment and kept on showing till we found a one of our budget with lots of discomfort. however,Pamela was very skeptical about this place but somehow we agreed on this after doing lots of calculations.

OMI and Prefecture

After getting over with jetlag went to OMI for my medical visit next morning. It was OK. Tried Metro for the first time (Parlez vous Anglais) worked. BTW this medical vist is must before any one starts working in French. But all that good time was so short lived as we reached Cite Police Prefecture. A very big old building in front of Notre Dame in center Paris. This is the H.Q. for all civilian work. So lots of people were in queue. Here no on speaks anything other than French and they are least bothered about what you are trying to say either.

Moved to Paris

After basking last 4 years in Bay Area we moved to Paris. The weather was bleak cold which almost blew me off as we were getting in to the TAXI at the airport. Reached hotel without problem, had a Chinese female driver speaking English. Exhausted and tired to reach work which looked like a 5 minutes walk from hotel on map. But, got lost in concrete jungle of La Defense which is one of the unique place with concentrated modern high-rise buildings in Europe. With out realizing found La Grande Arche which was right in front of my nose. After asking several people and at last police which was no good for me to reach work that evening.

Shan & Pam-The Perfect Wedding

It was the 27th April’02 evening,

Every thing was geared up for the Mumbai meeting,

Our “Rosy” flower, made “Shan” like a bee humming,

Not showing outside, Pam thought it was her prince charming,

Santanu was convinced it was the end of  his findings,

Gandhiji was nervously smiling,

Shan’s mother in law thought it was perfectly matching,

Pam’s mother and father in law were unable to hide the exciting,

Sensing wedding bells ringing,

Choton proposed an early ring exchanging,

Everyone in both sides were priding,

Thought it was a great timing,

Then came a series of e-mailing,

Thousands of miles kept two hearts parting,

While Technology brought California & Durg closing,

And the two did each other some measuring,

At Satna there were forgotten few, who were guessing,

When at Durg “The Great Jija” felt something missing,

Why his sali’s plum looks gave way to slim & beauty tantalizing,

8th Nov’02 kept them waiting and waiting,

14th Aug’02 traditional ring ceremony gave some consoling.

On 5th Nov’02, “Jija & Co” left Satna with lot of worrying,

And sight of his father suffering,

Believing everything will be OK till returning,

Only Shiva knew, Kolkata will be far from reaching,

When news at Gaya came like a bolt thundering,

Your father is no more, came a voice grieving.

The “Biye” at Kolkata, started with Agni offerings,

Shudh Mantras, the Brahmin was reciting,

Santanu’s patience got some testing,

The “destined future “made home and parents from Rosy departing,

Hectic jaunts, (Kolkata to Siliguri to Durg and back to Kolkata) made both of them panting,

As Siliguri & Durg were places of “Chaturtha-mangal” and partying,

Finally, to California the two birds were flying,

But Hong Kong made them hopping,

The Album kept us waiting,

We opened to find “Shan & Pam –The perfect Wedding

By Jija & Co. - Ashim, Maitrayee, Tumpa & Tini

Wedding

It all started around very early 2002. After few correspondences between our parents I was asked to come to India in April. After doing some travelling around, on very last day I met Pamela in-person at Bombay on 27th April. It did not took much time for deciding about the biggest step of our life.After phone calls and emails for next six months, we got married on 8th November at Calcutta.I reached Siliguri on 5th November whereas Pamela reached Calcutta at 30th October from Durg. I with few of my family members reached Calcutta on 8th morning by an overnight train journey. The main function was at night, which started around late evening and ended at 2AM.Next day, evening we started again for Siliguri from Calcutta. There was reception at Siliguri on 11th. We started for Durg on 14th to attend another reception there. It was for all those who could not attend Wedding reception at Calcutta. We started from Durg again on 15th for Siliguri via Calcutta.Yes!! We did travelled a lot on Indian Railways that time. On the way to Durg, Pamela applied for her US visa at Calcutta on 15th. And finally on 23rd we started for California.

Summer 2002

Summer of 2002 was a great summer. I did lots of travelling. Thanks to Tanujoy and Atul for the same. With Atul and I went to Utah for 4 day trip in July, it was just great!. We visited four national parks and travelled through very scenic highways.

I went to Yosemite few times for hiking and climbing with members of PGVIP and with other friends as well.