Welcoming 2007

Well Saddam Hussein is dead so what is next for 2007? May be there will be very few asking this questions as they start to celebrate New Year tomorrow. I never ever thought that I will comment upon politics on our blog. But I think I break that rule today.
Everyone taking stock of year that is almost over. I personally do not like the week “from Christmas to New Year”, I do not have a solid reason for the same. I just do not find a reason from my inner soul to celebrate the same.
Starting from Y2K something or other has happened and dampened my parting spirit. I will like to list them here.
  • 1999/Y2K was special as I was on alert being an I.T guy.
  • 2001/2002 I realized the hard reality of lay-off as my close co-workers were asked to go. Always these layoff happens in the last week of December ?
  • 2002/2003 More co-workers joined the old group and my work location was getting closed. 31st December was their last day at work, holy crap what next for New Year?
  • 2003/2004 Nothing special – hanged out for 30 minutes or so on Champ-Elysees in Paris. Lots of confused, drunken, yelling people around. Later in the night it got worst. 26th December Earthquake in Iran, lots and lots of people died.
  • 2004/2005 – Pamela was in India; hanged out with Murali – who was not in a happy mode either, a cold winter night in Paris. What a nightmare Tsunami in South-East Asia struck on 26th December.
  • 2005/2006 – Best of the last few years spent in center of Vedanta Ramakrishna,Paris with other people. Nothing much happened around the globe. It was spiritual and enlightening.
  • 2006/2007 – Well alone again; And the news of Saddam did dampened my mood to write the post. I am not a fan of him but I do not support death penalty.
As I write this post - I would like to remind you of those 10 Trillion dollars budget surplus America (USA) was supposed to have is long forgotten debate in NPR (national public radio). I did have my $300 tax refund for Year 2002. But I think world was happier place before.I sometime think this is my craziness to care about all these. But with so many death and destruction what did Mr. Bush achieved????
I wish I could question to those who in their ignorance, arrogance, religious (including gun, gas) voted for him twice to make this world a better place. A common American must understand his or her voting power as world super power and true democracy of the world. Probably this part of advice they dislike most and proved it :S
Well enough said, the blame goes to other politicians and nations as well as they did not oppose at all about what is going in Iraq. May be the responsibilities lies with us as well as individually I did nothing to make world a better place. I hope there is an end to the blood-shed in Middle-East - it might spread all across the region in 2007.
Well Happy New Year. Sorry for being cynical.

Indian Newspapers

There is no real newspaper to read in India at this moment. Well I know I made a big statement but could not start in better sarcastic way. Hold on, let me explain from my past to present. I was thinking abut this topic for a while a now as I see so many newspapers under my nose while going to work by local train in the morning. It is almost like I read every other headline from three to five major publishing houses.

Newspaper means many things to so many people but for me it surely means a starting of a new day with news from yesterday,today and tomorrow. A cup of hot beverage in one hand and a newspaper in the other will be best way to start my day.

I remember once the newspaper used to be very boring in black and white. That time there was no mass “offset” printing for newspaper in India. The printing was not very clear and it used to be thin with only 8 to 10 pages.

If that make you think I am old ;) I was hooked to newspaper quite early. Then suddenly one morning came offset printing with half-tone picture of famous events in rare occasions. I remember it lasted for few years. Then suddenly we found ourselves with the color supplement for the weekend. It was exciting to check on weekly basis those glossy papers; some times we would save them to cover books :D

With time newspaper started to become heavier in weights and started to loose focus from main news. The downhill journey started. The focus of editors turned to advertisement to make news paper cheaper for making more profit.

Like addicts we got used to read about all those cocktail parties in front page and City Complements.

This turned a golden way for the newspaper publisher to print photos of celebrities. All celebrities like to show off little or more depending on their personalities. May be we can call it a golden hen for the editors. Indian society being very hypocratic it was an easy way to publish swimsuit photos of Ms. Anderson with out any one complaining. Indian educated conservative middle class adores the same. The whole news paper has become a tabloid. That way Ms Stone & Spears makes exclusive headline.

