Chantal Delobel-Ardino
Welcome to the world of a lover of India, cats, astrology and writing ...
                                                      From Ardennes to India 





































Charleville-Mézières, Arthur Rimbaud's birth place ...... The poet hated his city, which is not my case. I was born there, in 1951, as a " carolopolitaine ", as at that time, Charleville and Mézières were two different cities. Since then, according to the law, I would have become a " carolomacérienne ", but my “rebellious” side made that I persist in defining myself a " carolopolitaine ".
At eight, my parents gave me my first dictionary and I discover, amazed, the world maps… Asia! With a pen, I drew a route going from France towards…. INDIA! 
I had no idea of what this country could be but deep in me something was already attracting me towards the East. 

After several moving and my studies completed, I have settled in Nice, working in the real estate business for almost fifteen years, when suddenly health problems forced me to stop my activity.  

And it was at that time, while it seemed that I was hitting rock bottom, in the ‘80s, that INDIA sent me a signal... something very common... Yoga, which, thanks to very beautiful meetings, put me on the way.  

With Doctor Charak, in Jammu, preparing for a medical camp
Then... in 2005, GUJARAT... love at first sight, an authentic place, still far from mass tourism which "damaged" - it is necessary to tell it - its neighbour Rajasthan. An immediate contact with these people whose hospitality is legendary but still totally alive, people also proud to have given to India the symbol of its freedom, Mahatma Gandhi. The South of Gujarat is rich in historical places, in architectural heritage, in wonderful beaches, in natural reserves... that give the desire to continue the discovery… why not to the North? 

Second love at first sight, KUTCH, this immense area, at the edge of the salt desert, an absolutely fascinating place, with many tribal zones perpetuating their customs, their art… an atmosphere that literally captivated me.  

Here too, a beautiful meeting, Pramod Jethi, the curator of Aina Mahal Museum in Bhuj, a living encyclopedia who knows how to convey the passion he feels for his region. An amazing man with whom I got on well immediately. A photographer and writer who organizes customized tours for the tourists he meets. He wishes to protect his Kutch so it won't become a new Goa. 

With Pramod Jethi, in front of Aina Mahal
Since then, again and again, I had this desire to go back to Gujarat and to stay longer. I needed to go deeper and to understand why this State is different. The fate put on my path persons who knew how to sharpen my curiosity. They told me about their lives, about the changes they had lived during these last years. And a name came back all the time... Narendra Modi. Either loved or hated, but who does not leave anybody unmoved. 

Through readings, I discovered his surprising life. The character seems complex. Why so many praises and so much hate against him? However, he is unanimously said very approachable, receiving all those who want to meet him.... What if I tried? I did, and succeeded! 

A project … writing !  

My first book 

“Narendra Modi – A life for India” 

With Narendra Modi in his Sachivalaya’s office
Hiraba Modi, the Chief-Minister’s mother. A woman with an incredibly sharp mind for her age, and who exudes an uncommon energy in spite of her fragile aspect.
Or still…
Myia Hussein Gulbeg, an amazing man, fully involved in the evolution of his village, and more particularly the condition of women.
And so many others who somehow helped me to make this book exist and who contributed to make of my stays in Gujarat an extraordinary experience. During all these months, I received a lot and I think I have been extremely lucky to be able to develop ties in every stratum of the society. Some will remain friends while I will probably never meet again some others. But anyway, all of them will remain in my heart, ready to live again at the first opportunity: a word, an image….. India! 
Giving birth to this book was an adventure for me, a long period of excitement where nothing else mattered. I hope that you will have pleasure reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing it.