26 September, 2020

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I might not have gone back to my native place—Poona—but it has always stayed with me.

Jitender Gupta
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outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
My roots extend back to Saudi Arabia, but the richest years of my life are the ones that I spent in Poona, where I was born and raised. The education I received there—from my father, and from the Jesuit school I attended—and the rich life of the area around me, have shaped me into the person I am today.

I have never really gone back to Poona except for a short trip a couple of years ago, and I have never staged a play there. It isn't that I don't miss it, but places change and some have changed beyond recognition. The Poona I knew, of my family and neighbours, no longer exists for me to go back to.

My father was the first member of the Alkazi family to leave Saudi Arabia. He was an orphan, who had to make his way in the world, so his uncles sent him to Bombay, which had a centuries-old tradition of Arabs coming to trade. He worked initially with the Bassam family, who were primarily in the tea trade, but then went on to become a businessman in his own right, trading in textiles, tea and whatever else was in demand. The Arab...
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