May be with economy doing good everyone is having a feel-good-factor; no one really wants to read real news about the global climate change or war on Iraq - everyone is happy in their little world. People are also bored with reading Indian politics the same story of corruption, vote bank – religion or caste from our politicians.

It is all most free can you believe that you can get one full year subscription for just Rupees 199(less than 4 Euros). That means less then One Rupees a day where One rupee can not buy any thing in India now.

Linen anniversary

It is four years that we got married :D and according to the naming convention it is Linen Anniversary we have still have a long way to go before it will be any precious or strong material.
This day is special in another way as it is birthday of Prateek (maternal cousin of mine). Now we stay above floor from Prateek. After our wedding this is the first time that we three are together. But this week Prateek is the man of his house as my Uncle and Aunt are out of town. Now planning for going out for dinner became a complicated task as we do not own a car yet. And I can not drive my Uncle’s car; without car moving around Navi Mumbai is not convenient and particularly in late evening or early night. We three settled for a scale down version agreed to meet up at Vashi which is most crowed Hip-hop Township in Navi Mumbai.
The day started in the usual way. After work at evening I took the train back and got down at Vashi. Now I was bit early for the meeting with Pamela and Prateek. They told me as soon they start in car they will call me and asked me to hang out in the only big mall of Navi Mumbai called "CENTER ONE".

I was lucky to get a bench to sit in the mall and watch people to kill time. Those 30 minutes was very long and boring in simple words. And I never fancied waiting. But then watching people is all I could do ?. Well this mall is a circular one with escalators in the middle and my bench is at 2nd floor looking at the escalators.
Soon I watched something usual to myself; there is one dedicated person next to the escalator to assist people. Yes there are people who need assistance in getting to a moving staircase and thanks to mall management and abandon man power of India for providing the same. It was funny looking at those nervous faces as they put their steps on escalator.
That reminded me of my mother who insisted in taken steps in place of escalators in Paris last year. That time I fount it was very silly and what is the big deal that she was mentioning about escalators. Now looking at so many people needing assistance I found myself on the wrong side for making fun of mom.
Well after waiting around half an hour the plan got changed as the driver who was supposed to drive Pamela and Prateek did not showed up; I have to catch train back to Kharghar. We had to settle for a vegetarian restaurant within walking distance from our home well a VERY BIG disappointed evening.

P.S. Now as I try to complete this post after almost a month – the evening is yet to come for going out for a good restaurant.

Local trains of Mumbai

After moving to Mumbai (India) commuting from one place to another was a big problem (as we didn’t have our own vehicle). It seems Mumbai local trains are the most efficient one carrying millions of people everyday. Getting in and out of local trains is one of the hardest tasks particularly during rush hours which every mumbains has to undergo at least ones in their life. So, lot of advice was given from Santanu’s maternal family who are staying here for more than 15 years. Being given lot of advice the matter aroused curiosity within us.
So, on first day things seemed to be very easy unlike the situations which were being narrated to us. Even getting seats were not a problem neither getting down nor boarding was difficult. Thus our first trip by Mumbai locals was quite easy and calm.
By the time we have already traveled twice or thrice for short distance in non rush hours. Now one day we decided to go to Mumbai central and particularly towards south to meet one friend. But, that day our boarding station was quite crowded then ever experienced before. We mustered enough courage to board a train together which was again an experience in itself. While waiting for our train, at platform we saw lots of women were waiting at one particular place which we soon realized that this might be the spot where ladies compartment would be coming.
Normally, all seats are taken by burly or experienced people who time their jump onto moving train with perfection may be comparing them with urban cheetah will not be out of place. By the time train leaves platform its overcrowded with half of people hanging towards outside either to get fresh air or are waiting for next station to arrive. Hardly any place is there for a little fly to get in through the door.
In that crowd you can see people from different walks of life where some are reading newspaper or some are listening to music so loud as if he is playing for his co-passengers or some are snoozing or some are staring while others maybe observing people like me. Even staring at women who has dared to be there in general class is quite common as Mumbai locals don’t believe in chivalry. Being only woman I looked around myself where I found few people are standing like fortress around me, while others staring at me and when I look at those staring eyes I found many people pretending not to.
Santanu is very possessive in certain matters by keeping his arms around me so that no one dares to say or touch trying to make a protecting shell. Somehow after a while we got some place to sit for few stops in the mean time we learnt that if we have to get down at requisite station then we have to leave our seat atleast two stations prior in order to prepare ourselves to get down.

