Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Barbican Library London - life’s turning point

Tomorrow I leave for London, UK, once where the sun never set on the British Empire. I am quite attached to London not because it is one of the world’s major cosmopolitan cities or for that matter for its sprawling similarity with Kolkata but for the reason that London happened to be the first foreign city I ever travelled to from India in the early 90s.
Since then, I have been to many places across continents but the fond memories of my early 90s stay in London occupies a special place in my heart. I used to stay at 32 Fitzalan Road at the House of the Sethia family (picture). Mr Sethia was my guru in the sense that he initiated and groomed me into the world of international business. 
He was very affectionate towards me and took me out for a city tour the very first day I reached London (picture). The Sethias were one of the outspoken Indian families to have settled down in London. I owe a lot to all the members of the Sethia family who nurtured my growth on a foreign soil and taught me the ways of the world. Learning about international trade at their office has been the most gainful experience of my life.
In London, I used to go to the office and spend much of my time at the Barbican Library. It was here at the Indian books section that I first learnt about Dr Prabha Khaitan when I picked up a Hindi novel Aao Pepe Ghar Chale authored by her. I was really touched by the novel and wrote a letter to her on my return to India. 
I wanted to meet her and she gave me a 30-minute appointment that lasted for five hours and we became very close to each other. Though not related by blood, I became very attached to her emotionally and she cared for me like her own child (picture).
Few people know that I am blessed with two mothers that is my biological mother Kusum Bhutoria (picture) and of course Late Dr Prabha Khaitan who was a single lady and a renowned Hindi writer.
I visit London every year but the memories of 32 Fitzalan Road and the Barbican Library are etched in my mind forever. Sometimes, small incidents change your whole life. Mine was at the Barbican Library in London.
ess bee

1 comment:

  1. It is a very interesting and leaves you wanting to know more about you and your experience in London. I shall visit your blog to know more on this topic. Ciao.