Paris : Finale

All the hype and wait, It is about time that we moved on – finish this french business. It has taken me a lot longer while there has been plenty more to add from the recent life. World has moved on, I have had two more trips in between – the next one is already coming along in less than 3 weeks – where in the world is Mani lost ? Good question, but I can only answer once I know because I do not know where the time goes and how quick it goes. It just flies past me and leaves me in lot more questions.

So from the last point we left, Carried on my journey to the Paris Automobile show, which for certain reasons can’t be added into this post or else I will never end this chapter but would conclude the girls of Paris in another post sometime in future. For now, I must head back to Paris in night gathering my last few hours in this city.

Moments of joy and celebrations - Life is to live.
Moments of joy and celebrations – Life is to live.

Colorful people, lovely music and journeys to bring these memories.

Out from the station

Walking out from the last station, the drizzling water spots of the rain disappears into the chilly weather.

Night "Instagram" style in Paris.
Night “Instagram” style in Paris.

The weary night of Paris in the cold and chilly conditions wears an empty look. Nothing really compared to this when you talk of cities and how impressively they show that they are meant for businesses only. By the day – they run, they soak you in and fall the night – nothing, not even a bird wants to flock its wings in this emptiness.

Spot the traffic and the alienated emptiness.
Spot the traffic and the alienated emptiness.

The invisible little water drops from the drizzling rain form an impressive view at this moment. The little light above the fountain makes it look it an Alien zone.  It just shows, the cold and empty Paris to you.

Love Love Love... in Paris
Love Love Love… in Paris

Humans always seek a reason to run away from the crowded affairs of life. Somewhere in the world, someone is kissing someone away from the busy crowds and someone like me is surely waiting for it to caught. It is funny how life looks when you are on the other side of the camera. You see life from a perspective other than being a cameraman – it becomes like a part of your life – something you cannot miss – something you cannot live without.

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Paris, sure wears different colours in the night. A view from the end of Champs Elysees – Considered to be the most expensive high street of the world under The Arc of Triomphe.

The momentary pause in the middle of the road does shows that life is moving, the time ticking and shutter clicking. Not the best way to do the night shots of the city with a hand that is frozen and trying reasons to be steady at all.

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While walking away from the emptiness towards the most expensive Champs Elysees I come across this house decorated in the colours from outside ready to welcome its visitors. The inside roof of the house looks even more amazing than outside. The night brings its own colours.

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Somewhere down the Elysees – the busy scene displaces the calmness with sirens and noise from the police cars. Someone tonight is not going to be happy to know that their car was not parked by the roadside but in the no parking zone that soon shall be causing them the despair for their parking. Colourful night in its own tones.

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Doesn’t really have that need of words to give the justice to what your eyes can already see. Better words stay away for next few minutes while you browse through.

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“Pomme de Pain” – Something which is only for my desi counterparts (Anyone knowing Hindi would relate to the words – “Pomme di pain”) ha ha haa .. Just a joke for those but this is what Paris, France and French life is all about “Pomme de Pain”.

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The busy Circle of life, the Galleries of paris with shops, sellers, food stalls – it all  happens in here if you are one of those looking for shopping in Paris.

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Does it not show ! Pace of this place even when it is empty, like any other cities from the world. I relate the Arc de Triomphe to “India Gate” similar architecture standing in the memory of lost lives during the WW1 &2 in India. Interesting but these all architectures have such a huge importance in the life of cities. These are all that make the real cities to remember – give them a character – give them their essence of recognition.

Closer and Closer
Closer and Closer

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I, the Freebird welcome you to Arc de Triomphe in the night.

Exits and entrances !! Does get bit exciting when you have so many directions to choose from and you don’t know where you are going because it all is in French. Experiencing France in a French way is one way of seeing it, other way is to get lost without knowing where you  may end up.

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The last bits of underground existence on a Sunday night – All of the tourists, mostly Americans, mostly mid-aged – you do get to see the way and know who travels where in which part of their lives. I may be wrong here but getting to sit, stand and listen to someone for 5 seconds does give you a good idea of where, what and how they have been travelling.

Cutest shot in the city.
Cutest shot in the city.

A curious little friend 🙂 I am sure he was more eager to see what this silly guy is doing digging into the floor with his black little round thing in the front – I find this the cutest shot but I knew there was one more which was going to come along. I am sure this was about to make me feel so happy.

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Give or take, the emotions of life does not only relate to humans – even the pets sometimes show the emotions of their families where they belong. I simply could not stop enjoying this picture and not sharing this one will be injustice to the moment.

