In love with heat and Hindi cinema

In love with heat and Hindi cinema

expat speak

In love with heat and Hindi cinema

As a child, he spent three years in Morocco and fell in love with hot places in the world. So after serving his country in London for four years, Frenchman s chose Delhi as his next destination and joined as Director, Alliance Française de Delhi.

In the midst of planning and designing the upcoming ‘Fête de la Musique’ festival in June, Jean shares his life and living with Metrolife.

“I liked the heat and thought I would be able to wear half-sleeve shirts,” smiles Jean explaining the reason behind his choice of location and adds, “I didn’t know that winter here could be so cold!” But above all, it was the desire to experience the culture of the East that attracted him to India. “I was posted in the Netherlands, Melbourne and London earlier,” he shares explaining the reason behind his  current choice.

His interest in culture developed while studying theatre. “I wanted to be a director but realised that the world of theatre is very harsh in Europe. So I got into teaching of French as a foreign language. I then created a connection between theatre and French language because it was better to live in another country as a director of a language institute than in a small apartment in Paris, being an actor,” confesses Jean who started acting when he was 14 and soon realised that only “0.5 per cent of actors are ‘big’ in France.” Another European aspect that bothers him is that the “Classical artistes in Europe are not given their due respect as they are India. So if an artiste with a stature like that of Ravi Shankar dies in Europe, he will not be mourned the way he was mourned here.” Something that makes him respect India, all the more.

On a personal front, he is close to his sister who is a travel enthusiast. He too is fond of travelling and takes along his dear pet – a 10-year-old Australian cattle dog/blue heeler called Kintala (meaning dog in an Australian aboriginal language). “Mind you, it is the most travelled pet! It knows how to adapt itself, so in London it remained genteel and since in India, it knows how to nod its head,” Jean grins.

The fact that his 24x7 job doesn’t allow him to experience various cultural events in the City, saddens him. “Whenever I get time off, I go to bed and don’t get up till noon!” And off and on, he likes to catch a Hindi film to relax his mind. 

With Jean’s postings, his group of about 20 friends also travel with him. “They were very happy when they got to know that I was posted in India because they are Gujaratis from Kenya and Tanzania and always wanted me to visit India. Infact, my next destination will be suggested by them.”