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Multilingual Mangalorean Chinese shines in Bollywood


Multilingual Mangalorean Chinese shines in Bollywood

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Jun 5: He flaunts the big tattoo of dragon on his right arm which represents auspicious power according to ancient Chinese folklore. It has taken him six patient hours to have the dragon tattooed ‘just for fun’ and he says he adores it.

Mangalore-born Chinese Nelson Leao Sheng Hua is quite eloquent and the advantage of knowing eight languages including Tulu, Konkani, Kannada, Malyalam, Hindi, English and two versions of Chinese languages is a boon which he treasures a great deal. His eloquence has come in handy for him as he began to work as a professional interpreter in Mumbai after he left Mangalore in 2001.

Nelson has also made a foray into Bollywood along with two sons Allen and Daniel and is slowly finding his niche there having acted in five movies and a TV serial so far. With that Nelson has added acting as an addition to his list of talents that includes being an hotelier, a chef and a professional interpreter.

Knowing so many languages is the one advantage which Nelson uses to surprise people, especially those who take him for granted believing him to be a foreigner. So if a Malayalee quotes an exorbitant prize for something he sells on the roadside, the prize comes down four times if Nelson starts conversing with him in tongue-twisting Malayalam language. Nelson encounters such incidents in Mumbai hotels regularly especially when he begins to converse in Tulu when the opportunity comes and soon makes way for a camaraderie. Nelson says “I am not trying to misuse my language skills but the urge to speak in Tulu or Konkani with a person knowing those languages precedes all other considerations”.

Nelson says interpreting from Chinese to Tulu and from Tulu to Chinese was one of the highlights of his career as an interpreter. He was called as an interpreter for Yenepoya Plywoods of Yenepoya group when the company brought machinery from Taiwan for its factory a few years ago.

Nelson was born and brought up in Mangalore as his parents who had come down from Kolkotta were settled in Mangalore. They used to run the first Chinese restaurant in Mangalore “Nanking” located in Milagres Flats, which Nelson was forced to close in 1998. His wife Gloria is a beautician and used to run a beauty parlous in the same flats. Nelson had his education in Milagres and his three children Allen, Daniel and Kelly also had their education in Milagres before they left for Mumbai.

“It was just by fluke I got an offer to act in the Hindi movie when an agent called and told me there is a role to act as a mature businessman and I did not allow the opportunity go out of my hand”, he recounts. He passed the audition test with flying colours and and it got him his first role in Hindi flick “Commando” along with son Allen. Allen is also acting with forthcoming Hindi film Nana Patekar in “Ab Tak Chappan 2”. Since then there have been a slew of offers and now Nelson is selected for a role in a Subhash Ghai film, the shooting of which is going to begin soon.

Nelson and his family have a strong affinity to Mangalore and they are contemplating coming back to Mangalore to restart their hotel business and get settled here. Gloria says “Allen is keen to come back and start the hotel business here in Mangalore and we would support him if he is keen in doing so”. Even otherwise Gloria and Kelly have decided to come back to Mangalore after two years and settle down here. Kelly has recently finished her SSLC and is keen to do architecture. In that case Nelson would keep shuttling between Mangalore and Mumbai and other places depending on his shooting schedule.

Mangaloreans who have tasted some of the authentic Chinese delicacies in “Nanking” can look forward to savour the same in the near future.