While sitting one experience many other things like depending on your height one get following views - someone’s armpit across your nose; well oiled hair poking right inside your nose; a newspaper across your face; people shouting over phone etc. That’s not last if you want you can look outside even where you see many sitting beside railway track, brushing teeth, answering natures call and what not. Anyhow with the crowd we managed somehow to get off from the train without losing our handbag, sandals or any other personal belongings.
In Mumbai, there are three main train lines, with few junctions where people can change train. And there is no single station where all these three lines connect each other. So getting in or out at any of these junction station is really ultimate one…. rush squeezes to the limit which something I have never experienced before - its intimacy at its best and privacy at its worst…. it’s co-passengers who will make you get off the train where you don’t need to put any effort to walk out. One good push…and you find yourself at station and thanks to god that we found ourself in one single piece and moreover with all our belongings intact and within seconds you realize that crowd which helped you in getting off the train is already dispersed.
And we took a long deep breath…..maybe something new to us but its just one more day for all other mumbaians. While walking past the platform I thought what about those disabled handicapped people, children, aged people, or pregnant ladies…..is there anything for them like in western countries. In certain matters, India needs lot to do to improvise its commuting system for every kind of its citizen.

Lunch Time

I am finding it tricky as I try to compare my experiences and life styles that I encountered from two different continents. I do not know if my readers will be able to understand me. Moreover, my recent journey is an unusual one as most Indian travels east to west while I moved from west to east.

During my stay at Paris for last 3 and half years, most of my lunch at work was at shared corporate cafeteria between three companies. I appreciated the price, quality of that food always particularly the desserts and varieties of yogurts available there. May be I understand, why French cuisine is considered to be world’s most refined cuisine. Unfortunately, I am not a food critic that I can pen down those exotic tastes to get water in your mouth. But as I think about them I roll my tongue ;)

In general, breakfast in France is a small affair consisting of croissants & bread rolls with some butter and jam to spread which is usually accompanied by milky coffee or hot chocolate or café noir. Since there is no set time for breakfast in France it makes them bit hungry by noon :) . Le déjeuner (lunch) was once a two hour mid-day meal but has recently seen a trend toward the one hour lunch break.

It is common at corporate world to be given lunch vouchers as part of their employee benefits. These can be used in most restaurants, supermarkets and traiteurs; however people having lunch in this way typically do not eat all three dishes of a traditional lunch due to price and time considerations. A sandwich followed by a dessert is quite commonly seen and can be found ready-made at bakeries and supermarkets, cafes, bistros or restaurants. Even many restaurants, offer a lower priced prix fixe menu at lunch which is not available in the evening.



It is common in France for someone wishing you “Bon Appetite” if he/she realizes that you are going to have food as you take the exit from office door or lift at noon while in India we hardly say anything before starting our meal. Rather I believe there is no exact translation even in Anglo-Saxon culture for “Bon Appetite” but it does exist in Latin culture in some form or other like in Spanish or Italian lingo.


I have been a silent participator for most of the times as I use to feel shy to communicate with my linguistic skill of French. These three pictures are the only I have from all those lunch time I had with my colleagues. These were taken at very end of our stay with Pamela’s new phone camera. I always felt that I was going to miss those lunch hours if I move out of Paris; now I write about them before they become distant memory.

