An enchanting experience
He came to India in 2002 and received the shock of his life. Irishman, Marc-Ivan O’Gorman is a Delhiite now yet says, ''I am still settling down.''
Film director by profession, Marc recollects, “I came to India because my wife got a job in a TV channel here and I got a chance to connect myself with Delhi.” Ask him how he met his wife and Marc narrates his love story, “I and my wife, who is of Indian origin, met while we were pursuing our post graduation programme in TV, radio and films at Syracuse University.”
He is also the man behind the recently concluded ‘Irish Film Festival’. Talk about his first encounter with the City and Marc confesses, “It was a shock for me when I first came to Delhi. I had previously been to other Asian countries and realised that Delhi is certainly different from any other city in Asia. The density of population and traffic snarls were quite severe here. Also, on the cultural front, one has to get used to the social customs but for me it was not that difficult as my wife was accustomed to them. But overall, the experience was quite dramatic.”
Ask Marc about the security concerns in Delhi and he says, “We are mindful of the situation and are on our guard but I have to admit that a lot of other cities in India and abroad are safer than Delhi.”
The initial days were tough for this Irishman. He says, “I used to fight with taxi drivers due to their bad driving skills and became the centre of everybody’s attention. I was charged more than the actual amount just because I was a foreigner.”
The freelance director, who continues to work in the US and Ireland says, “With time, Delhi has become more prosperous. If I bump into a celebrity here, it becomes news in Ireland but it is the other way round here. If there’s a rugby match in Ireland, I can’t even watch it on television since it’s of no significance here.”
Talking about his love for Indian food, Marc says, “I am a big fan of Indian cuisine especially South Indian food such as sambar and uttampam. I also like kebabs and thalis. Earlier, I didn’t like Indian sweets but now I love gulab jamun.”
Ever thought of living in another country? “India is as much a part of my life as Ireland and I can’t choose between the two. Although I don’t like Delhi in July but when I spot a parakeet from my balcony or look at a silk cotton tree in February, Delhi enchants me and makes me fall in love with it,” he says.
Marc also likes the way Delhi has changed. “I like the coffee shops that have mushroomed here. A lot of facilities have improved and Delhi is now an international city.”
The art and music scene in the City interests Marc the most. “A lot of international artistes are heading here and there is an increase in the number of music lovers. Even the art fairs are very interesting in Delhi,” he says.
While talking about Bollywood Marc comments, “Some of the actors drive me nuts but I really like Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.”
And anything he would like to change about Delhi? “I wish there were more footpaths for pedestrians. If they can make bicycle lanes then why not footpaths? In fact this would encourage people to walk rather than drive and would certainly reduce the traffic woes in the City,” he says.
A resident of South Delhi’s Defence Colony, Marc likes to visit Connaught Place often. “CP is one place where I like to go because I can walk there,” he concludes.