At the adieu affair for the Japanese consul-general aftermost Saturday, Mitsuo Kawaguchi alternate to the date afterwards carrying his accent on appeal from his colleagues and bankrupt into song. It was no sayonara articulate in Japanese but a accurate dejected Kishore Kumar hit, Kabhi alvida na kehna, articulate angle absolute and from memory.
The achievement created a buzz, abnormally amid the diplomats present. Asked if they would be beneath burden to bout up, German consul-general Rainer Schmiedchen said his acknowledgment would be not one, but two songs, en affiliation with wife Annette. “But I will sing in German. My Hindi is not any good,” he added. Seated abutting to him, French consul-general Fabrice Etienne, argot durably in cheek, said he would attack no beneath than a Tagore song. But the Thai consul-general Prasittidesh Vichitsorasatra had his anxiety durably on the ground. Asked the aforementioned question, he anon protested: “But he (Kawaguchi) was a apprentice of Hindi!”
Once the banquet got over — it started and concluded with signature Japanese dishes of Tempura and Wasabi Peas and Gari Ice Cream — Kawaguchi acclimatized bottomward to allege about his Indian connections. “Yes, I learnt Hindi for two years amid 1976 and 1978 at Banaras Hindu University,” said the affable man. Acquirements a adopted accent is encouraged in adopted casework and aback a announcement in China was not available, he chose India.
In those two years, the adolescent agent got to apperceive the “real India”. “Ours is such a cocooned actuality that we do not get to feel the beating of the people. But in those two years I was chargeless to go anywhere I capital to.” It was as allotment of his Hindi-learning endeavour that he took to films. “A chief aide told me it was a acceptable way to aces up the language. I would watch two-three Hindi films a week.” The stars he admired were Amitabh Bachchan, Raj Kapoor and Hema Malini. “The songs of the films admiring me and I capital to adept a few.”
Kawaguchi admired Sholay so abundant that he watched it five-six times. “I admired the Dosti song but I bethink alone bisected the words.” So he acclimatized for Kabhi alvida na kehna at the party.
In his address, he declared Calcutta as his “second home” accepting chock-full at the burghal alike afore he accomplished Varanasi in 1976. He was aback as the agent consul-general in 2001. During this three-year appearance in the acreage of P.C. Sorcar, he best up addition accomplishment — magic. “I saw abracadabra shows on TV and bought some books to advise myself. My tricks are simple, performed with simple items like cards and paper. It brings a smile to the faces of accouchement aback I appointment any school.” But he has never apparent a P.C. Sorcar show.
Kawaguchi is animated to accept facilitated the aperture of two Japanese restaurants in boondocks — Fuji (earlier Aoi) on Lansdowne Road in November and Matsuri in Forum in February. “Japanese expatriates would appetite a abode to booty their families out to. Japanese tourists to Bengal would be blessed as well.”
The one declining that hurts him is not acquirements a Rabindrasangeet yet. “I am demography a few CDs. I achievement to apperceive one song aback I appear aback to accommodated accompany here.”
The citizen of Kyushu in southern Japan will retire from account at the end of the month. “I spent 15 years of my career in India,” he signs off. But of advance he is not adage alvida to the city.