Paris on 11 Jan 2015, Sunday

The outcome is almost always disastrous when two worlds collide. The events that unfolded in the past few days in Paris were what nightmares are made of. No one is right when everyone has been wronged.

SJ’s business trip wasn’t cancelled so it was with some trepidation that we set foot on French soil this morning. We had heard about the solidarity march with the 40 world leaders in attendance, and wondered if the already large number of police deployed was truly large enough to contain, and if required defend, the huge crowds expected.

Our families, of course, were worried, and told us to stay the heck away. But we couldn’t. Because the participants were everywhere we walked. It felt like the whole of Paris had descended upon Le Marais at noon.

The march was carried out peacefully and without issues. Phew. While there were numerous Je suis Charlie posters and paraphernalia espousing virtues of the freedom of speech, there were also people who quite outrightly said they were not Charlie but sympathized with the victims.

For what it’s worth, no one should lose loved ones this way.

Sobering. A little frightening. Where I come from, I will never see a march this big or if at all a march. Whatever the circumstance, peace should not be taken for granted.

Nonetheless, we got to witness a bit of history in the making.

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