Comment on this article

  • anil kumar kamath, mangalore / dubai

    Thu, Jun 13 2013

    Hi nelson good to see you after a long gap of years. Proud to say that i am your classmate in milagres. b in touch - i will be available on tel: 971 55 9426550 / kamathanilkumar@gmail.com.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nanag Shetty, Kinnigoly, Oman

    Tue, Jun 11 2013

    Quang lin Nelson.
    Ni ha ma ?
    What a coincident !! ,Im trying my luck in Hangzhou and a tulu speaking chinese in Mangalore. Im are proud of you. xei xei best regards

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nelson Liao , Mangalore/ Mumbai

    Sat, Jun 8 2013

    Thanks to everyone for the good wishes & comments My email id is nelson_liao1965@yahoo.co.in & mobile no is 09823857888

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • RAJESH, MULKI

    Fri, Jun 7 2013

    NANKING WAS THE first chinese restaurant which i used to go during my early youth.I liked it not just only for food but for the atmosphere which it provided i mean right in the heart of city but when you walk through that small narrow lane and enter the place so much silence as if you you have switched off the whole noisy city behind you...If they come back i would be their regular again

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sarita D'Souza, Valencia / Kuwait

    Fri, Jun 7 2013

    NANKING :) :) :)
    The fondest of childhood memories.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Fri, Jun 7 2013

    Nice to know we have such talented people amongst us Mangaloreans.

    Nelson should try his hands in commercials and serials too.

    Wish him and his family the best in Mangalore and the wider world.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • RAVI RODRIGUES, MANGALORE

    Thu, Jun 6 2013

    HI NELSON...
    AND UR FAMILY WELCOME ONCE AGAIN TO MANGALORE, I'M YOUR OLD NEIGHBOUR BEHIND CATHOLIC CLUB...
    I REMEMBER A TORTOISE ESCAPED AND CAME TO OUR HOUSE FROM YOUR RESTAURANT...AND ANOTHER DAY YOUR DAD CAME TO OUR HOUSE, SHOUTING '' DANGER...DANGER..'' WHEN HE SMELLED OUR GAS STOVE IS LEAKING... WE USED TO KEEP OUR FISH AND MEAT IN YOUR HOTEL REFRIGERATOR...

    WE WATCHED FILM STARS AMBARISH AND AMBIKA @ YOUR RESTAURANT...

    COME BACK TO MANGALORE.. ITZ WAITING FOR YOU................

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Thilak, Urwa/ Mangalore

    Thu, Jun 6 2013

    Dear Nelson Welcome home to the sunny place you'r born. Mangalore the city near the sea.If your are looking for a pleasant life Mangalore is the city.Welcome home, welomehome with you'r family.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronny Crasta, Mangalore

    Thu, Jun 6 2013

    Ranjit Lobo, The food at Nanking was not actually authentic. It was more Indianised Chinese ! But it was tasty and also suited our budget. Moreover we could carry our own liquor ! It was an homely atmosphere with aunty Lana ( Late ) at the cash and sitting right at the door.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gregory Peres, Mangalore

    Thu, Jun 6 2013

    I have great memories of this place. I wish Florine could have ed a photograph of Nelson's late parents ( esp. aunty Lana ) who used to cook special beef dishes ( chinese style ) for us. This was a place where one could carry his own bottle too !

    Thanks Florine for this article.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ranjith Lobo, Mangalore / Canada

    Thu, Jun 6 2013

    Hi Nelson,

    Nanking was our fitst taste of authentic Chinese food. Used to relish the soups and spicy chicken.
    Having done my schooling in Milagres, visits to Nanking was often. I also recall Nelson's Dad who was very kind person and Nelson's kids, they were very playful.

    All the best to you Nelson

    Regards
    Ranjith Lobo

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj Shetty, Qatar/Mangalore

    Thu, Jun 6 2013

    hi ranjith.. by any chance r u suraj's bro?.. well I had a school friend by name Suraj Lobo and his brothrs Ranjith, Manohar studied in d same school..wondering if its d same person i'm communicating with..plse ignore if i'm talkin to a wrong person :)

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj Maxim Rodrigues, Mangalore/Qatar

    Thu, Jun 6 2013

    Hi Nelson, nice to know about you friend after a long long time. Hope u remember we were neighbours in Milagres !!

