Cafe de la Paix Mumbai, Paris ~ Where Peace Ties Two Cities Up


Cafe de la Paix, Mumbai

"Paix" means "Peace" in French.

"Cafe de la Paix", a Parsi Cafe in South Mumbai is located near Opera House, so is "Cafe de la Paix" in Paris, which stands just next to gorgeous Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris, a masterpiece of famous architect Charle Garnier (1825-98), who is also the architect of Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco.

I took a cup of chai in Mumbai's "Cafe de la Paix" and a cup of coffee in Paris' "Cafe de la Paix".

Mumbai's one is a typical Parsi coffe house with shelves on the wall, I found a frame hanging on the wall with Paris' Eiffel Tower picture.

--- Oh! They know there is another "Cafe de la Paix" in Paris !

I am not sure that Paris' one knows the existance of its other self.

26th November 2008 in the evening, some inflatable boats docked at fishermen's village in the South Mumbai coast.

The ten passengers on the boats were the gunmen from Pakistan, who carried out terrorist attack in the centre of India's financial capital, caused casualty of more than 160 people of 18 nationalities.

The terrorists targeted Mumbai's most representative sites --- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Taj Mahal Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Leopold Cafe --- places known by foreign visitors, other sites were also attacked.

This is one of the most terrifying attack, a guerrilla tactics in a crowded modern big city with only ten commandos who made so many casualties.

Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel

And how could I imagine this would happen in my own town?

In the evening of 13th November 2015, I was watching France-Germany football friendly game held in Stade de France on TV at home, when all of sudden a big explosive like sound came out of TV. Quite big so I wondered what happened. But the match kept going on, and then second big sound, a player on the pitch stopped for a second, but after one second the match continued as if nothing had happened.

At the half time, I learned from TV news there was a terrorist attack in the city.

Little by little, the situation informed on the screen was getting more and more serious. The sirens of ambulance or police cars wailed all night outside.

Paris' terrorist attack happened two weeks ago caused casualty of 130 victims of 17 nationalities. This time, a part of terrorists were the home grown. They targeted the places like bars, restaurants, the rock concert hall, all were everyday sites, and most of the victims were young people --- the same generation as the attackers, grown up in the same country, nearby community, and could have watched same TV show when they were younger.

I went to the memorial for victims the other day, so sad to see the messages left by their family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers.

I offered a candle for those who were enjoying fully their life, and being interrupted by those who haunted by hate.

Place de la Republique, Paris

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