Anil’s family has lived in Patna since the early 1950s. Anil was born in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1947, just three short weeks after the partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan. The family moved to Patna when Anil was six years old and he did all his primary and secondary schooling there. He graduated from high school shortly after his fifteenth birthday and started university in Delhi, just before he turned sixteen. He stayed with relatives in Old Delhi and later boarded at the St. Stephen’s residence.
After completing his Master’s Degree in Physics, he accepted a scholarship to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and left for Canada just before he turned twenty-one. He arrived in Edmonton on Sept 3, 1968 and has called Edmonton his home ever since. He’s lived in Canada for more than two-thirds of his life.
When people ask him where he is from, he always hesitates with his answer. Mumbai, Patna, Delhi, Edmonton?
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
There wasn’t a great deal of time left after completing the extensive dental work I needed in Mumbai and the date we had arranged to meet with our son Raj and his wife Vy in Vietnam. We had to make the difficult decision as to which sibling we would travel to see. Anil’s older brother Arun and his wife Neena were the obvious choice, especially as Arun is the eldest in the family.
However, the choice was made easier by the fact that Anil’s younger brother Ajay, along with his wife Neeta, had just become grandparents for the first time and were travelling from Delhi to Ahmedabad to see the wee baby Mehaan, born to their daughter Dhriti and her husband Nitin. Anil’s sister Manju and her husband Kamal were also tied up with a family wedding on Kamal’s side, so a trip to Nagpur would have meant that we would have had little alone time with them.
The decision was made to fly to Patna and luckily there was a direct flight, with only a short shop in Ranchi on the way there. We had only four short days in Patna and I have to say we hardly even left the house. We wanted to spend time with Arun and Neena and to visit some of their friends that we’ve known for many years, and some of their newer friends that we’ve met once or twice in the past.
Anil went most mornings for a long walk on the grounds of the Patna Zoo. I was keen to go with them but they left so very early, just after 6:00am, and the first three mornings I just rolled over in bed and went back to sleep. It’s barely light in that part of the world so early in the morning. Our last day there, I pushed myself out to join them, motivated by the line from Anil that my friend the elephant was missing me. How could I ignore her, I visited her many times in the past and she would have sensed that I was in town.
We had a great time, great food prepared by Neena. She always remembers my favourite foods and puts her culinary skills to the test and works wonders in the kitchen. We did manage to see some of their friends whom we have met on previous visits, when they gathered in one place so that we could manage with the short time we had available. Before we knew it, we were heading to the airport for our return flight to Mumbai. A short and sweet visit with family is better than no visit at all.