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • samuel sadanand, balmatta/kuwait

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    unforgettable NANKING....every day of my milagres life used to pass by that way....welcome back...and good luck

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • P. R, Udupi / Blore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    There used to be a Nanking restaurant in Udupi also, around 28 years ago, which was run by a chinese family. Ironically, the owner's son was also named Nelson and he used to study at Manipal Junior College, and he too could speak Tulu and Kannada fluently. Even though i did not know him personally, he was a familiar sight at Alankar and Kalpana cinema talkies, bunking class to watch kannada / hindi movies...(of course, i too was one of the culprits bunking class to watch movies at the theatre). Not sure, if this is the same Nelson who then moved to Mangalore..

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Percy Noronha, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hi Nelson, you always have warm invitation to start your family business in Mangalore. Nice to see your pictures with family. My only advice to you that if you start your restaurant please name it "NANKING", coz it made a name in Mangalore during your parents' time. Wish you and your family all the best.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aladdin Pais, Mangalore / Mumbai

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hey Charles Dmello,

    Yes you are right it is Hindi that I missed out on.... Going on 51 years guess memory is failing :)

    Kind Regards

    Aladdin

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • vsevolod nestor dcosta, kadri

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    dear Sir,
    Please come back and start your hotel here in Mangalore. Chinese food has gone from bad to worse.hao hao and hao ming have become why why and how how.We require a good Chinese hotel in Mangalore.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, BEJAI

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Konkani-Cheeni Bahi Bahi.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • sunil das, Mangalore/Newzealand

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hi Nelson,
    My childhood friend - classmate in Milagres, nice to see you in Daijiworld, You have prospered in life, good on you, Nanking how can we forget, my first Chinese food and first beer at your place. If you read this article email me at sunilddass@yahoo.com. You might remember me, wish you all the best for future endevours, hope to see you in Mangalore some day.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • A.pinto, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    From now on 'Chinese kori kachpoo ' Kerala style...BY NANUKING

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Nelson Leao Sheng Hua, you are most welcome, back to your home town.
    Good luck!

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Aladdin Pais, Mangalore / Mumbai

    Congrates !

    You can become buisness partner (food Industry) with Nelson and attract diversified customers. Say idia is not bad.

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil Gautam, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Nelson, first of all, congratulations on your achievements. All the best in your future endeavors.

    Secondly, it is wonderful news that your son is keen on restarting the restaurant business in Mangalore. Boss, I would love to dig in to the famous BIG BOWL of HOT & SOUR CHICKEN SOUP and the JUMBO SERVING OF CHICKEN NOODLES. Yummmmmm.. Slurrrrrrrppp..

    Come to Mangalore, Come to Mangalore, Mangalore Meri Hai..!!

    Florine, Thanx.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • alwyn sequeira, kulshekar

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    hi nelson good to see u after many years,you have taken a lot of efforts in life and today u are rewarded,we were to gether for many years sharing the same bench from std 6,u can mail me at alwynam@yahoo.com. all the best

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Paul, Mangalore/Dubai

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Yes!! cant forget Nanking.We need Nanking back in Mangalore with the same test & same Chinese aroma when we is to enter into the rest. near milagres. It is sad that they were forced to close. Welcome back to Mangalore we need you back badly. All the best to all your Family member's .

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aladdin Pais, Mangalore / Mumbai

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hey,

    If languages can get you places please count me in.. as I know the following languages.

    English / Konkani / Kannada / Tulu / Tamil / Malyalam / Telugu / Marathi / Gujarati / Bengalaee / Sindhi / and guess one more that I cannot recollect.

    So you see 12 of them.

    Kind Regards

    Aladdin

    DisAgree [16] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hindi dear Aladdin....!!!!???