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Pin drop silence to the effect that you can hear every single footstep – sounds bit creepy – That’s Paris my friend for you.

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We are just seeing the last busy bits of this place before it all settles down and kicks again with the morning rush hour for which I will be on my way to London. So with this I say good night to the last night in Paris and I shall finish my last few shots back into the Life of London again.

Next morning, I am heading back to where I belong – the so called heart/home experience. There are rarely places that makes you feel so close to how you feel at home. I can’t say where my home but I can certainly relate to where my heart wants to go – A place which no cities offer me.

This journey of photos, memories, work, shoot and friends must come to an end so I commence my return with the final goodbye to the Paris stations early in the morning @ Haussmann Hazare to switch for my London Return Eurostar.

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To say my experience in the double decker train has been quite interesting as we do not get to see them anywhere in the UK  – it is something more French that I have been introduced to on my this trip.

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To all that we have seen so far, the next destination awaits me – The journey of return begins, early in the morning at 0630 through the crowds of people who rush to catch their return via Eurostar train. It was interesting to notice how many people commence their weekend journeys working in London,  living in Paris and family somewhere farther out in France.

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Although Eurostar is one of the fastest trains with plenty of facts around it.  Eurostar train connecting London to Paris has the longest sea tunnel anywhere in the world – the facts are plenty to read and see. But I must find my way to get into one of these fast speed carriers.
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The early morning rush is just getting to build up while I still struggle to find which way is the check-in. I was seriously confused with how there was no direction markers until I asked someone who pointed out me to the right direction above the stairs.

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Its true, the higher you get the lonelier and better it becomes. Whether you talk of your status or of heights – there is only one risk – if you fall you may not survive 😀 – Just a joke but enjoy the views of the old Paris, Gare du Nord station.

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The final immigration security check for the Schengen visa and formalities before you board the train – the funny thing was I can seriously see there was a need for more window counters to be opened. Same story as any other UK airport – Not enough officers for the duty.

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I make my way to the platform and to the right door to reach my seat. The good part is it is not like a cheap ryanair/aerlingus/easyjet flight where you do not have seat numbers assigned and you tend to be treated like sheeps in the end. Ha ha haa – I guess that is the gift of cheap travelling. Although even cheap travelling was never the same 2years back. These transporters wanna suck every bit of money they can out of your wallets.

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The royal way back – it surely is a world of difference when you leave London expecting a great same way back into Paris but that is not the way it welcomes you.  Through the smell of piss, beggars, sellers and lot more dodgy scenes – it appears to be a third world for a while. It is not a travel magazine but rather my blog where I can express what I feel like, I see and I experience.  My journey back to London does bring me through lot of wonderful memories so I take my seat in the very plush large seat and doze off for the next 2hours till I wake up in London just like a dream.

Ah, but before I can settle in – my opposite seat businessman has spilled his coffee – had a cross with his neighbour and invited himself to some wild corner on the pair of seats. I preferred to say none as the arrogance people reflect is really a great way to piss off others. I am not even out of Paris yet but this shows me the last taste of the wonderful business minded crowd. Minding my own business, I am falling asleep for I need to get back into the studios.

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Suddenly, the world changes as I open my eyes under the roof that offers the light, the air that is not stinky anymore ! The St. Pancras international station has something to offer that sure not many stations around Europe do. It has that bit to it which separates itself from the rest of European counterparts.

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Collecting my last bits of the morning pick pack shots, I enjoyed this weekend.

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Welcome to the bit, THe LONDON ! Its 0939hrs on Monday morning.

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This is when life returns to the normalcy of daily life.

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To the world with bags, packs and morning stress.

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I say goodbye to all you lovely readers. People whom I know &  I don’t. Life is a journey – which we all do but depends what we want out of it. My next adventure shall take you away into the nature of England Countryside away from the cities. I have already finished two more journeys but I am always a tad behind with pace of blogs. Life is different when you have multiple jobs, endless journeys and plethora of shots.

Keep coming back.

Paris : An Experience – Part VI

Did I really say it is over !?

No, I didn’t which means I have a reason to continue from where I left. I have been pretty much busy, sick and above all voiceless struggling human to get back full functionality of my throat. It sucks pretty much to know that I have not slept in past all these nights coughing to the worst and finding myself not able to relax. Well, these things in life come and go but this one very much has decided to not really leave me.

