By MARCELLUS BAPTISTA
Cheer and camaraderie was in the air at the Taj at the French National Day celebration hosted by the Consulate General of France in Bombay, commemorating the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
And here it turned out to be a double celebration as the consulate also marked the sesquicentennial (150 years) of its installation in Bombay. The consulate came into existence after a decree passed by Emperor Napoléon III on July 25, 1865. A wall of history at the venue depicted all the ancient documents and pictures, very informative indeed.
French Consul General Yves Perrin praised the dynamic and vibrant French community based in the constituency of the consulate that contributes positively to the strengthening of Indo-French relations. For the Indian guests he had a word of encouragement – to come and explore France as investors, entrepreneurs, as businessmen, as individuals. Last but not the least, he reminded the need to cooperate on crucial decisions and actions to be taken against climate change and pollution, adding that India would be one of the key players in these matters at the upcoming international Conference on Climate Change (COP21) to be chaired by France in Paris this December.
On his part, guest of honour Sumit Mullick, Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary and Chief Protocol Officer, made thoughtful comments in his courtesy speech on the French Revolution that was guided by the wisdom and principles that are today irrevocably etched in the history of mankind.
Following the speeches that were applauded by the packed house, the evening opened up to a gastronomic delight that lasted till late. And the cheer was on with the flow of Mumm’s and Moet & Chandon champagne, Domaines Barons De Rothschild wine and other spirits.