Sarbatwalla Chowk is the centre of the wor ld of those he remembers: Eddie the Inventor and his Big Boy; the massive Samson, who lives on the street and refuses to get a job; the blind man and his guide, Black Dog, supposed to have special powers; Terry Soakum, the Australian crybaby who has his eye on Farrukh's swimming trunks; Confession D'Souza, the scholarship boy who loses favour with the Jesuits over a 'dirty book' and later becomes a courageous journalist; Chamak, a permanent pimple on his big nose, who wants to win the college elections and the heart of 'Jhansi-ki-Rani'. There's Farrukh himself, distressed over a pair of broken spectacles, or a knife-fight at school. Warm, funny, sometimes sad but always delightful, Poona Company seems as fresh as when it was first published in 1980, and presents a picture of small-town India observed with a sharp eye and a fond heart - a combination still rare in Indian fiction.
Farrukh Dhondy was born in 1944 in Pune. He is the author of a number of books including East End at Your Feet (1977), Poona Company (1980), Bombay Duck (1990) and The Bikini Murders (2008). He has also written screenplays for film and television, including Split Wide Open (1999) and The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey (2005).