Anyways, so as we were saying about Paris & in rain it just has another dimension. The whole architecture gets a good wash, all the old dust and birds shit gets washed away – what better way to see a clean neat architecture. As I have been hovering in the vicinity of Notre Dame – this post pretty much goes around couple of hours spend around, in and away towards Cite station before making my stop in Paris Auto Show(that is for laters) but for now we go back to NOTRE DAME of PARIS.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame of PARIS

Nothing makes it more majestic than the dull days. Of course the reality is very dull but who wants to live in reality – we all have our own imaginations to paint, create and be who we are. Being colourful to be being romantic – talking of romance – Yeah – it is a city of love, for those who come to this city to only fall in love or just may be make love – it ends up really very colourful even in the rain.

Paris – City of love

But it has not only got anything to do with age, we can still be in love regardless we are 18 or going towards 80 – All it takes is a courage to hold hand – find someone you can enjoy the life with and share your endless crappy jokes(No, they do not have to be crappy all the times) but in the end you still feel the pleasure of enjoying life.

Paris – City in Love

It just simply shows in how we want to see life. Some people are always the way they are never willing to look beyond their visions and some people are slaves of their own lives. I do not belong to any of the ones I mentioned but rather I believe in seeing the unseen and exploring the unknown. Besides not all the people with camera want to do that – they are bound to the rules of third or even the rules which their minds never allow them to change. I just want to see this world in a way we all have not really seen.

A view of Notre Dame across the river.

For once the views don’t really do the justice. I have to have birds,  I have to see the freedom, I have to have emotions in a picture even though in cities the birds rarely exist – their flights don’t really go far but then again – It is how I said earlier – I want to see the life differently.

Birds of Paris

As I walk along the little path on near side to the wall – it all looks even more dull and gory. It is not really how one shall visit Paris, because it just keeps reminding me that I am getting wet and should have brought more water protected clothes unless of course you have plenty of latex to cover you in from the drizzling rain.

Notre Dame on the Seine River, Paris, France
Seine River of Paris

Walking under the bridge and then over the bridge, NOTRE DAME is calling me. It has been a while that I have been lurking around its corners from far and away but it needs to be seen. It needs to be stamped on my life book – I have been there or I have actually stood under it – in rain and I shot it before it was long lost in the busy modern life of virtual presence.

Standing under the Notre Dame, PARIS, France.

It does gives me thoughts of what this world would have been – let us assume 200years ago when the power of Church and life of poor farmer would collide to say – I have never seen anything as amazing, as huge and as powerful as NOTRE DAME of PARIS. On the serious thoughts I really respect the architecture this city has still survived with through the period of world wars. Notre Dame is not just to do with the religion but it is marvelously crafted piece of architecture which needs more than just one look at it. You need to stand under it for hours and ask yourself each one of those statues and their emotions put together to create this huge living wonder – it is just simply astounding to appreciate it. Sometimes we just want to see what we are shown and beyond it – we are blinded by faith, religion, books or even our own minds.

Western side of Notre Dame

It does spark me with the questions in my head, the authority of Church and its existence through all these human years – this has been one huge evolution which nothing else has survived. Anything else that has survived has to be these faces standing still on the great architecture. Each of these faces bears a different emotion, each one has different direction but a single faith. The wheel of life always moved in a circle. The bigger the faith was the bigger its believers – the huge its presence. For some to look up even in the rain seems challenge but this is what is the essence of traveling light. You get to see the faith under its own glory in its own style. For I must not soak all the water from standing outside and there has to be way inside of the Church too.

Interestingly noticed that there is a huge long queue to get inside and then alongside someone just walk inside without even getting noticed by the people in long 300mtrs queue – This is really to the disbelief but I got to try it myself now and I managed to just walk through the crowd without even getting noticed. For heaven sake – it is heavenly, or call me whatever you may want to. Not every one tells you the full story.

Inside NOTRE DAME

So the insides, there is welcome corner with you to buy your souvenirs of the Notre Dame, some tickets for additional tours and for others they can rush through the huge architecture on their own. I preferred to be on my own – the best way to explore, ask and to collect new stories. I have not been so amazed but for few seconds I didn’t realize that my lens had a plenty of mist on it – producing its on foggy light effect without any effect. The deeper you will see the more you will be pulled into it. Each pillar, each window, each block of dome has stories embedded into it from the times of past.