    DisAgree Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jude, Mangalore Dubai

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    I have fond memories of Nanking. Authentic and tasty chinese food with an Indian tinge and also very economic. During those days as students and later on when we started with our new jobs, we had little money to shell out on outside food and therefore we found Nanking to be an ideal and most economic place for good Chinese food. I miss their mouth watering sausage fry and spicy chicken. I am glad to hear that Allen will be restarting the restaurant in Mangalore and look forward to visitng them while I am down on holidays. request Daiji to keep us d on their re-opening. I also wish Nelson plenty of luck and success in his Bollywood career.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gokul Das, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Memory of Nanking will never fade with me and my friends.Those old memories still linger with me. The tasty soup and the tasty mixed noodles will never be replaced by any restaurant here.With dragons pictures and those Chinese lamp glowing made the atmosphere China. Evening without Nanking was like a second home to our click.
    Nelson please do come back with your family magical touch to cook and satisfy our tasty buds. Looking forward to see you all soon.

    DisAgree Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    This is the first time I have ever heard of a Mangalorean of chinese origin.

    He should be a God gifted man with the ability to master so many languages and other skills/tallents.

    Wishing him further sucess in his new venture in the film Industry.

    Good luck Nelson.

    DisAgree Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Good to know that chinese speaking Konkani and Tulu. A video attachment of his language skills would have been good for us to enjoy.

    DisAgree Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Antony D'Cunha, Permude/Muscat

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Nice initiative by DAIJIWORLD to feature multifaceted personalities and highlight their talents & achievements for the benefit of readers across the world.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'Lore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Much before the Hao-Hao's, Pao Pao's, Dragon Gate's etc 'Nanking' had made it's entry into M'lore.Think Florine was a 'regular' there and might have taught a few lessons 'in languages'to Nelson.This Florine-Wait till I interview here once
    and put it up for all to read.This will be a 'scoop' I promise....

    DisAgree [2] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kenneth Sanjay Jathanna, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hi Nelson, Good to see you and your family after such a long time man..!!! The last was in 8th Std Milagres, when we were classmates, thats almost 35 years ago. (Hope u remember me :-)) If you are reading this, send me an email at info@jathanna.com. Wishing you and your family our best wishes. You have a great day and year ahead. Regards

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil D'Souza, Mumbai / Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    I studied at Milagres school and I have seen Mr. Nelson couple of times busy with his hotel business. We loved Nanking so much especially the Prawn noodles. Always wondered why this restaurant closed down. Glad to see this family after such a long time.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj Shetty, Qatar/Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    I studied in Milagres as well..even remember this guy..his nanking was quite famous during those days.. also not to 4get NANA beauty parlour )

    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Arun Noronha, Karkala/Dubai

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Lovely article. Thanks Florine for this article. Amazing to see Nelson's love for Mangalore. Some Mangaloreans once they go to Gulf or European countries, they forget their mother land and our culture. They feel ashamed to speak their mother tongue. These people need to learn a lot from Nelson. All the best Nelson and family. Hope to see your restaurant in Mangalore so that we can have yummy chinese delicacies.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • Naiem, Uchila

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Wish you all the best for future Mr.Nelson !!

    Just imagining the shock people get when Chinese guy starts talking Tulu !! Great skills you have !!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Daya Kirodian, Milagres / Dubai

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hi.Nelson..good to see you in daijiworld almost after gap of 28 years. We were class mates in milagres and your glimps of smile still remain the same. Wish to meet you in Mangalore.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santhosh Castelino, Milagres / Qatar

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    Hi Nelson... Good to see you bro in Daiji after such a long time, Remembering the good old days we spent at Nanking where you and your bro Kong used to serve us the best Chinese food in Mangalore, your mixed noodles were awesome i still savor that taste, its hard to find that kind of quality now ..Good luck bro and waiting for your restaurant to open soon...Cheers!!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    True dedication towards his foster motherland....Amazing character! We us look forward to re-opening of Nanking restaurent :)

    DisAgree [1] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lesley pinto, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 5 2013

    NANKING was our favourite spot and we loved the food there. I wish him all the best and looking forward for Nanking to come back in Mangalore

    DisAgree [1] Agree [58] Reply Report Abuse

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