At my current location in Bombay we do not have any in-house cafeteria at our office (a small office compared to Paris). There are plenty of restaurants around to choose from or I can order for lunch at my desk. With the last one you can work as you take a bite. I am sure any health freak will tell that it is not good for soul and body. Food is supposed to be taken properly so that you chew and eat in peace while a meal in France is not simply a moment dedicated to the nourishment of the body; it is indeed a time for social and even spiritual replenishment.

In Modern India, where average work hours are getting longer and people are slogging more at work. This may be very disturbing social and physiological changes and might have adverse effect as the dynamic working population grow older.

Durga Puja

Durga Puja is the most important and biggest festival in Bengal for any Bengali Hindu. Its five days of festivity where this Puja symbolizes good winning over evil. Maa Durga is considered as daughter of Bengalis. It is believed that every year she comes to visit her father’s home (earth) for five days with her four children - Kartik, Ganesh, Saraswati and Lakshmi- representing respectively the Protector, the Initiator of the puja, Knowledge and the Provider - signifies the complete manifestation of the goddess. while her husband (lord Shiva) stays in Kailash (heaven).This five days festivity actually starts from Mahalaya with chant of Roopam dehi, dhanam dehi, yasho dehi (give me beauty, give me wealth, give me fame...)across Bengal. The festive mood builds up with rhythm of Dhakis (drummers)

Her visits happened to be the best time for Bengali farmers. Weather is at best as the monsoon is just over and it is not yet winter. As there is no need for major work in the paddy fields everyone can be part of this religious ceremony. Rice grows with the blue sky and little white clouds. Well, now a days this weather and farmer scenario does not have any true meaning for most of city dwellers. As it is either too hot which can be called as “October Summer” or raining heavily from late arrival of monsoon.

Now a days it's more of commercialization. Pre-Puja bargain sales and exhibitions introduce the sartorial style for the coming year. Bengali newspapers and magazines publish special issues- platform for many budding author, besides the works by well-known writers. Music companies have a number of new discs and cassettes published in every Puja. Not only that trains to tourists spots get reserved months before puja. Bengalis in other cities in India visit their relatives in West Bengal. Even due to commercialisations decorations are very classy. There is big competition between associations who makes the best idol, best pandal decorations etc.

I remember going to Durga Puja on Weekends at San Francisco as every one is too busy with work during the week. So, Puja is held in weekend for every one's convineance. And to add a pinch of salt – it is held in two different weekends so that people can attend both the Puja celebration. While at Paris it was different as Puja is organized as per (tithi) date which sometimes made it difficult to attend.

The joke runs that if a couple of Bengalis get together, there will be surely three Durga Pujas! Well, Bombay goes way past that quorum. More then 22 Durga Pujas are held across the city. And here Bengalis celebrate their favourite puja with same zeal as that of their counterparts in Calcutta.

Being at Bombay, this year it was different after a long time as we celebrated it with my maternal uncle’s family. There was one local Puja next to our residence. We went at noon to offer (pushpanjali) obeisance. And once the offering to Goddess is over there is Prasad and bhog distribution - khichudi (mixed dish of rice and (dal) lentils which is served normally very hot (temperature) along with (baigun bhaja) aubergine fry, (labra) mixed vegetable, chutney and (payesh) rice caramel. There is a common ritual for Hindus offering and praying to God or Goddess in empty stomach. This created a bit of problem as hundreds of hungry people stands in queue to get prasad & bhog.


In the evening, normally there are cultural activities. Bengalis are known for their eating habits especially snacks and sweets. Lots of food stalls are set up near the pandal. Families will have their “Pet - Pujo” (Stomach – Worship) so that their wife gets a day off from kitchen. I am sure this sort of events unfold every corner of the world as Bengali celebrates Durga Puja. Not only this but also people start thronging pandal after pandal. Road blocks are quite common. Children getting lost are natural. Every bengali in their new dress, new shoes are quite commonly seen. As Durgotsav comes once a year – everyone wants it to make it as memorable as possible.