Inside view of Notre Dame, Paris

If you are very much unaffected by the size and the depth of what this place offers to the human vision – you must be quite unappreciative of the beauty in architecture. I am not just “wow” but fully amazed, enjoying this glazing colourful painted windows, the huge radius of the dome, the size of the doors, the pillars which are beyond imagination to consider this was constructed in 1345(fully) after almost the period of nearly 200 yrs – Now can you imagine at the time when there were no modern machines – the humans still managed to make something as marvellous, huge and beautiful – which stood ages of its destruction, alterations, vandalism and restorations. On the serious note this is not just for the purpose of religion but to me it matters to understand how humans shaped this planet in the name of god. God – the beauty that is integral in each of the living creature and not just if you believe in one god. God exists in you, around you and in your nature – Just that for me GOD has a different meaning.

Getting back to the essence of NOTRE DAME, isn’t this getting amazing. There is a reason for you to even leave your imprint of being here just in case if your children, grand children or even their grand children want to come here tracing you – only if you leave a note for them somewhere that you have been to NOTRE DAME in 2012 .

Beauty of Notre Dame, Paris

For once, this place has something about it which makes me really wonder. The story behind the architecture is one bit but the story even today in front of our own eyes is something nothing less than a masterpiece of human creation. We “The Humans” never deter to impress when it comes to be being god creations. Humanity only loses itself when they go battling out in wars, living out in ego, raging their anger and hurt for others. Over and out with this chapter of Notre Dame and I must proceed back to the rain outside.

For once, I must have been still standing in rain if I was being very queue person. The proof of getting wet is quite subtle, I just did not plan for a full wet weekend still I did plan for full use of my camera and its shutter.

Queue for Notre Dame

Good luck to you if you plan to visit Paris in rain, it generally is quite impressive if you get to see some sun. Out of my two trips, I never managed to see the sunny side of Paris and yet I have possibly enough shots to call it a Paris well shot. Ah, yes – Indeed – “Paris – Well Shot” Candidly hasselblad shot 🙂 Only if I had a umbrella like him and patience to wonder under my umbrella – I would have brought you 10 shots in total. Photography is always about being candid – for others must stick to the studio and to their magazines which they subscribe life long.

Hasselblad Moment in Paris

My views are not the one of a photography magazine but of one who goes out, does it and share without being worried of who is going to see it. Cry all my life if I never won a “Photographer of the year” award because that is what happens now – you get a camera, you take pictures and you scream all along the way I took 2000 pictures for once – I feel the count is merely a number and with someone who started at 13, you stand no chance to compare – so move on like me and keep shooting. Ha ha haa… “Photographic Slap”

We say the “Goodbye” to Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France.

Shades of Autumn in Paris

For I must now find a place to dry up myself, clear the water from the camera and carry on calmly to my next destination. For once this day is really amazing – it does not seems to be coming to an end. Even the whole city seems to have spring back to life even under the rainy skies.

Nature of Paris City

Like any other city, this city has its own charm – the charisma and its own flaws. City of Paris, some call it city of love and for me it is just another city. City like many others this one is one for those moments when you are thoughtful, rich and with time to enjoy the busy pace of non stop life.

For now, I have next destination to reach.

Lets take you there too …


Paris people, would certainly know where this is leading me to.

More on the next post. Till then I have got to plan, pack and ride to North of England just a little south of Scotland.

PARIS : An Experience – Part V

No, it is not over yet as I said Paris, is not a place where you can see it all within a day that is why I took two days to scroll through the streets and collect all that I could to bring you in this post. Some of you who have followed me from the past posts – I really appreciate your patience and at the same time welcome you again to continue this journey through this cold and rainy day. I Just cannot get over the fact that I am swamped by rain back to back.

Enough said !! Let’s get back to where we left so we can start the rest of the walk through the city and its architecturally vivid stances. By chance it happens that I have a camera that I do enjoy sticking in people faces for sometimes it really makes them angry but they don’t dare to fight a black ninja.. ha ha ha.. Just kidding.. lets go 🙂

Out of the Luxembourg experience and into another plane of architectural embrace. Just as I stepped out of the gardens, the greens disappear to a sudden extent that all you have is a concrete jungle around you. For two seconds, I had to make sure I was not going to wet myself beyond the desired urge so took a deep breath, adjusted my warm jacket inners and off I go.
Across the road, looking at the huge inviting dome, which for one stance does give a feel same to National Museum of London looking from this spot. Actually you are looking at Place du Panthéon.

Forgive me but I am not going to give you the full history of it here. This place has a different feeling each time I look at its architecture. Especially the domes in the door entrances, the windows and the grills that somehow never really existed in UK archiecture. A feeling of openness may be.


