'Indian music inspires me'

'Indian music inspires me'

Jerome Bonnafont

French Ambassador to India H E Jerome Bonnafont is a civil servant in word and spirit. There’s a certain sternness and firmness about him.

It may appear to be the baggage of every civil servant but prod him a little to talk about what he loves best about India, he turns soft, betraying un-diplomat like emotions.

“Indian music inspires me. There’s something mysterious, refined and profound about Indian classical music,” Jerome told Metrolife  His busy schedule leaves him with very little time to pursue his other interests. But Jerome sits down to listen to some soothing Indian music after work.

“The sitar and santoor fascinate me to no end. It can awaken the mind and stir it up,” he observes.  Jerome never wants to miss out on savouring Indian food.
 “I just wish it was a wee bit less spicier than it is now. But in some of my Indian friends' houses, they tone down the spices to suit my palate, that’s when I really enjoy Indian food,” he beams.

The French envoy thinks there’s very little difference between the Indian and French working culture. Indians are easy going and comprehend situations really fast. “The work ethos among Indians is stimulating. They can take any amount of workload and do justice to the task in hand,” he explains.

He observes that the French too, just like Indians, establish a family business and pool in their investments into expanding the same. Commenting on Indian politics, Jerome says he refuses to dub the proceedings in the country as “drama” or even “frivolous”.

He admires the way the largest democracy of the world goes to the polls without a stray incident of violence. “The spirit of democracy is quite deep-rooted among the people despite the prevalence of poverty,” he says. The civilisational diversities, the different cultures and an Indian’s tolerance of the same, fascinates him.

Westernisation and liberalisation have not shaken the faith of the people and value system in the country, he feels.

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