The special thing for this year was we enrolled ourself for visiting other Puja pandal in and around Bombay. The plan was there will be rented bus to take us to various corners of Bombay that way no need to drive and no hassles of parking. And you can take a nap in between if you can. Although trip was supposed to start at 10:30 PM and end by early morning next day. But we started around midnight IST (Indian Stretchable time) unfortunately that night it was raining heavily. By the time we reached Shivaji Park we found it resembles a paddy field with more then ankle deep water. But, we continued with umbrella and socked shoes and sandals till next morning.


Bengalis are quite (un)famous with their obsession for caffeine and nicotine; each stop was delayed by few members for their tea & cigarette break. Thank-God all the food-stalls were closed due to rain and late night other wise we had to wait longer.

With all these complaints it was a memorable night; hopefully we will not repeat it again next year as it was fun for once. Surely we were trashed next day and had lots of sleep to catch up.

Back to Work

Well after one and half months of vacation I am back to work today. Surprisingly, I will be still using my old e-mail (work) well it does not mean that I am checking my work mails as I write this post. It will take sometime for the IT guys before they transfer me electronically from Europe to Asia. I thought it might be a good time to write something for the blog.

There has been some progress in terms of settling in Bombay at our own flat but there is long-long road ahead. There are few positive updates but a long uphill battle to fight.

I hope both us are going to update the web-site in terms of photos and posts more often from now on. There is a long list to write about as there were events which brought smile and worries (most of the time) often as we look at them through a western point of view.

As I write this post the power went out so all I can see around me is glowing screens of computers. Welcome to India ;)

Aids Awareness - Paris


Can any one guess what this publicity is about? Well, this is 2006 anti Aids campaign by city hall of Paris (Paris protège l'amour means Paris protects love)

In the photo what we see is sunset on some historical building with moon at backdrop, but when you take a close look moon is... a condom. It aims at promoting the use of condoms among the population i.e., to have safe sex. Personally, I believe it's neither obscene or vulgar rather a nice way to make people aware.

Reason for writing a post on this matter is in my country such publicity is really unthinkable where 5.7 million people are infected. Although, India had edged in front of South Africa to become the country with the largest number of people carrying HIV virus. People will start agitating if they find publicity of this kind in any public places considering it to be vulgar………….as it is still a matter of taboo where its not discussed openly among the people.

Not only this, leave apart poor sections, sex-workers or uneducated people but think of those trendy city young men and women drawing on cigarettes and sipping cocktails. They are part of cosmopolitan elite group upwardly mobile and well-informed. This section of Indians who are more open to talk about AIDS - but when matter comes to them they never think of applying the same to themselves…..so strange.

Hope one day….India is open enough to talk freely on this line.

P.S. This is an old post which we just got from our PC along with the shipment.

Few books

Being in vacation and doing nothing much whole day I am left with lots of free time to read. It is great way to pass quality time with rain and heat where nothing interests me outdoor. I already finished few books in last 3 weeks.

Starting with, Dan Brown’s trash ‘Angel & Demon’ and ‘Digital Fortress’. Well these are same old horrible as writing and story line is similar to “Da Vinci Code”. Well if you have read and liked it then I am sorry to hurt your feelings ?. Reading those 3 books it seems Mr. Brown wanted to cash quickly the old “James Bond” style. In each of his book there is a very glamorous sexy female character in his book. The less I write about this female character I do justice to them.

A hollow story set in Europe which is a very far away country for his native readers. Yes! To most Americans, Europe is so different - people speak different languages as you cross few hundred miles and every things change from food to culture and above all human features also changes. It is not same as that of America where you cross 3 different time zones and still have the same treatments. This way, when he puts his characters and plots in twisted alleys of old cities of Europe every one takes them for real.

