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PORTRAITS

Mandar, India.

I'm from a city called Poona or Pune. The city is not far from Bombay or rather Mumbai. Poona is in a state called Maharashtra. Maha means „wielki”. Wielkopolska would be „Mahapoland”. Its a funny similarity. I come from a small family. Father, mother, me and sister.

I'm not a city man. I'm more a type of a village man, so here, in Poznań, I have problems that I would face in any other city.

It does take courage to travel to new countries, cultures, but I don't look at myself like as a traveler. It is much more interesting for me to live my live in some country, than to just visit it. People visit many places: Moscow, Singapore... they go there for one week, than come back, tell fascinating stories, show pictures to friends. That's not for me. I don't have fascinating stories. I'm much more interested in live stories. I like walking on Rynek Łazarski, Rynek Jeżycki and talk to people. I like simple interactions with people. I'm not a traveler, I live.

Surprisingly I've never had any problems with racism in Poland. People tell me “don’t go here, don’t go here”. I often go for a walk to the Lech Stadion when there's a football match and I never had any problems with people there. I'm lucky. I meet good people.

I’m deeply interested in theater. In Poznan I was performing recently in "Arka Noego. Nowy Koniec Europy" in Teatr Nowy. It was a very interesting experience. We have a very good tradition of Marathi Theater in India. It is almost 200 years old. Basically it is based on folk theater, music, dancing and legends. But it is nothing like Bollywood! Bollywood is a commercialized version of it. They take base elements of the tradition and make them glow. It is not my style. The real thing is folk art, folk tradition, stories told for generations.

In India I was working mostly as a translator, interpreter and an actor. I was also teaching German language. Here I'm working in UAM. I'm teaching Indian languages. We have about 25 students. Now, because of the globalization, people have a lot of possibilities to get to know a different culture. They stop thinking about India as about a fairytale, now there are more facts to be easily learned. Learning a language is the best way to get to know a culture. I, myself, know about five languages and I'm of course learning Polish now.
 
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