A city called Pune..

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...

Some musings...

*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


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!!rolleyes 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.. mrgreen

*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 mrgreen 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..mrgreen

*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?twisted

*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..SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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21 letters to the editor:

    On August 27, 2008 at 12:20 AM     
    aroop said...

    if there was any other city in india i was forced to pick to settle in besides mumbai, it would be pune..

    On August 27, 2008 at 9:14 AM     
    Srinivas said...

    Thats a detailed travel report about Pune.You're rt when u say the male and female ratio.Even I also wonder it when I visited pune.Lovely place!

    On August 27, 2008 at 9:50 PM     
    Unknown said...

    that was a very sweet blog.......i really liked the female metaphors for the two cities at the end of the blog.....i don't know if i would agree with the one about Pune (simply because i feel like i don't really know that place)....but i think u nailed it with mumbai......she is a busy lady (all encompassing and welcoming without being overly personal or friendly) :)

    On August 28, 2008 at 9:06 AM     
    Unknown said...

    nice one... im so glad that u mentioned male chauvinism.... n almost overwhelmed that u mentioned the cities in a feminine respect... u see we women are the ultimate truth of this nature of existence... for ex: LORD SHANKAR is known to have cum first.. but again HE was backed by AADI SHAKTI,i.e, PARVATI... n we call HER AADI cuz SHE was before... even before the first man...

    On August 30, 2008 at 9:00 PM     
    Chriz said...

    colorful girls... and 800 bucks for rickshaw... man thats a big write up... hehe.. fun to read. i should learn hindi

    Really? I ddint know you liked Pune so much.. I would second that.. For me, Pune looks a lot like Mulund..

    yeah mate..sahi na..

    Thanks.. I didnt have to put in any effort describing mumbai.. It came naturally..
    Describing Pune required a lotta thinking though..

    Thanks :)
    "u see we women are the ultimate truth of this nature of existence..."
    And somehow us men are the chauvinists :P
    I wasnt expecting Shankar and Parvati to make an appearence on the blog ever!!

    Thanks man..

    On September 5, 2008 at 3:25 PM     
    Mayu said...

    Pls correct me, if I feel dat U very comfortably N conveniently feel proud of da "Male chauvinism"??????
    Elaboration needed!!


    Well, if you have read my earlier posts you should know that I use exaggartion as a tool to create humour..

    That line bout us being chauvinists is quite an exaggeration..

    But then I cant deny the fact that I do have traces of chauvinist traits

    I am not particularly proud of it, but yeah I dont deny it..

    Well, u see, chavinism exists coz of the human tendency to exert that the sect, community or sex that you belong to is better than others..

    Ofcourse it is childish and extremely unscientific to think so without having any facts to prove it for you..

    Remember when you were young you thought - "My daddy strongest".. But as you grew up u realised that it wasnt necessarily true..

    I am growing up too..I might get up one day and laugh at this comment- But for now, I think we are better.. Atleast at driving if not anything else(Search for my blogpost called -"Proman")

    No offence but you are quite the chauvinist yourself.. Only you have a different word for it - "Feminist"!

    For me chauvinism is not a dirty word, its just human behaviour.. Same is true for feminism too..

    Is that elaborate enough for you?

    On September 10, 2008 at 5:50 PM     
    Mayu said...

    Well Arshat, i kno exctly wat chauvinism means n y does it exist....dat was not wat i askd u 2 elaborate but nevertheless u've elaborated it 2 me n thanx for da same.

    "But u r quite da chauvinist urslf,u only hav a diff word for it-feminism"--
    Arshat,i wud say u r under a fallacy..Feminism cannot be synonymous 2 da word male chauvinism at all,atleast not in THIS RESPECT..On da contrary,Feminism (in this respect)wud mean a defence used by da female gender against da male chauvinism n da gender inequality n 2 to come at par wid da opposite sex.(i mean equality). Feminism emerged n evolved because of unjust atrocities arnd da 18th century and not because we were Female chauvinists..Feminism does not particularly say dat-"we women r superior" whereas Male chauvinism specifically "indicates da attitude of men dat women are inferior to them" N so feminism cannot be a substitute word for male chauvinism in female gender. Da term Feminism derives its origin as a defence though later it developed a sub type-"Female chauvinism"..

    Plus, how wud u kno dat i m a Female Chauvinist?? n
    Who said dat Chauvinism is a dirty word?? n abt Better Drivers--I believe in facts, evidences wich can take recourse of surveys....i dnt believe in assumptions!!!!!!!!

    Lastly, No offence but u hav made a lot of self-contradictory statements............

    You are welcome..

