Cecile Rischmann - The French Encounter

January 12, 2016

'Words of love, are works of love' as Willian Alger the American writer said, seems to fit perfectly to the love and work of Cecile Rischmann (nee Fernandes). Her debut novel The French Encounter is a sensual telling of a deep abiding love that is the essence of true soul mates. The story takes inspiration from the reality of the authors own life.

Cecile was working at the Honorary Consulate of France in Chennai when she was invited to a party being held by a team of expatriates from Saint Gobain who had arrived in the country to build a glass float. Amongst the team of five from France was Jean Paul Rischmann who too attended the party and met Cecile there. The story that began at that party in the May of 1999 was solemnised at a wedding on the 13th of March, 2004 between Jean Paul Rischmann and Cecile.

Upon the completion of the glass float and one other project in India, the couple have since lived in Mexico for two years, Columbia for six months and Egypt for a year before relocating to Delhi for three years. Having returned to Chennai after that the couple shuttle between France and India. Cecile comes often to Chennai to spend time with her siblings.

Cecile wrote most of her book while travelling wherever her husband's work took her. Having always been passionate about writing, the retelling of her story was a very natural outcome of her way of escaping into the world of her imagination. For Cecile the attraction of reading Mills and Boon or of losing herself to her own imagination was the perfection that lay there. It was a world where everything was just right and exactly as she would like it to be, glaringly unlike reality itself.

Her love for writing manifested itself into short stories that she would write when in college and circulate to her friends. In 2014, her short story 'Jilted' was chosen in a nationwide contest and published in 'An Atlas of Love' - an anthology. Given that her first book speaks volumes on the little details of French lifestyle, she worked at the Honorary Consulate of France in Chennai and she is married to a Frenchman, Cecile as a student in school, was not very fond of French. Terrified of her professor, she often bunked her French classes in order to avoid being put in the spot. At one time, her teacher asked her to answer a question in front of the whole class and when, a very nervous Cecilia (as she was known back then) did not answer, her professor said, “Cecilia, you are going to miss the boat in French.”

A Goan by origin, Cecile hails from a family of artistes. Her late mother was a singer, father a chef, brothers are professional violinists, and her sister, a music teacher. She loves to sing, dance, read, and ofcourse, write. Having completed her schooling, she went on to complete five years of studying the language until her Diploma Superior and a Stage Pedagogiue at the Alliance Francaise. She also pursued her MA in French at the Madras University. Apart from French, Cecile has studied, Italian, Spanish and Business English Higher as well. She completed her Creative Writing Course at the British Council, Delhi and finally Masters in Human Resource Management at the Annamalai University.

When Cecile decided to write 'The French Encounter' she says the magic of the story enthralled her so much that she enjoyed working on it all the way through completion. She had the synopsis clearly mapped out in her head and she knew the direction the narration was to take. Cecile feels that writing a novel demands a lot of hard work, belief in the story the writer wishes to tell and most importantly in perseverance.

Cecile met her own Frenchman at the age of 29 and at a time when personally she was quite serious about getting married. The perspective fairly petrified Jean Paul Rischmann for he wasn't looking for a wife. The central concept of the story 'The French Encounter took root at that juncture in her life, although she only began to put the story onto paper in Mexico a good five or so years later when she was in Mexico.

Contextually the French Encounter is based in Chennai and her family was entirely unaware that she liked to write at all or that she was actually penning a novel. Having completed her novel, Cecile was hesitant to approach a publishing house as she wasn't sure if they would want to publish a novel as bold as hers. She was also quite keen to be part of every step of the publishing process and that narrowed her options down to independent publishers only. When Cecile did not get any good deals from the publishers that she approached, her husband invested in her book and she took up the diamond package offered by Partridge India.

Cecile looks forward to writing a book on her travels to various countries as well as on completing her other project - Visa to Paradise. The French Encounter is available in paperback, hardback as well as Kindle editions. Partridge India has released a video trailer of her book on YouTube as well.


By Meghna Hegade
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Cécile, Chennai

    Sat, Jan 16 2016

    Thank you Mr Hiremath for your encouragement. Pray that your short stories get published.

  • Cécile, Chennai

    Sat, Jan 16 2016

    Thank you so much Dr Pereira for your kind words.

  • Dr Anand T Pereira, Sakleshpur/mangalore

    Sat, Jan 16 2016

    Congratulations. Ypu are a gifted writer. The French connection and the nostalgic memories of yester year are always worth reliving. You have also inspired the younger generation.

  • R.Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Sat, Jan 16 2016

    Like you V.C.Hiremath Sir...I have
    2 books 'Matadakni Cross Road..Encounter No 1'..and 'Matadakani Cross Road..Encounter No 2'.
    No takers so far. Must approach Walter soon. He may get it published and reviewed.

  • V.C.Hiremath, H.A.Halli, via: Kushtagi,dist: koppal, Karnataka

    Fri, Jan 15 2016

    I did not read your's novel. but hats up to your's efforts. I wrote 10 stories' small book. but I can't do published it, because of money problem.

  • Cécile, Chennai

    Tue, Jan 12 2016

    Dear Mr Walter Nandalike,

    Thank you so much for having dedicated such a beautiful article to my novel and the author behind it. Really appreciate the trouble taken.

Leave a Comment

Title: Cecile Rischmann - The French Encounter

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.