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Enchanting Paris On A Midnight Cruise On The Seine

16/06/2017 9:12 AM IST | Updated 16/06/2017 9:12 AM IST

It was almost midnight as we boarded the river cruise. There was a mild chill in the spring air. The night was mostly clear with a few wandering specks of clouds here and there, with the moon perched high up. As the boat set sail, she rested her head on my shoulder and whispered, "this is it, we are in Paris." Indeed, many years ago when we were two smitten lovers with not much to claim other than a handful of dreams, we often used to picture ourselves walking through the streets of Paris someday.

Here we were, as life partners (and parents of a gorgeous seven-year-old boy), sitting hand in hand on a midnight river cruise through the heart of Paris. A city that has forever remained synonymous with all that is glamorous and dazzling in the modern world. It is a haven for those seeking a refuge from the mundane, and an indulgence for the ones who cherish a romance (like us). Paris, as we experienced it that night under a soothing moonshine, was breathtakingly wondrous.

Sanam Sharma
The iconic Eiffel Tower, Paris

Paris that night was dressed up in an irresistible dazzle as we meandered along the famed Seine river. It was ornate like the words of a timeless love ballad dripped in a runic fetish. The night played the perfect seductress too, with a mild chill and a breeze light enough to quaver her hair every now and then. In the midst of this entire spellbinding pageant sat the two of us, riddled with goosebumps, as we tried to take in every bit of Paris. A lit up Eiffel Tower glittered in the background as we glided on a sleepy Seine.

Paris, as we experienced it that night under a soothing moonshine, was breathtakingly wondrous.

Minutes into our hour-long cruise, the clock struck 12 and the iconic Eiffel lifted its prowess a notch as it broke into a shimmering display of milky white lights. It was a moment to behold, a surreal trance of sorts that renders you incapable of drawing in a breath; a moment that overwhelms you to the core, yet, you don't choose to resist it for you want to have more of it — and that's what we both did. We hid away the cameras and let the city enthrall us with its magic, grappling to hold on to every sight that met our eyes.

The city stands around you with its ambiance and architecture, as if to distract you away from all that is less perfect about life and this world. The boat gently sailed under a series of bridges that were breathtakingly glorious in design and aspect — every single one of them. Along the banks of Seine, on each side, we were treated to opulence and grandeur in every building that we looked at.

Palaces, cathedrals, and museums, all doused in lights that added to their poise and enigma. You go past city gates and structures that were erected by the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte and suddenly every inch of your skin breaks out into goosebumps, yet again. The architecture all around you in Paris is overwhelmingly grandiose and yet tranquil.

Sanam Sharma

Then, if at any moment you chose to look away, you couldn't escape the views as Paris chose to shine through the shimmering ripples created by the rudders of our boat. "Can't we shackle time and make it stand still in this moment," she said in my ear. I had no response, for words had escaped me by then. So, I held on to her hand and pressed on it gently, in agreement.

Thirty minutes into the cruise, the boat turned around and started making its way back. It was well past midnight now, yet, sleep escaped us both. As we headed back, the Eiffel loomed tall, like a beacon. The half-moon sat to its right and a speck of clouds floated in its vicinity. Paris and Parisians were most likely in deep slumber at that moment but here we were, a couple of dreamers treading unapologetically through the city of love and dreams.

Not everything about Paris was glorious and enchanting, but for an hour that night, it was flawless.

Then, as the captain manoeuvred the boat to the anchor point, we stood up and looked around us one last time. I held her in my arms and together we held back our breath as we took in a last snippet of Paris. We left the cruise after an hour that night. Yet, it lingers on, spraying us with memories of a magical night every time we sit together and reminisce about our holiday.

Not everything about Paris was glorious and enchanting, but for an hour that night, it was flawless.

Here's a poem I wrote to capture that serene night we experienced in Paris:

Tonight,

I will not look for the moon,

in the night sky,

to write you a poem.

Tonight,

I have this love drenched city,

all to myself,

lit up in a shimmering splendour.

Tonight,

just sit beside me, and

let's not utter any words.

For this twinkling town is lush

with magic, eager to cast a spell.

Before you know it,

you will have fallen in love,

with me...

Sanam Sharma

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