London and Paris, one is an exemplar of historical success and the other of eccentric beauty. I had a chance to visit both this summer. However short the stays were, I believe that the first impression is what counts.
I had a pre-conceived hatred for London. They had ruled us for a couple hundred years (I know, petty reason), are known to be over sophisticated and have a gloomy weather. Hatred is one virtue that compels many others; and so was the case.
London had discipline about everything, the way people talked, their houses, buildings, the vehicles and I presume their thinking as well. There were lanes of red houses for a stretch of a few kilometres. It seemed beautiful at first but then one started to get bored with it. The centre however was majestic, preserved architecture which radiated the dominant British domain. The people seemed perpetually busy and somewhat trained to life (Much like people in Mumbai but the English seemed mean at it). Their humour was perfect, the stinging sarcasm with enough evasion.
Paris is an Artist’s paradise. We had reached late at night and had to go straight for the LE LIDO show. The place oozed of sophistication and modern art. The performances however were ordinary. When the show finished, most of the people were asleep on the way back. I saw a lighted Paris’s Centre; I remember looking for quite a while.
The next day was the city tour/Cruz. I don’t remember the last time my mind was so quiet and heart that full of emotions. I remember holding back tears when I first saw Louvre. Such impeccable beauty which was not shadowed by the modern era! The Pont de l’Archevêché (Love Lock Bridge) which convinced every soul why Gil (midnight in Paris) could stay there forever. The breath-taking scenery interpolated to the whole city. The French hated the Eiffel Tower, and I won’t blame them; it was beautiful all right, but nothing compared to the rest of the city.
I had always heard that the French were snobs. They were, when it came to the Language; they just won’t reply to English. I would let that slide with no regrets because of what they managed to create. A dream was added to my Blue List- “Earn enough to go to Paris for one week every year”.
Europe is one continent where every place speaks about its history and culture. Some pass by as scenic excellence; others embed themselves into you as an emotion. Paris was the latter for me.