He really does not know nor do research for his subject matter and end up using “VLSI” and “PGP” in same breath in Digital Fortress. Can someone please explain him what is super computer or parallel computing is ;) or rather how computer works has he been to any Data-centers I have so many basic questions for him. I am sure the similar can be said about others related topic like when he drives car through Tuileries Garden from Louvre in a smart car in Da Vinci Code which is set in Paris,

Well enough of Dan Brown I am sure his book will loose their places in book stores as readers figure out about them. It is possible in today’s literary world to make some thing best seller in the same way Hollywood makes “Charlie’s Angels” a hit with 17 screen writers and it is called – “Marketing”.

Then I read two wonderful books one is ‘The Glass Palace’ by Amitav Ghosh about Indian subcontinent in early last century. This is a superb book and all the characters and the settings are excellent. The time spans three generations in the vast continent from Ratnagiri in western coast of India to Malay. I found it very touchy; may be as my ancestors were from a part of land which missed by mere 6 kilometers to be included by in India by map-drawers.

Now, since I know few occidental people who do not understand why an Indian Maharaja ordered ‘Cartier’ for a diamond necklace. The person asking the question was surely thinking these Indian feudal lords were just sucking breads and butters of poor. For them this book might be an eye opener as it portray Indian sub-continent as a land of opportunities and wealth. Though I am not a supporter of any Maharaja but I strongly believe the westerners did more worst things to whole world for their own profits. And even today they think and believe single mindedly Western World is best but they miss the fine point that there was nothing before industrial revolutions in Europe.

The next book is “Wings of Fire” by “Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam”. This book should not need any introductions but for those it sounds unknown- it is an Autobiography of India’s current President, father of Indian rockets and missiles. I loved this book and felt dry throats and wet eye as he along with others hundreds of Indian worked hard to give us the technologies and result which makes common Indians to be proud of their success. And best of all it is indigenous :D

There are so many parts of this book which I wish gets carried each day by common Indian like me and others to make INDIA proud. If religious and social harmony as we find in this book would have existed in today’s India we might have prospered more. As an engineer I do understand the book is written by another person of same trade as it lacks wit and sharpness of successful memoir. There is mention of lots of abbreviations like PERT charts but for common people it does not make any sense. Similarly, there are some abbreviations which does not even bring any bell to me.

If this memoir is rewritten by a professional with all those beautiful poems and wonderful events from APJA.Kalam’s own diary it can be Geeta for modern India.

Well other than these four books I read 2 more books by Chetan Bhagat; one about campus life in India’s most prestigious Engineering Institute IIT and other one on the life of young Indians as they work in nights for the booming BPO or most commonly known as Call-Centers. Well both the books are OK. I can not say them they are bad as they kept me glued till last but failed to mark their place in my mind in long run when I was finished with them. It is written in a modern way like Mira Nair unfolds the story of Monsoon Wedding with hope that people other than Indian origin will also find it interesting.

Le vol

I am not a person who hates flying to start with as my major air-travel in recent years was visiting India on holiday from Europe. Like all other events in life this can be looked at like a coin; on one side the travel time has reduced significantly while on other side only 20 to 30 kilos of baggage allowed compared to California (65 Kilo).

As we were moving out of Paris we had lot of important things to bring along with us that we will need till our shipment arrives in next 5 weeks time. On the top of it, we added so many little things after the movers left that I became jittery with two big bags,two big suitcases and one small cabin suitcase. Luckily as we are now member of Qatar Airways we got 15 kilos extra each so 90 kilos total.

It was very difficult to carry them from Apartment to Airport with 3 nights stays at Cite universitaire campus as we handed over the keys on 31st evening to our landlord. We had our flight on 2nd September and we were left with 3 options- one to stay at friends place, second to book a hotel room & third to be at Maison de l’Inde in Cite universitaire at cheap price. We opted for 3rd option so that we don’t hassle anyone in this procedure. Anyway, on our last evening at Paris we borrowed a bathroom scale from the reception to do a last minute check and we figured out we are almost on the edge of 90 kilos. It made me really tensed and I was almost in need of counselor to release my anger, frustration with bags, travel and move. From inside I inveighed against Pamela for screwing up who was in-turn very cool as usual.

