A Louis Vuitton in Paris

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If you are lucky, Life sometimes takes you back to the most vibrant of your down memory lanes. If you can withstand the overwhelmia and still breathe in peace to savor a fresh set of memories, you can’t get luckier…

Why do I write this, you might wonder? After seven years, a close friend has gone back to Paris!

Paris – the place where the insanity for Bohemia all began. Sometimes it all feels like fast moving scenes in some old, pastel colored movie set – an imposing cathedral here, an art noveau edifice there; small, artistic shops selling bits and pieces of nostalgia by the Seine; gargoyles frozen in time, trying helplessly to show onlookers what it means to gaze at the cityscapes from that altitude atop the imposing Notre Dame; the smell of musty books in Shakepeare, walking about in the autumnal rains in the imposing gardens (and rushing in to an old seemingly decrepit house only to discover gigantic canvases of Monet). Then, the first snows of winter – falling, drifting, resisting the drop in a slow motion haze while far away the Eiffel Tower stands blurred, like a metallic sentinel reassuring the city that winter will come and go, just like it always did for eons. An eclectic mix of adoration, artistic love, energy and zeal tinged with a brush of melancholia created the timelessness that was Paris…which came so close to perfection that sometimes I fear I would not want to go back there, lest the charms and dazed dreaminess get scarred even by a blemish…

And yet, if you are lucky, someday you might walk back on the cobbled stones of your own movie sets, looking back at the montage of your past, even as you script the lines for your future.

My friend did, and of all things, beyond visiting the Monets and the Delocroix, I asked him to buy a Louis Vuitton bag. Not because either of us craves for a ultra expensive piece of leather, but because of some stories from the past. When we would travel back then, we were like backpacking across the continent. Except that my friend had no backpack. Until he converted my laptop bag into one – on one condition. That in return for all the wear and tear of my bag across the cities of Europe, one day, in the future, he would go back to the glitter and glamour of Champs Elysees and buy me a Louis Vuitton. Fair agreement, don’t you think? When you look back at the travels that bag had made, you would definitely agree. But not before you get overwhelmed in nostalgia, trotting across the dual capitals of the Austro-Hungarian empire, cruising across the Adriatic, ski-lifting amidst Alpine snows, hiking for miles to fairy tale castles, chugging along the Azure Coast…the list goes on and on and on.

But, being the memory collector I am, perhaps I would never exchange that bag for an Armani or whatever. (Oh yes, I still have it in case you are wondering, with one clasp still missing from the streets of Prague). Sometimes, just sometimes, wishful thinking helps keep moments alive – the joy lies in its eccentricity, in the headiness with which it was made, fulfilling which would be an unneeded conclusion to a story that sometimes doesn’t need an end…

And yet, out of the jest of the past, I did ask my old pal to buy a Louis Vuitton as a reminder of our vagabonding days. But if he did, I asked him for one more favor – to throw it in the Seine. First, to prove that some people do get to tick off absurd wishes in Life; but second, to prove that they still don’t need to change…that Life does not always need to move on. If I ever forget this, maybe I will try to revisit Paris and let the metallic sentinel remind me in the midst of bohemian snows, that time will come and go. As it has always done for eons…

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