The loss of Notre Dame Cathedral is deeply personal to me

Paris is burning and so is my heart.

I have never been to Paris but I have lived in the cities of Europe through hundreds and thousands of books I’ve read. Some of my favorite characters spent their entire lives in London, Paris, and Rome. For instance, Westminster Abbey holds an unearthly place in my heart as Edmund Spenser, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, and many more are all buried here. Ah, Paris! J’aime le plus.

As far as I go back into my life, Paris has always held a special place. I spent 14 glorious years of my life at Notre Dame School, India. The founder of our school, St. Julie Billiart was a French religious leader and a Catholic saint. One of my fondest memories from the school are worshiping at the church and a Hindu temple adjacent to each other within the school premises. I remember the prayers – ” Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. “

I graduated in English Literature from Delhi University. During those days, I read some of the most fascinating classics of the Golden Era. My thirst was not quenched and I took up a 2 year French Language course at Alliance Francaise de Delhi. For a distinct period in my life, my only dream was to learn to speak French and live the rest of my life in Paris.

I am neither French nor Catholic but this is a personal loss to me as a lover of history, art, Gothic architecture, cathedrals, medieval ruins, Paris, France, and the French language. Something so extraordinary that has been standing there since the 13th century witnessing millions of lives is fading away. It would be renovated in no time but can we really bring back what’s gone?

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4 Comments

  1. This is so heart wrenching. I have always marvelled at the works of history and roman and Gothic architecture has a special place in my heart. This is a loss, unparalled to humankind for even if renovated, we cannot bring back what’s gone

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