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Au revoir!

Christophe Faucher leaves the city this weekend after completing his term as the director of Alliance Francaise



Christophe Faucher enjoys his drink from a khullar — Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

HIS EAGERNESS to learn Hindi began with an interesting experiment in Delhi. He would tell everyone, muhje sirf Francisi aur Hindi aati hai. It worked! People spoke to him in Hindi, and he almost mastered conversational Hindi. Meet Christophe Faucher, the enthusiastic Director of Alliance Française of Hyderabad, who returns to his home country, France, later this week, after an extremely fruitful, eventful two-year tenure. He firmly believes that language is one of the main channels of knowing another culture a belief that translated into many interactive events held in the last two years.

Incidentally, `khullars' found a way into the AFH cafeteria, even before Lalu Yadav announced his plans for the same in trains, thanks to Christophe. He jokes about his ideas with the khullars - to make a mound of broken khullars as some sort of alternate piece of art. You never know, the mound may materialise, after all!

Faucher was recently given a fond farewell at the Secunderabad Club by friends, students and other Hyderabadis who had almost become the larger Alliance Française family.

He leaves with mixed feelings - of hope and sadness - as he leaves a city he liked most. In a casual chat, with just a few days to leave the centre he virtually built up to its present form in two years, Faucher remembered some of his more memorable moments.

Changed conditions

"This centre was not in the best of conditions when I came in," he says. "It was an interesting experience and a challenge too. "Today there are classrooms with good tape recorders, CD players, and the garage has become a corner to watch French TV5."

Of the moments he will cherish most will be the inauguration of the Resource Centre at the Alliance Française at Marredpally by the Vice Chancellor of Osmania University in the presence of the Regional Director, ICCR last year. "It showed that for them it meant something. It was the result of a long term work and planning, including the energies put in by my own family - my wife Rekha as well as my in-laws - besides the students and teachers of AFH. It was a moving moment for me."

Among the `smaller' scale events, "Hyd and Seek" was just one small part of my mission in this capacity as Director - to give a platform to young, amateur student artistes, meant for a limited audience."

His life partner, Rekha adds, "I feel sad to leave Hyderabad. I liked it as a city. We found the people here extremely nice and helpful. I have lived in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, but Hyderabad is the city I most prefer. I will leave with a catch in my heart, no doubt."

Christophe leaves with "three wishes" for the Alliance Française of Hyderabad. "This centre should emerge as a `different' niche in the city, with its professionalism and modernity; that the collaboration between the department of Tourism and Culture and AFH (the revival of the Raymond's tomb) should continue; and that the AFH should become the owner of the present premises at Marredpally, else, "we will have to shift the seventh time and that will be quite sad! Papers have been sent to the Embassy of France in India and he hopes something should soon materialise during the tenure of his successor, Mathieu Guerin.

R. UMA MAHESHWARI

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