German Bakery to be back

H/l: We want to reopen fast, this Bakery means everything to us’


Posted: Tuesday , Feb 16, 2010 at 0224 hrs

Pune: Smita Kharose and her family — owners of Pune’s iconic German Bakery which was bombed on Saturday night — don’t yet know how much they have lost in the attack. The bakery is both the family’s only source of livelihood and its identity, and the Kharoses are keen to re-open it as soon as possible.

The Kharoses went inside their bombed-out bakery on Monday afternoon, nearly 36 hours after the attack. Smita and her daughters Shraddha and Snehal spent a good four hours there, though they weren’t allowed access to the entire premises.

“Since the investigations are on, we were not allowed to go to every corner of the bakery, so we have not been able to estimate the damage. As soon as the investigations are over, our immediate effort will be to assess the extent of losses and start talks with the government about compensation,” said Snehal Kharose, 20. Her mother was not available to talk, and Snehal said she was busy with the police inside the bakery.

Later, Smita said over the phone that she was satisfied with the way investigations were going. “We have full faith in the police but I hope that the investigations get over soon, so that we can start the process of renovating the bakery,” she said.

The Kharoses live in a middle-class locality on Sinhgad Road in the city. Smita is in her 40s, and a widow. Snehal is in the second year of her BA course and Shraddha is in Class 11. Smita also has an 11-year-old son, Aditya, who suffers from cancer. Snehal helps her mother run the bakery. “The bakery is the only source of income for us and we are determined to start it at the earliest,” Smita said.

German Bakery was started in 1987 by Smita’s late husband Dnyaneshwar Kharose along with Woody, an Oshoite from Germany. After Woody left India in the mid-90s, the Kharoses became sole owners. Dnyaneshwar died 11 years ago; Woody had been gone some five years then.

The family hails from Bhilar village in Panchgani, where Smita and Dnyaneshwar got married. After her husband’s death, Smita initially ran the bakery by herself, until her elder daughter started helping out.

The Kharoses hope to restore German Bakery to its old glory soon, complete with its signature wooden benches and cane mats. “We shall surely renovate and restart the bakery, it means everything to us,” Snehal said. However, she said money was going to be a major problem; the Kharoses are hopeful of receiving “the best possible compensation from the government”.


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