I was at Pune last week.. Now like every true blue Mumbaikar, I have been brought up to look down at every city other than Mumbai..
I wasnt expecting anything special from Pune..
I was pleasantly surprised...
*There r more colleges on one street of Pune than all of Mumbai.
*The rickshawalas are allowed to joke.. Rs.800 for a 6km ride at 1 am? hahahahaha... so funny..
Another time another day..
Me: Jagtap dairy? kitna?
Rick: meter+half or return
Me: Nahi re.. itna paisa nahi hai
Rick: okay.. 90
Me:nahi 30(something I learnt from my bargainin pro female frds..)
Rick: kya sahab.. chalo aapke liye 60..
Me: nahi yaar 30(man!! i am good..)
Rick: okay 50..
Me: roz ana padta hai yaar.. 50 roz-roz bahut costly hai..
Rick: (shifting to may marathi) 20 rupayat tumcha kay jaanar..
Me:(sticking to matrubhasha hindi) nahi yaar.. bahut costly hai..
Rick: aacha baitho
In bold letters MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!
Btw, we got to be good friends at the end of the ride.. he told me what buses to take and what all places to visit in Pune.. I asked him if he was on orkut and what his name on his profile was but then he thought i was getting too personal.. But he did tell me that he had his Ricks pic on his profile.. I have been searching for it ever since..
*There are only two age groups in Pune less than 25 and more than 55...There is no middle aged uncles/aunties around here..You will not find anyone around 35-40 walking the streets on Pune..I dunno how they do it..But I gotta feeling that the Govt. secretly kidnaps guys who are more than 25 yrs and less than 55.. To me, it looks like a social experiment.. Someone's got a better theory?
*Darvin derived inspiration for his theory of "Survival of the fittest" from the the Pune traffic.. The driving skills possessed by Punekars would make a Andheri bred-SV road driving-foul mouthing-horn honking rickshaw driver envious.. Punekars drive like they are playing a PC game.. Its like they gain extra point for cutting lanes and overtaking on flyovers..
If you dont overtake someone from the wrong side in the first 3 mins of driving its considered a foul.. You are red carded and ejected from the game for 90 mins.. what? seriously!!!
*The girls here are pretty, or so you guess..coz all of them have scarves around their faces with only their eyes showing... A lil tid-bit- Men in Afghanistan can tell a burkha clad womans age and how beautiful she must be just by noticing the spring in her step..Infact there are stories about how these Afghani men caught burkha clad female Russian spies just by noticing their walk.. I have become pretty much the Afghan myself...
*There so many scarves sold here... Girls, you know!! they have like 7 diff scarves for 7 different days - (baby pink for Monday, green for Tuesday, turquoise for Wednesday etc.).. btw, turquoise is a female version of blue..
According to the last budget 07-08, the sale of scarves in Pune contributes 0.3% to the country's GDP.. Its the second biggest industry in Pune after IT..
*Koli was driving me around the city one day when this scarf clad girl picked up a race against us.. She beat us for the first half of the race, but the male chauvinists that we are we werent ready to accept defeat from a lady rider.. Koli revved up the engine and beat her to the Pune university(thts where she was going we figured out).. For the record, the girl had an Activa while we had a fully loaded 150cc Xtreme..
*Pune is one of the few places which has an ideal boy-girl ratio.. Apparently ever guy with a bike has a girl(scarf-clad ofcourse..) on the back seat.. In much anticipation I asked my frds if they had found someone special, they hadnt.. it turns out they didnt have bikes!! Two of them had cars though, but as it turns out, cars dont do the trick.. How do u spell l-o-s-e-r-s?
*The apartments that I stayed in Pune deserve a special mention.. I stayed near the IT park in the burbs.. Huge apartments they have.. I stay in a 3BHK here in mumbai but flats in Pune are wayyy bigger... and their balconies.. hugeee balconies(half the size of the my bedroom)..The living room is the size of Eden gardens.. You could actually play Test matches there..(one tappi out ofcourse)
*I cant do without mentioning the weather..The weather is pleasant..
There was this day when I went sight seeing, I walked around 7-8 kms that afternoon, and not a drop of sweat!!
It doesnt rain tht much, but the temperature drops a good 5 degrees every night...With balconies big enough for you to play golf in, the evening is the best time to sit out there and soak in the scenery..
Both the apartments that I stayed in during the visit were on the 7th floor and offered quite a view of the city.. One word - Beautiful.. Dont tell Mumbai, but this was the first time I thought of settling outside mumbai..
If I have to compare between Mumbai and Pune, I would say Mumbai is like a middleaged businesswoman..(It has to be a woman, a man wont wear the queen's necklace now, would he?) Shes well established, respected and powerful.. She has worked hard to get where she is now.. shes always busy..she never sleeps...shes enterprising.. shes colourful.. shes fantastic!
Pune on the other hand is a 15 yr old.. Shes fun loving.. Shes beautiful, just like most girls are when they are 15.. shes got a few pimples here and there, but they only add to her beauty.. Shes growing up.. shes busy, but not coz she has to attend business meetings, shes busy coz she has to meet her frds or go shopping or do other girlie stuff..
As different as they are, they both are special in their own way...For the first time I am finding it difficult to choose between Mumbai and some other city.. And I thought this day would never come..
Special thanks to the guys who had to bear my company: Harish, Amit, Hemant, Suru, Ambrish, Abhjit and Koli.. All of them SPCEites.. What camaraderie!
Special thanks to Rishikesh aka monu
Thank you for the memories.. A city called Pune..
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: andheri, mulund, mumbai, pune, pune girls, rickshaw, visit