Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Meeting two frosty women and a tennis stadium in Paris

Some people go to Paris to see the Louvre, the Orsay, the Latin Quarter or the Eiffel Tower. I scoff at these plebs. My personal Mecca and Medina and Vaishno Devi and what have you converged at two of the city's less touristy venues. First, the Cinémathèque Française museum, and a darshan of two women who have haunted my dreams since my early teens.

Forget the Mona Lisa – the real enigmatic Parisian lady is the robot from Metropolis. Behold these photos wherein two men, 90 years apart, try to exercise patriarchal control over Maria, yet she remains imperturbable and sphinx-like.

From sphinx to embalmed mummy... meet Mrs Bates, looking just a little less sinister than she did in Norman's basement.

Here is my masterful impression of Anthony Perkins in the film’s penultimate shot.

Not sure what I’m doing here, but then we all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?

(About the picture quality...the room was dark and these were taken surreptitiously. I may have broken some French law.)

To a sunnier place now, and the second leg of my pilgrimage was the Roland Garros stadium, home of the French Open where Rafa Nadal has reigned for eight of the past nine years. (That reign may well end in two months given Djokovic’s current form, but no matter.) Here I am in the room where the champion has his post-match press conference.

(Beneath that sweater and coat is a left arm to rival this one here. You’ll have to take my word for it.)

Near the locker rooms, a wall with some of the players’ signatures (two Federers and one Nadal included).

Outside the legendary Court Philippe Chatrier. Unfortunately they were in the process of preparing the ground for this year’s tournament, so I didn’t get to see any red clay, just a few craters.

And finally, being swatted by Suzanne Lenglen near the court named in her honour.

If Miss Lenglen’s pose reminds you of Mrs Bates with her knife, welcome to my inner world.


  1. now it's time for a New York press conference!

    1. Chalk out a cine-tour and I'll be there! (Plus, Rafa did win the USO last year so he's the defending champ till September.)

  2. Are these pics recent?

  3. Oh extremely well done. Especially the Anthony Perkins pose. Did you give the pose with all the foreplay like here: iwdrm.tumblr.com/post/3724353766

  4. The last line on Ms Lenglen and Mrs Bates is damn funny

  5. It is good to see the Boy Jai coming out.

  6. Great choices. Roland Garros is definitely one of the holy pilgrimages I want to undertake at least once in my life.

  7. Boss, San Francisco beckons, now that you are crossing the oceans. I promise darshans & jai mata di's at my cinematic pilgrimages.

    Btw, for your next trip to Paris, here is a guidebook - http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/books/view-Book,id=4839/. I just bought it, along with a companion book on Bombay.