Rise and Shine Paris: We Love You

By Renuka Shahane on Jan 08, 2019
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As Ernest Hemingway Quotes,

'There are two places in the world where we can live happy; at home and in Paris!' 

I recall that very moment when I was in a plane approaching this city of bliss. An illuminated city lay down the sky with an undying aura that wooed me. I had travelled for a stretch of 12 hours, crossed continents and spent countless piles of hard-earned money just to be in Paris. This French beauty was inviting me. And I didn’t realise how every single night, I simply counted the days to be here.

The quest was over. I was at my rightful destination. And my god was it pretty! Well-paved roads dotted with beautiful trees in vivid hues, cold wind that kissed my cheeks as I lurked out of the window and warm ‘Bon Jour Bon Jour’ from friendly faces every time I passed by; Paris was so much of a fairy tale.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

It would be practically impossible to point out one single thing that I can pick as absolute favourite about my journey in Paris. I could be lost for bunch of hours in Louvre, hop on the steps of Sacré-Coeur, spend the much-needed ‘me’ time over a cup of steaming coffee at a quaint cafe overlooking the Seine or simply gaze at the beautiful skyline of the city; Paris was taking control of my mental well-being beyond imagination!

I felt at home, I felt happy, I felt infinite.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

There are so many incontestable aspects to this city and Eiffel Tower tops them all. This mega structure is an engineering marvel. And tucked into its metalled exterior is a magnetic beauty. No wonder why millions of tourists flock to this marvellous landmark every year.
One can never be satisfied by visiting the tower just once. Your eyes need to savour it gently. You need to sip it tastefully like a vintage wine, making every sense inside you aware of its élan. And I was not in a hurry to gulp it down, and I will never ever have enough of it.
I caught my first glimpse of Eiffel right from my plane. Illuminated and sparkly, the tower seemed like a lady who was well aware of her charm. It shone like a seductress and I fell for her at the very first glance!

Image Source: Pixabay.com

My first visit to the tower was around midnight. Lush green lawns paved a way towards the mighty tower. Flocks of people merrily walking around the gardens, kids relishing cotton candy, vendors bumping to sell miniature towers and musician playing a song that echoed in the air,      

'Darling Darling, Stand by me. Just as long, as you stand; stand by me'

I realised why the city is called the city of love! Its eternal characteristic cries out for love. The city has the ability to evoke this beautiful feeling inside you, and every void is replete with romance.

Image Source: Youtube.com

My next visit to the tower was endearing. Ascending the tower gave me goose-bumps, the feeling of being above the world was mesmerising and the view was spell-bounding. I could see the landscaped city from the top, grabbed a gorgeous view of the setting sun, admired the twinkling lights of the vehicles on the streets and there, at that very moment, I realised I had fallen in love, with Paris, and with my life.

So many faces happy and glee delighted me, language played no role when it came to conveying emotions, boundaries disappeared and prejudices melted. The macarons, the wine, bread and cheese became my comfort food. I found solace in the stylish overcoats, I got the hang of the bustling metro, I learnt how to pronounce Champs Elysees and I felt a tad proud to see the Arch de Triumph. Notre Dame seemed more than a cathedral and I realised, how little I miss my home.

With a heavy heart and a discontented mind, I left Paris.


Just a few weeks later, this beloved city of the world was traumatized with terror attacks. The wounds are fresh and the cries have shaken me to the core. The inhuman attacks have not only taken lives of many, but disturbed the beautiful painting of god.

It is beyond human understanding why and how killing lives of innocents could result into something fruitful. Time and again in the history of the world, Humanity has been traded off for radical thoughts and pseudo patriotism. Whether the attacks where the repercussions of something in the past or not is a question for the officials, but every time this happens, Humanity bleeds and virtue of compassion is set to fire.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The real question is; are we safe? Is the world a safe haven for us?
Being an Indian, I have always been projected to agony of loved ones being killed under the name of religion. 26/11 was one such attack on the beloved city of India- Mumbai that no Indian will ever forget. The city was under terrifying attacks for three continuous days. People killed, homes destroyed and hopes diminished.

But the city resurrected like a phoenix; emerged stronger than it was before. Life continued to triumph over death.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

And I would love to see this happening in Paris. The city deserves a bright sunny day after a dark cold night. The city is gathering up its bits and pieces and the spirit of newness has taken over. It will take time to heel, but it will emerge better and stronger. 
Don't be terrorized. (Here's an interesting read from Rick Steves)
We’ll pray for the people of Paris, but we should also pray for the people who give cherish this negative energy that’s floating in the world. Love can work wonders and the real answer to this cynical attitude is love.

It will take time, but we can be hopeful, that someday, earth will be a place free of hatred.

And no matter how hard one tries, Paris will still be the dream destination for millions. People will still travel to Paris, fall in love with it and will cherish it for the rest of their lives, just like I do. Because as they say,

'A Bad day in Paris it still better than a good day anywhere else'

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