“Hi! Is that the Eiffel tower that can be seen from the balcony of my hotel room”? “Oui c’est le cas!” The lady at the reception probably sensed my bewilderment and realised her mistake. “Yes, It is! Is this your first time to Paris?” “Yes! I am on a short official visit to one of the steel plants of your country. Shall leave day after tomorrow. I felt so excited to see the top of the Eiffel tower from the balcony of my room upstairs. Is it quite far from here? Possible to walk down?” “Well, it is a bit of a long walk but certainly possible if you are in the habit of walking.” Clearly my slightly large paunch did not give her enough confidence in my physical abilities. So with the evening sun setting the horizon in the city of Paris on fire, I set out from my hotel for my first glimpse of the Eiffel tower. While I silently prayed in my heart and hastened my steps in order to reach the place before sunset, the sun had already set by the time I reached the place. Against a fast-spreading inky blackness of twilight the Eiffel tower stood, the lights colouring it a brilliant shade of gold. I gasped in wonder and amazement. Here was I, standing in front of a famous piece of art which so many of my friends and acquaintances from India would never even dream of seeing with their own eyes. Involuntarily, my eyes closed and I bowed my head low to offer a silent prayer to the Almighty for giving me the opportunity to visit this famous monument. As I opened my eyes, my attention was diverted by a statue of gold standing close to one of the legs of the tower. The statue seemed to be of an Egyptian Pharaoh and was decked in colours of gold, the hue similar to that of the Eiffel tower that evening. “What is a statue of a Pharaoh doing here”, I wondered to myself. Did the Eiffel tower have any connection with Egypt? Intrigued, I began walking towards this statue of gold. So engrossed was I in trying to recollect any instance of a connection between Egypt and the Eiffel tower that I failed to notice the statue of the Pharaoh move from its position and take a step forward, in my direction. Pouvez-vous me donner de l'argent? The statue had just spoken to me and given me a shock of my life ! Curiosity Amazed and shocked…. Paris memories.
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