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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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”.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.



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.


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.


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.

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.


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 :D – Just a joke but enjoy the views of the old Paris, Gare du Nord station.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


To the world with bags, packs and morning stress.


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.

Finally !!

I have been told that I can get the break – much needed and take it in a way I want.

So now in this weather when mercury is supposed to take a dip, I have two options both between 500-800miles round trip. Obviously I do not want to ride for more than 4-5hours in these cold conditions and I would make this trip hostel style. Once I can get sometime to do more calculations but firstly, I have to make a decision.

Decision that is :

Paris : An experience : Part II

So after two weeks of being away from my typical PC corner I knew there was lot waiting for me. I was out in the meanwhile snapping and shooting my friend with his daredevil skills but that shall follow a little bit later. I know I kept you all waiting for more to be followed on from where we left with Paris : Part I

Starting from where we left – the falling rain and the skyscape of the evening was making every moment interesting and very colorful. Let’s go back to Paris in the night world.

Night in Paris

Though it was good enough for couple of shots as there was more to be capture so here we go go ..

Eiffel in the distance with its evening Sparkle all over it.

It does not deter people to be out even though the weather is really amazing but the pretty thing about Paris is its architecture. I do love seeing the lines, the curves and the shapes but it is not all about the statues. Even the living statues adds to the value of the tourism in Paris.

Geometric compositions

Paris is not all about the shapes but also about the fashion. At least for the female population this is one city on their ever loving list of the shopping diary. Paris is much to do with the ode of spending and making you fill all your shopping dreams.

 So I am going to take you shopping now, even more shopping with Apple store – ah just in dreams :) Dream on….

Mac Shopping in MiniPad ;)

Ah forget all this, there is something more interesting for women, I am sure they love it to be at the best of their wits. The makeup I mean, the world goes round the mirror. The magical “Mirror” that is ….

That magical “makeup” mirror.

But this was not the end of my evening, I had plenty more coming my way. Although the weather was getting quite cold and chilly but that did not stop me here. I had lot more to see, travel and capture. It was about time to hop hop hop the stations to find somewhere I can see this city from the top.

Paris Metro – Tuileries

This brings me to take you to a little extreme Paris as well – the walls of Paris dominated by Bloody warriors. Some cool and some scarry but this one surely was an eye catcher.

City warrior

Till I can find my next stop, I take your leave for today. I shall carry the Paris hunt in next installment. Can’t give myself a status of the machine :) so more in next part. Watch out for Paris : An experience – Part III . Thank you all for dropping by and viewing the Paris from different perspective.

Cultivate a feeling – “Sharing”

It is not hard and it is not impossible but just a feeling of holding on is something that separates each one of us from others. What we miss the most in life is basics of life – Joys, happiness and moments filled with smiles. The root cause of everything that is related to the Joys, happiness and smiles is “Sharing”. We humans are formed with our basis around our environs – what surrounds us is the biggest weakness that eludes us to not look outside it.  Why shall I do it when the other person has not done it – Forgiveness is a gift few are gifted with and rest all denies to not learn it. I am not a master but I am always a learner from the mistakes I do, I see from others and I learn to seek myself into that place where I am able to do what others may not be even thinking of.

To share is a feeling, as a child – is a form of pure thoughts. When I was a child I used to play with my brother and I knew that sharing with him is a gift. Sometimes we did fight but we learned to live in harmony of keeping both warm and safe. Sometimes these logics seems outdated simply because kids these days do not want to go out – doesn’t have siblings – have too many PS3 games – endless food to munch on – Are we losing something here with time ?? Parenting – Are we forgetting to share what we used to do in Childhood with our children ! Many may not be in a stage to understand this but with time one does understands how evolution grows on.  Simply back in time – Sharing was once part of life which sure isn’t anymore. I do see that western world never embarked on those feelings but that is the reason why people seek more happiness in materialistic objects than in the real happiness. Happiness is not found in money, not found in the geeky gadgets and not found online but when you spark a reason big enough to share – you generate lot of elements that have not been visible to you.

In all these years that I travelled, I learned a lot about humans – we are all bound with our own ego of who we are but there is a bigger gift when you share. You generate a feeling of endless happy moments.  Some of these pictures below are a simple result of sharing that I cannot generate in this western world – the ambiguity surrounding us in this world is of complicated factors. I cannot go take the pictures in the same way I am used because there is no way to find these people who are willing to share.

All I can share is some of the moments from the past : Feel free to share, live and smile : Do not kill yourself in your ego, you may not be here for long or long enough to realize you lost your age, glory and talents in the fame of polishing your ego.

Joys of Happiness
Sharing the “Joys of Happiness”

Poor or rich :  Happiness always stays a question. Poor do not need expensive gadgets to realise happiness but they do seek comfort. Happiness is a free form factor that exists when we simply share.

Sharing Smiles
True happiness does exist.
Giving Joys :)
From the early days of travels : I travelled far and wide to know – there is no bigger joy than joy of giving without a feeling of expectation.
Sometimes the returns come to you in other forms – to just look back in time and realize – Life was as simple.
Sharing what you have even though it may cause you discomfort – may mean a lot to someone who is seeking that 5 inch of space which can make someone’s day – it means a lot to them.
There is always something you can share. Just as I crossed one of the highest passes in the world – there was these two shepherds who have just been showered down by passing snow.
I was even further freezing to just have been under that snow myself but then there as something – we all needed “Heat” – Not too hard to find where to get it and share it without any hesitations.
The difference it makes is – Would you have stopped ! to share !!
Faces of happiness
Who would say … It is not worth it ! All is candid and the joy that I do not feel who I am but I do feel where I am – I want to be part of each moment.

All that I learned was to smile, share and be happy : For this life is to live it for once. I am not rich but richer than most of you in terms of what I have. The moments of joys collected in years only because I shared them. I got friendships of the ones who I may meet or may not meet but when I see them again – I will show them the photos that I took of them years ago. To share it – is all that I mean with “Sharing”

Thank you
Friendship… A gift !

“To share sometimes does not mean giving away – it means giving that may re-bounce back to you in ways you never knew.” – MB 25.09.12


Travel  is the movement of people or objects between relatively distant geographical locations.

One such moment of the time well preserved in the history of all this happening was crossing this metal wired bridge between the shores of river Ganges in Rishikesh, India.

“Travel is not only a way to see the world, it opens our own horizon that are closed within our brains.” – Mani Babbar

Travel by Mani Babbar Photography