In a way, its good to drag such big luggage for last time to India. As there we normally get porter if traveling by train and in flight they don’t permit more then 15 kilos each.

Anywayz, we dragged them from Cite University to RER station (600 meters apart) in the early Saturday morning. As we were huffing and puffing some nice French gentlemen commented “Bon courage” (literally means good- luck) – but it differs depending on the context like here good luck on dragging such jumbo size suitcases. To my utter surprise the RER ride was very packed as I never saw so many people traveling early morning to Parc des Exhibition that too Saturday morning. This park is the last but one stop before on RER as we reach CDG-1.

Now, as we had our flight from terminal-1 we need to take another 7-10 minutes bus ride to the terminal. Which means one more round of dragging luggage from underground RER station to Bus stop and then arrange them inside bus as other passengers joins us.

Well as we entered the check-in counter we found a long queue infront of us. There was big group who were coming from Paris to Tibet. With the thought of our baggage might cross the limit my pulse rate started increasing and I made it clear to Pamela that I am not going to pay any extra euros per kilos at any cost. If needed we throw certain items in airport. Yes, with a very rough tone. That point of time I had no sentiments for her rather every simple words coming out of my mouth was full of anger, anxiety and tension which I ultimately took out on her uncontrollably. Weighed down by bulging bags made me tetchy.

In one little corner of my heart I wanted that she learns a lesson if baggage’s exceed the limits though till far it never happened. Always she makes it to the edge by stuffing so many things….but this time I was really waiting to happen. Even seeing a long queue I started blaming her saying that because of those heavy luggage we got late.

While standing in the queue I tried once showing our membership card for check-in via business class counter but in vain… after some 15 minutes one gentleman came to us asking if we have membership card and we were lucky enough to check- in via business class counter.
After checking passports & tickets she asked us in French:

She- vous avez combien de bagage ?(how many luggage you have)
Me : Quatre (4)
She: Votre baggage s’il vous plait indicating it to place in their scale.
As I was placing luggage one by one with the thought now I will show Pamela as soon as it exceeds the limit …..but to my utter surprise nothing as such happened rather lady at counter said – Est qu’il reste quelque chose encore (Is there anything else) with a smiling face.

Isn’t it enough….Atlast, we were to weigh our cabin luggage which was bit overweigh by 2 kilos. But she accepted it without saying a word….bit surprising you know otherwise normally they are very strict on that part.

By the time Pamela asked her how much less it was from limit…and she replied to it which I could not hear properly and it seem to me something like one kilo or so. Finally everything went on smoothly and she gave us our boarding ticket with smiling face said Bon voyage.

As we were heading towards our gate…I was trying to show my caring gestures to Pamela which she shrugged off. Trying to make my point stronger I said- look, it was only one kilo less from the limit so what it would be if it was over-weigh. Now it was her turn to show me her rotten face for which I was bit taken a back first then asked her the reason for the same. Showing the baggage ticket she said it was not one but onze kilo i.e., 11 kilos less from the limit.

Well like always I apologized to her and this is a confession publicly :D

Souvenir

As we were leaving Paris it seems our friends (whom we knew for a short while) has to give something as a memento. Gifts were extravagant and really worth mentioning as they chose something which we adore.

To start with gift Pamela got from François is very special. I am sure she can write a new post about the same. I am just going to give you brief detail on the same.

It is stitching project (cross-stitch) with 290 x 359 stitches using 70 color threads. François not only gave the design print-out along with instructions but also got the black piece of cloth which is not that easily available in the market.

If cross-stitch is not your cup of tea and you prefer coffee like me. Check her project to be started . It is going to be a very long and difficult project to finish. Hopefully, Pamela takes enough time as well as break in-between otherwise it will cost her eyes ;).Not only this, she even got bedside lamp of effiel tower & salwar-kurta from two of her close friends.


