Paris, je t’aime ~ With Brand Paris you can’t help but fall in love

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life  ~ William Faulkner (American Novelist & Short Story Writer, 1897-1962)

That would be the beginning of an ode to a sensorially rich city that you never tire of, however often you stop by. So who cares whether the French can speak English!!? Paris implores any visitor to learn just that little bit of its lilting language, so that you blend in. It’s truly like a lover, who can mould you and make you a slave to her passion and the headiness of a good life. It wasn’t my first visit and it’s not the raving of a tourist either. In fact with my many visits to this land I started to see a beautiful and very fluid pattern. Every new exploration I set out on, showed me a new texture of a captivating city that told me a story of Paris.

A collection of experiences, both stylish and rich is what makes this city so delectable. Of course from my many travelogues, it would be obvious that I enjoyed every moment in New York & blended into Bali and many other beautiful destinations too. But with Paris I discovered the true essence of visually delightful living. And what makes that even more attractive is that it’s completely man-made & uniform in its codes, whichever way you look at it.

Not surprising. The culture runs through its residents, in the way of living, in the language, at the cafes, in the way food is served, in the styling of the clothes, the streets and everything that could evoke the senses. Paris is sensorial. It isn’t a city, but an experience that envelops you gently. It is stylish, delightful, fluid, full bodied, joyous, sensual and aromatic.

Aromatic reminds me of my last evening there:
Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half ~ Charles de Montesquieu (French Politician & Philosopher, 1689-1755)

I couldn’t agree more. Except that it’s not the meal portions but the presentation that makes you hungry. And makes you consume more that you ever wanted. Even the smallest café presents the meal like it were an artists impression. So greed is inevitable.

And with the mention of ‘artist’ I can’t help but share this quote:
An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (German classical Scholar, Philosopher & Critic of culture, 1844-1900)

A casual bench at the Champs-Élysées, a careless flower that peeks from a carefully created garden, balcony bouquets, façade of a modern building….hasn’t forgotten the essence of art that drives the culture. And as the day goes by, you  realize the nights are even more beautiful. And art directed. Did it help that most of this character that the French absorbed, got created only in the last 500 years? And possibly therefore the inspiration lingers on!!

Lingers on, is so correct. And that has built the flavour of the language, sartorial style, music, public affectations….
In Paris, everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator ~ Jean Cocteau (French Poet, Novelist, Actor, Film Director and Painter, 1889-1963)

Listen to the music, as also the language whether it is spoken by women or men and you will see a performance. Soft & lilting it has the ability to make you fall in love. And try on some of the styles created by local designers & you can’t help sashaying down in style. Elegant, chic and sometimes just a scarf casually thrown into the attire makes for such visual delight. It’s really so natural but looks so well choreographed, that you wonder when it all begins.

La Vie en Rose ~ Performed by Edith Piaf


I think it begins with a warm cuppa coffee:
Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open air cafe in Paris ~ Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

The prettiest and most joyous of the sensorials, are the cafés. A cup of hot chocolate or then a sip of Bordeux or the aroma fueled pastis at a café just only begins the journey through Paris. The chairs outside a few of them I enjoyed visiting, are arranged to face the streets so that you can watch passers by and the beauty of the ambiance.

A treat in every way Paris, as the capital, possibly embodies Brand France and urges you to explore the rest of the country or come back for more. What I truly loved, is the consistency in the personality that runs through most of the city. Seen in its chic, petit and compact cars. Its people. Its presentation. Its sense of design. And the romance in its air and beauty make me yearn to say, Paris je t’aime.

So it was no wonder when I read this today:
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast ~ Ernest Hemingway (American Author & Journalist, 1899-1961)

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  1. Vivid portrayal of Paris. Très bien romancé.

    Sandy, to answer your question, the Incredible India Campaign has managed to create what it set out to – a sense of intrigue and curiosity amongst those who haven’t visited, and tingling goosebumps for natives. People abroad are extremely curious to know what life in India is like, although, I’m not sure if everyday life in India is as dramatic and vibrant as our ads have made it out to be.

    Strangely, just the other day in downtown Toronto, I saw a tour bus covered with an Incredible India poster,and smiled to myself.

  2. Not surprised that Paris brings out the romance from everyone who has visited there. Despite the traffic jams which have become the bane of every big city across the world, Paris has maintained its calmness. Maybe it is the people, the quaint cafes by the roadside or the weather. Paris – je t’aime undoubtedly :)

    • Absolutely Nanda.

      Did you say traffic jams? Strange how I didn’t notice any!!!!

      What I loved was the way people mirrored their land. I saw that in Amsterdam & Bali too.

      I often think of tourism campaigns and their experiences when you finally reach the land. I wonder how Incredible India fares in that light.

  3. After reading this very beautiful and sensory piece of writing, I must say- Je vais à Paris

    • Thank you Apurva. It came from the heart, so I guess the senses are bound to react. I find the common thread that runs through most of Paris enchanting. Also as an advertising student, I can’t help but notice how carefully this personality has been nurtured. So as a foreigner my perception of the city matched with what I experienced live. City & country brands face a challenge always as their communication often doesn’t match with reality

      A lot also depends on the residents and how they have absorbed the personality / culture codes, to treat it like their own.

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