Klaus Woody Pumpernickel Gutzeit did not know any victim of last weeks Pune blast. But the German who started German Bakery over two decades ago with two Indian partners wept on hearing that his baby had been bombed. He was in Kullu,and reached Pune today. But he could not bear to visit the site to see the destruction.
I just passed by the bakery in a rickshaw. I couldnt bring myself to stop, 64-year-old Gutzeit,who pioneered the concept of German bakeries across India and Nepal,told The Indian Express. When he first heard about the blast,he couldnt react immediately,he said over the phone. The next morning,I just cried.
Gutzeit cant understand why it had to happen. It was cruel and senseless. The bakery was just a nice meeting place. Here people met and became friends, he said.
Gutzeit left home in Germany in the 70s,hit the hippie trail and landed up in Nepal. Foreign visitors to the kingdom yearned for good bread,and the young man found his means to earn a livelihood.
The first German bakery opened in Kathmandu,and was called Pumpernickel Bakery after the famous German country bread of the same name. However,Gutzeit soon fell out with his Nepali partner and opened another bakery in nearby Patan called Woodys Pumpernickel.
Later,he left Nepal and moved to Goas Anjuna Beach where he sold bread at the flea market. He became famous,and word reached the foreign residents of Punes Osho Ashram. They first got him to supply them bread from Goa,and then to move to Pune. German Bakery opened in Koregaon Park in 1988-89,in partnership with Dnyaneshwar Kharose and Nepal citizen Ram Gopal Karkee.
But Gutzeit did not like Punes rising pollution and concretisation. He returned to Anjuna and started another German Bakery,only to hand it over to a friend from Himachal and move to the Himalayas over a decade ago.
He has since started a health food company there.