Alexandre Ziegler, French Ambassador To India: Mumbai Is A World City With A Strong Identity And Individuality

Alexandre Ziegler, who has held several prominent positions with the government of France, is now the French Ambassador to India. A man with a variety of interests, he lives in Delhi which he calls home, though he has travelled extensively across India. During one of his many visits to Mumbai, a city he describes as "vibrant and creative", Mr Ziegler talks to BT about the common passions shared by the French and Indians, like art, cinema, politics and of course, food. Yes, he watches Bollywood movies too, and he tells that what's remarkable about Indian cinema is that "it is distinct and has its own identity".

As a foreign dignitary, what has been the most exciting part about living in India?

I have been living in India for 18 months now. I stay in Delhi, but I travel around the country, which is what makes it exciting. I have visited 22 cities over the past year-and-a-half, which is not bad at all. I travel mostly for business, but sometimes, also for leisure. I particularly love Mumbai and Kolkata, as they are vibrant and creative cities. Delhi is like home to me, so it is special. However, the most striking and emotional experience so far has been Banaras. I have really enjoyed travelling to Kerala and Pondicherry as well, they are lush and green.

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