…was beautiful, awesome and sexy. Just like she is, I’d say 😉 And by “she”, I mean my mother 🙂
She went to Paris with my brother, to attend his convocation. Amma’s never been out of India before, so I found it pretty amazing that her very first international trip was straight to Paris!
🙂 Fantastique, n’est-ce pas?! 🙂
Right from my earliest memories, Amma has only sacrificed — be it a chocolate, be it the last piece of her favourite fish fry, be it a chance to buy that lovely sari, be it a chance to indulge, be it a shopping-for-self treat, be it a good night’s sleep…you name it, and she HAS sacrificed it: either for me, or for my brother, or for dad, or for her mom, or for her siblings or their spouses/kids, or for her in-laws. For her, “me” and “I” was (and still is) after “you”, “them” and “they”.
So, when the brother got into ESTACA, Paris, to get his Masters in Spacecraft Engineering, both he and I knew that his convocation would be either at Paris, or at Southampton (his course was to be two years, the first year conducted at Paris, and the second at Southampton) — and we’d been planning since then, to ensure Amma gets to attend the convocation 😉 Of course, we never told her this, since we didn’t want to get her hopes high.
It was only when we needed to make her sign for the Visa applications and stuff that it really sunk in, for her, that she was going to Paris. We were praying that the Visa would be alright and there would be no glitches. I also have a feeling one of us drugged Murphy, for there were absolutely no glitches! 🙂
The few days before the trip, she was in a frenzy. “I feel weird, and I don’t know why…” she kept saying. We shopped for her — bought her a new pair of spectacles, new shoes, new dress… We taught her some basic French, though she insisted she’d respond with a “Khem cho” if anyone asked her “Comment allez vous?” 😛 We told her to make sure no random frenchman would grab her and kiss her. We told her the ONLY food she’ll get in Paris would be “bouillabaisse” (this grossed her out!). You get the idea, right? 😀
The way her face lit up every time we said “Yay! You’re going to Paris”, was one of the most wonderful things! 🙂 On May 23, Amma and my brother set off to Paris.
She had an awesome time at Paris.
The convocation was a small, private affair with just the students and their two guests each, on a cruise boat that went cruising along the Siene river from 7 – 11 pm 🙂 Dressed in traditional Indian attire, she apparently stole the limelight and had quite a few fans 😉
She was made to walk all over the city by my brother, so that she could take in the Parisian streets, houses and shops. She got on to the Paris Metro, and almost got mugged by a french belle and a boyefriend 😉 She named the Arc de Triomphe her very own “gate”, like the India Gate :D. She felt the Louvre was too big, and there was too much walking to do — and all this, to see a lot of nude statues 😀 Funniest of all, she felt the Monalisa was too small, for the whole world to kick up such a huge hype about her! ROFLMAO! She loved the Moulin Rouge, but the sex shops on both sides of the street freaked her out. She was glad to see that the women were all fully and well-dressed, and there was no public display of affection that an Indian woman could not handle with dignity. LOL. “The movies are all a load of fakeness 🙄 “, she said.
We had planned the trip such that the return would be via Doha, Qatar, where her two sisters and family live. So, two birds at one shot: she went to Paris, and she went to Doha as well.
On early 4 June morning, Amma came home beaming with joy, was welcomed by an exuberant Pumbaa and had many tales to tell. I’d have loved to go o Paris too — but I’m much, much, MUCH MORE HAPPIER knowing Amma could go, see and enjoy a place she never even dreamt of going to.
À bientôt, folks 🙂