And now my turn, gift from my dear colleagues was all about Paris and Langue Francais. Best of all I liked the wrapping for the wonderful book on photography of Paris. I am sure it must have got lots of curious look from others while getting packed. On the flight there was a nice one page article about POST-IT how it was invented in 3M and how it waited for long time before marketed and sold to customers. I really can not think my office days without it like millions others across the globe.

Thanks a lot guys if you are reading it !! Well there will be more post on those last hours ..... keep reading.

Last days in Paris

We moved from Paris to Bombay. Yes it is a big event in our life and we are still not sure whether things will fall in place at the end or not. We are trying our destiny – but we are not sure what will be there for us???????? Well lots of questions and raising eye-brows from friends and families.


But this post is not about why we left Paris and why moved to India. It is all about how we spent our last one week in Paris. Before leaving, we wanted to take pictures of those which makes Paris so desired destination for tourists. No doubt it is one of the most visited place in the world be it for Eiffel Tower or Champs Elysees.

As our time for departure was coming close we tried to visit few of the well known Brasseries or Bistros to hidden street corners to passages away from busy tourist area. We did our best, but weather was not very happy with our move and unexpectedly August was very grey with clouds and rain all those thirty-one days. It is a month when almost every thing stands still in Paris or France from bakery to fashion-store to office- “tout le monde”. As every one heads towards sea “au bord de la mer” for getting “bronzee” sun bathing. If you come back from vacation with out noticeable change in color your vacation is not well spent.

Not only, we took lots of pictures and uploaded to our gallery but we reorganized them. It was very long and meticulous process with thousands of pictures to sort and write their details as much as possible. In a way it was great to know more about Paris. All credit goes to Pamela for the same. With less than 16 hours to go before the movers were to arrive I rushed to La Defense to take pictures, 

YES!! It was crazy but its worth for people like me (amateur photographer) as it allowed me to capture those tall buildings with blue sky after washed by rain.

Although, I am not sure if any one going to visit Paris is going to read this post and check our pictures or not. But, somehow I got a feeling of “been there – did this…did that…” and I am very content from heart for the same

As we spent our last two days in cleaning after the movers left before handing over our apartment keys to our landlord. In this process with lots of small things to be done on other hand at last moment like closing the bank account, getting official papers from office etc. we got so tired and exhausted that we could not effort any long to run and take pictures of “Parisians in roller blade”.

This post is getting bit longer than I thought so I will split the last few days and hours in another one. Keep reading ….

Making of Chocolate Charlotte

Today we have a dinner invitation; spent whole yesterday morning in thinking what would be good to prepare as I did not want to buy anything from supermarket. Since we are moving, wanted to clean the fridge without overstuffing it. So after lot of thought came to conclusion that charlotte might be best. Learnt this recipe from a friend.

A charlotte is any dessert that's moulded into a container lined with sponge fingers or boudoir biscuits (purchased at a bakery or supermarket). It’s normally easy to prepare; hardly takes 15 min.


Make the syrup by mixing equal amount of sugar and water flavour it with adding same amount of rum or brandy to taste.

First line the bottom as well as sides of a container with clean wrap & then with sponge fingers soaked in sugary alcoholic syrup. Now layer it alternatively with chocolate mousse and sponge fingers in a way that top layer should be covered with sponge fingers. Then cover with clean wrap tightly and lid. Leave it to chill for more then 12 hours.

To serve, invert dish onto serving plate and unmold charlotte. Carefully remove plastic wrap. (Variation can be done using vanilla mousse & chocolate mousse alternatively). While serving dust with icing sugar and decorate with fruits or with cold custard or whipped cream.


Well, had our dinner in one Thai restaurant where we had duck in red curry coconut sauce and red curry chicken along with shrimps in green curry basil sauce. What gives Thai food its distinctive character is a harmony in its tastes - sour, salty, hot and aromatic. Mmmm....delicious!