The sharp contrast in choice is evident. A Japanese book detailing the horrors of World War II in Japan and a Hindi book on the late singer Mohammed Rafi share space on a shelf in Michiko Tendulkar's Japanese library at her home in Apte Road. Thirty eight years of living in India has had its effects. “Now, I am more Indian than Japanese,” says the 69-year-old.
Tendulkar first came to India in 1965 for her advanced studies in Hindi at Delhi. She chose Hindi against English because “it offered a richer experience of India.” Then came many trips back and forth between the two countries till in the mid 1970s the Japanese government asked her to come to India and teach the language. “There were no jobs initially, neither at home nor here because they didn't need anyone speaking Hindi in Japan and here Japanese was still a curious oriental language. But by and large policies changed back home and they understood the importance of teaching Japanese to foreigners. That is how I first landed in Mumbai in 1972 and then in Pune in 1981,” she says.
Tendulkar also taught for nine years at the department of Foreign Language Studies, Pune University, before quitting to become a freelance teacher. “The idea of starting a library came up then. There were good libraries for students in the university and the Indo-Japanese Association
Be the first to comment.