Beyond doubt, I did also find there is a vacancy opening in McDonald, Paris. Please be enlightened to submerge yourself into the dungeons of fast food eatery.

Does it prove that mobile phones are the last thing on this planet to make humans inhuman – indeed ! My observations with  mobile phones are more like love hate relationship with an ex who keeps coming back. So is this weather.

I am going to carry on without a break 🙂 today. I just happen to have decided – I am going to make this weather work for me.

For those who want to see a larger drama in life, lets bring you something even bigger.
As wide as your eyes can see and not even the widest lens can capture – you see a view of Eiffel Tower in the distance between the rows of these buildings on your left and to the right.

Only if I was a drug dealer and can afford the widest of the lenses in the world this 6mm would have been sitting in my kit but no, I am not that rich yet. I do not even have my own slaves yet 😀 ha ha ha..

As I mentioned a little while back, this is a concrete jungle and we ants(humans) inhibit this place to perfect satisfaction of ours. We keep this place running and makes it the most expensive concrete jungles – that I would never be a part of. Never, I can imagine living in this concrete jungles.

Does it just appears that the blue skies suddenly tempted me. Yes indeed, I see no signs of green at all so has to be something natural still to give me a reason to be here enjoying this Purple contrasty umbrella under the blue skies.

A new lease to make this world look so exciting and colorful  As it tends to be – this is quite not what I generally do but I suppose I have not many other options left with me. so we walk the alleys and snap snap shoot shoot .. rain falls at its own pace.

But the pouring downpour isn’t over yet. It is plup plup plup at its own pace. I am able to keep myself dry but not wasting too much of my energy standing still in one place instead – keep the body moving 🙂

It is indeed Paris – Everyone calls it a city of love. For love is in the architecture, the love is in the windows and in the not so human context. It is just another city for those who live here and for the rest of the world this is a place of Love unless you know where Moulin Rouge is. No, I had not been that lucky this time but may be next time I will do a round up there too to lighten you all up again.

Towards the river – this piece of work surprises me – how it must have been in the ages when it was build. The sign of care, affection and the motherhood which stood ages but hey, where is this now ! No one really has time to look up beyond what stands on the top of this structure. Such are our lives – the mobile phones make you look down not up 😀 please be glued to them 24 x 7 x 365 may be it helps you earn a lot of money too 🙂 who knows.

For those who are like me would be glad to find the Autumn in this city. There does exists the sign of nature flying through the wet and windy nature. It does not surprise me but I quite love to sit down on this wet floor to see and admire these fallen leaves which soon will be crushed by the walking pedestrians as the next lot of rush breaks.

How mental does this look ! For the eyes – Yes, it is not a straight out of the camera or SOOC shot but something which took few layers and more than couple of editting touches. It is not all about shooting in this weather but trying to make out of what the nature and the light has to offer. For a change I do like this shot and quite impressed by how it turned out. Sometimes it does make me wonder if I have lost these gimmicks in my photos.

For the meanwhile, I leave you all here with this dose of Paris & rain. I will be back soon with the views in and on the other side of Notre Dame.
Till then Goodbyes and keep checking.

Going North

This would be my first time when I would be riding to meet a friend who I have known from past more than six or even may be seven years and have met few times. Michael is a good friend whom I met on my Flickr about almost seven years ago. The story behind all this is pretty simple,  I have been a travel head and solo motorcycle rider. That shall explain you what kind of common interests we may have. So the idea behind us coming together would just be to sit, talk, share and do some flying flipping jumps up and down the Peak District if the weather permits us to enjoy that. Else we shall still have a plenty to yap about and possibly swap our motorcycles. I must admit, I love riding all the kind of motorcycles and the one he has is a Triumph Tiger which makes me feel that spirit of adrenalin rush on the rough stretches of the road.

Ah, boys would be boys. So I would be riding a non stop about 3hrs to head from London to Sheffield and then the rest as it happens shall be shared brought to you over a period of time. I got to say this is going to be pretty crazy as he is good with this flying and I am good with my sharp shooting skills.

UK looks so small given I have been up and down this country so many times by now. Although Just to give you a rough idea of how far … here you go

Now lets go a bit of South 🙂

more south

A little bit to the North again, North west this time .. Lake District & Yorkshire Dales.

Ah.. the list is pretty much endless because I can go posting here but the point is … “Travel is essence to see, smell, feel and capture” – MB.

But did I not say, world is small.. It indeed is..  as far as you want and farther you can go …  Ride