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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hope lies eternal- An Unforgettable episode at La Musee National de la Legion d honneur, Paris

La Musee National de la Légion d'honneur
Inside the Museum

If someone asked me if I liked writing or photography better, I'd be hard pressed for an answer. The fact is that I really cant decide .

It goes without saying that I love my cameras a great deal too and cant imagine going anywhere with at least one, if not two of them.

Continuing in my series of Sights and sounds that linger, here's another one which Id truly classify as 'unforgettable'

It was my 9th day in Paris and I'd clicked hundreds of photographs. Many of them had already been downloaded onto my flash drive but the last couple of days pics hadn't. Add to it, the wonderful photographs that I'd just managed to click at the Musee' D' Orsee, including original artworks by artists  like Van Gogh , Monet and  Rembrandt and you will get the picture.

I'd just stepped out of the Muse D Orsee when I saw this interesting looking building. A closer inspection revealed it to be another museum and I briefly debated- should I, shouldn't I ? You see, I'd planned to walk to Notre Dame for the evening mass and it was already 430 pm and it was a longish walk.But then I decided to take a quick look around because I didn't want to lose the opportunity.

I'm so glad I did because the experience was just wonderful!

The permanent collection of the National Museum of the Legion of Honor  includes decorations and medallions awarded to military officers and civilians from France and other countries, hundreds of paintings displayed in a portrait room and ephemera dating back to the Middle Ages. The museum explains protocol that dictates how, where and when badges, ribbons and medallions shaped as fleurs-de-lys, rosettes, stars, crosses and other medallions are worn. Only the president is permitted to wear the Royal Collar and, in fact, it is a crime in France for anyone other than the owner to wear any of these 

Looking at the time, I realised that it was high time I started walking towards Notre Dame otherwise I'd miss the mass. Heading towards the cloak room, I freshened up and briskly started the walk. Halfway there , approaching Rive Gauche, I decided to click some shots of the majestic auction houses that displayed beautiful stuff in their show windows and that was when I stood horror stricken as I realised that I didn't have my camera on me!In the very next moment I realised that I must have left it in the cloak room and felt a rush of tears well up..But I also knew that I had to make  dash back there and hoping against hope I did just that!

I haven't run or jogged in many years but that day I did it. It was cold and windy  and I was tired but I guess fear lent me wings. I covered that distance kin about three minutes whereas the walk so far had taken me 15.

I entered and headed towards the counter and the Concierge there just smiled and held up my camera . "Is this what you are looking for? he asked and I almost burst into tears of sheer relief. Apparently, another lady had used the rest room and having discovered my camera, had handed it over to the desk immediately.

I thanked him and the other concierge also came up and handed me a bottle of water. All he told me was that one really didn't need to worry in Paris, anything lost usually got found.

I walked out into the cold air with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart, I reached Notre Dame in time for the service as well. But that is another story ..

For another day...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sights that linger and the sound of the violin

Orchestra at a Metro station, Paris, Nov 2012
There are some musical instruments and then there are some others.

One of my personal and perennial favourites is the Violin, often truly called the 'King of the Orchestra'. Going back in time and recalling the effect of it's music on my mind, I clearly recall numerous moments, some of them in some of my all time favourite movies, Thorn Birds, Gone with the wind, Love Story, Dr Zhivago and Junoon, where the violin has been magnificently used to convey a 'completeness and range of emotions, love, tenderness, pathos, sorrow, or then quite simply, happiness and joy.

The violin is a bow string instrument with four strings usually tuned in perfect fifths.It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the 'viola' and 'cello'.Usually, however, the strings are not plucked; instead a bow is passed over them to make them 'vibrate'.

No instrument can do all the violin can do.At different times these are some of the emotions that I have associated with the violin. It has made me feel sad, or then, at other times, warm and good all over. 

By playing slowly or fast then faster,it has sometimes made my heart feel a whole host of emotions that are sometimes quite difficult to define. Because there are simply just so many of them.All at the same time, or then, one following the other, in rapid succession.

I'm sure I'm not the only one and what are  the chances that you feel the same way too...?

At times like these, I simply let the music flow over me, taking it in, and can't help but marvel at the skill of the player whose music has such a major impact.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sights that linger

En route to Notre Dame, Paris, France
I've just returned from a trip to France and finally managed to download the photographs that I've been taking during that trip.

I know that most of you will probably laugh but I've got almost 2, 000 pics in a span of less than a fortnight!But I'm not complaining- at all in fact because that is the biggest  advantage of Digital photography as we've now come to call it. In fact, I'd probably go a step further and use the Twitter hashtag term of 'IPhoneography' as its now one of the highest trending words in twitter parlance ...

Just outside Notre Dame
I plan to review all the pics that I've taken and categorise them as deliberately and efficiently that I can, but am well aware that its not going to happen overnight.But in the meantime, I will sneak a look at the folder titled 'France 2012' every now and then and pull out a couple of pics that I can look at and enjoy.

And who knows, but probably manage to tell you folks a story or two as well?

So these two pics in this blogpost  are what I clicked one lovely evening while walking from the Musee D'Orsay  to Notre Dame, a route that took me past Rive Gauche and Pont Neuf among other Paris landmarks. It was a fairly long walk and I could have chosen to take the Metro( three stations away) or even a cab, but I deliberately chose to walk. That way I actually felt and experienced the essence of the place and  even as I write this, I can recall the stirring of the trees in the breeze, the lights coming on in the stores and best of all, the experience of walking past the River Seine!

Magical, was it? Yes it was .... 

So here it is-a sample of my series of blogposts to follow- ' Sights that linger"