Meet the Chinese Wife of the French Ambassador

Continued from previous blog: Wine Party: The Dutch Guy With Helvetas

[Here is my article in Kantipur daily about the Beaujolais Day wine party: फ्रेन्च वाइन कूटनीति]

Behind every handsome ambassador is his beautiful wife: Gilles-Henry Garault, French ambassador in Nepal and his Chinese wife Shen Miao in the wine party on Beaujolais Day in Kathmandu. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

I am still looking some other people to talk to. Someone tells me that the ambassador’s wife is a Chinese and they communicate in German as the lady doesn’t know French and the man can’t speak Chinese. So I want to confirm this from the lady herself. “Excuse me ma’am,” I went to her and introduce myself as a reporter with a Nepali newspaper. “Can I talk to you for a few minutes?”

Sure, why not?

Yes, that’s true that the lingua franca in the family is German. “First we talked in German,” she says. “Later I tried in English. He can’t speak Chinese, I can’t speak French.” They are learning each other’s language but the lady says that the busy schedule of the ambassador is keeping him from improving quickly. “Sometime I teach him but he is busy,” she beams. Continue reading “Meet the Chinese Wife of the French Ambassador”

French Ambassador’s Wine Party: The Dutch Guy With Helvetas

Continued from previous blog: Beaujolais Day in Nepal: Wine Talk With a French Teacher

How about this bearded man? I am not sure about his nationality but that’s fine. He must be a European. Yes, he is: a Dutch, married to a Swiss and working for a Swiss agency in Kathmandu. “How old are you?” I ask him. By his facial expression, I conclude that that wasn’t the question he wanted to hear this evening though he had happily agreed to participate in the interview for the Nepali edition of the Kathmandu Post. “You guess,” he files the usual reply. I certainly do not want to disappoint him. He is a nice guy, I like his beard. They are white like of some Hindu rishi. He has spent 25 years in Africa before coming here in Nepal to work at Helvetas. I calculate and come up with this modest number: 45? “No, I am sixty,” Jon Roukema says, and smiles. “Not that old,” I assure him. He lives in Chovar, “a very beautiful place with friendly neighborhood”. Continue reading “French Ambassador’s Wine Party: The Dutch Guy With Helvetas”

Beaujolais Day in Nepal: Wine Talk With a French Teacher

Continued from previous blog: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu

I am basically an introvert (except on the web of course), and I find it quite difficult to sustain with phony smiles and extra courteous talks in many social gatherings. But then there is another person in me who is a reporter (journalist, you know, newspaper guy? I work for a newspaper and am trying to write something out of this gathering this evening. Would you like to talk to me for a few minutes? Hell yes, why not? Kantipur? What’s that? Oh, I read Kathmandu Post. That comes on my desk every morning. Oh.. yea? Then just keep this in your mind that Kantipur is the Nepali edition of the Kathmandu Post -which is not entirely correct but then what the hell, you are already drinking wine and I have already finished first glass in my life.) Yes, many a times, a reporter has to start conversations to make a story out of an occasion. Some people get frightened by just hearing the word journalist and run away, some try to avoid very politely some talk a little bit hesitantly and some become really glad that a reporter is talking to them. These people make me really happy. Continue reading “Beaujolais Day in Nepal: Wine Talk With a French Teacher”

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu

Beaujolais Day

The New Beaujolais has arrived!: Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel and the French Ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault in the “Beaujolais Day” party. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

15 November: I am not a wine connoisseur but the nearest thing that fascinates me after beautiful girls is a glass of wine. Did you believe that? Fine, don’t believe because I am just making that up (Or, believe at your own risk, what can I do?) as I am writing a blog about WINE and women. While I am typing these lines my status line on the IM says “2 glasses of WINE and I am DRUNK!!!!” One of my contacts on the IM screaming: “Just Stay Sane.” And the chattier creature thinks that it’s difficult to believe that I am drunk. (I am here in office waiting for the vehicle that will take me home at 11 PM along with night desk staffs at the paper. I don’t have motorbike or car so I have to rely on office vehicle to go home in late night.) Anyway, let me come to the point because I am sane enough to come to the point: It is 10:45 PM, I am just back to office from a wine party in the residence of the French Ambassador in Kathmandu hosted by ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault and Alliance Francaise. Continue reading “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu”

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu

Beaujolais Day

The New Beaujolais has arrived!: Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel and the French Ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault in the “Beaujolais Day” party. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

15 November: I am not a wine connoisseur but the nearest thing that fascinates me after beautiful girls is a glass of wine. Did you believe that? Fine, don’t believe because I am just making that up (Or, believe at your own risk, what can I do?) as I am writing a blog about WINE and women. While I am typing these lines my status line on the IM says “2 glasses of WINE and I am DRUNK!!!!” One of my contacts on the IM screaming: “Just Stay Sane.” And the chattier creature thinks that it’s difficult to believe that I am drunk. (I am here in office waiting for the vehicle that will take me home at 11 PM along with night desk staffs at the paper. I don’t have motorbike or car so I have to rely on office vehicle to go home in late night.) Anyway, let me come to the point because I am sane enough to come to the point: It is 10:45 PM, I am just back to office from a wine party in the residence of the French Ambassador in Kathmandu hosted by ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault and Alliance Francaise. Continue reading “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu”

Jab We Met Imtiaz Ali, Bollywood Experience Became So Cool

Yet another blog on a Bollywood flick. This time I am excited.

Eye on Bollywood: Amidst all the hypes that are surrounding Om Shanti Om and Saawaria, if you haven’t watched this cool movie called Jab We Met, you have missed something very good. When I watched this movie directed by Imtiaz Ali I felt really glad that I watched it. I hadn’t enjoyed a movie like that in months. Initially, I had dismissed this film as a “just another small offering from Bollywood with relatively small stars like Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor.” I didn’t know the director of the film and the name, the cocktail of Hindi and English, was unattractive. But, as they say, seeing is believing! I now believe in the talent of Imtiaz Ali, the man who directed and wrote Jab We Met. I have decided to watch his next film if me makes one. [The performance of Kareena and Shahid is laudable. I have never liked Kareena or her acting but after watching her as Geet in this film, I must say she can do the job.] Continue reading “Jab We Met Imtiaz Ali, Bollywood Experience Became So Cool”

Tihar Journal: Bhaitika and Yawning

The Day of Bhaitika: “Dinesh wake up,” someone screamed at my door, knocking. “It’s already 10. The sait for tika is at 10:30.” Oh, why can’t the sait be sometime at 2 PM, I thought, and, after thinking about the possibility for about 10 minutes, woke up. I had promised yesterday to myself that I would wash my hair today. Not that I am willing to do that very often but the dandruffs demand otherwise. There is this effective shampoo with me that when I wash my hair with it, dandruffs are gone for at least a week. It’s really useful for me. When you start a war, you want to finish it right through the end, right? That’s what I did. I went on for full fledged bathing which made me feel lighter. I am clean, ready for bhaitika. Continue reading “Tihar Journal: Bhaitika and Yawning”