    "Feminism emerged n evolved because of unjust atrocities arnd da 18th century " - Wikipedia to the rescue eh?

    For me Feminism took root only after the bra-burnings of the 70s..It became chic to be known as a feminist..Dont get me wrong, I respect those women for all the efforts they took to fight for their rights..but I find the whole thing weird..

    If some men from Kenya tell me that they are better marathon runners than us Indians, I would accept it.. I wont go around buring my underwear now wud i? :P

    That wud hold true for men-women too.. There can be no equality between the two.. Men can jump higher, run faster, drive better and are good at maths.. I am not saying there is no woman who cant run faster than men.. Most sportswomen can, but if you take the average, men are better in all the above things I mentioned..

    Women ofcourse are better as nuturers, like say in the healthcare industry and they better writers and painters and costume designers..
    Now Manish Malhotra is definitely a better designer than, lets say, you, but if you take the avg, women r better at it..
    You agree to the this para, dont you? That makes you a chauvinist coz u believe that female sex is better at all this stuff.. and you are damn right!!

    About how I know bout u being a feminist part, well.. the fact that in a 700 word blogpost you found only the chauvinist part worth mentioning, says it all..

    About who said chauvinist is a dirty word, well, correct me if I am mistaken, but werent you the one who needed an elaboration on why I used that line? I dont see why should it bother you dont deem it objectionable..

    And bout being better drivers, well, I am sure for every link I present here, you will come up with a link which is about a recent study which shows women are safer drivers.. Why dont u do this excercise, run down to the friendly neighbourhood Motor Training school and get it sorted out for yourself..For your ref (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1574402/Women-and-gay-men-are-%27worst-drivers%27.html)

    "Lastly, No offence but u hav made a lot of self-contradictory statements............ "
    Oh.. that? I do it all the time :P

    Now please let your guard down, will ya?

    On September 11, 2008 at 8:29 PM     
    Mayu said...

    With a sweet "Hello",

    Wat do u exctly find wierd????? people protesting for their respective rights??????
    Try n correct me on da above.

    U've got it wrong.........I did not say dat we,women lack da acceptance level of the fact dat sum1, particularly men can be better than us, not at all!! Ofcourse we r all better than each other in various aspects .........
    Equality does not mean being at par wid da opposite sex or others in respect of Qualities/Assets.....Equality is Beyond this!!!!!!!!!!
    All these comparisons like "I m a better driver than u r", "I m a better cook than u r", et al wud come at a later stage......at a stage when U n ME wud be considered Equal.....Equal not not in our assets/qualities but Equal in our Rights n majorly equal in "Treatment"!!!!!!

    So equality is a demand for an equal treatment whether between sex, religion, race, et al n not a comparison of qualities/assets..
    So is Feminism! It was or is a demand by da female gender for equal treatment.........its not disregarding da fact dat people or particularly men r better than us in some aspects!!!!!!
    Pls broaden ur horizon on equality!!

    "The fact dat out of da 700 word blogspot u found only male chauvinist part worth mentioning, says it all"--
    I thought dat people do accept n appriciate "Constructive Criticism" but only dat my thought was replaced by the fact dat people actully dont!! and cmn, u can allow me 2 comment on topics dat intrests me....I wud not cast my opinion on any topic dat does not intrest me!! Just because i comment on Male chauvinism does not mean dat i m a female chauvinist, its way early 2 judge! it mgt jst b a preliminary resourse 2 judge or not even dat!! Likewise goes my explaination for that "Dirty" thing........
    + da very fact dat u thought this way(as usually men do) and jumped 2 a conclusion of me being a female chauvinist indicates dat u r a Male Chauvinist(wich even u dnt deny).

    "Now pls let ur guard down, will ya?"--
    Wat exctly does this mean??
    Does this mean dat i shud call it a day upon our argument??or does it mean dat it shud be left by not arriving at any consensus??
    Well, i take that as a request..but even then i wud not abstain from this argument!!!!!!
    An "Argumentative Indian" that I am, I wud never abstain from arguments or Dialectics n expressing wat i wish 2 thru them and neither should anyone else in my belief!

    P.S-i did like ur blog wich's y i felt it was worth commenting!!
    its jst dat i segregated "Male Chauvinism" 2 a different level!!!!!!

    And a sweet "Hello" right back at ya..

    I find it weird tht women have to burn their bras to feel liberated..

    No two men are equal..
    The President of Pakistan wont be trated in the same as the President of United States even in a utopian society!!

    And what do you say about Affirmative action then? and what bout reservation in our country? And what bout 33% reservation for women in our country.. Thats not equality, is it?

    So now you be realistic about equality..
    Equal treatment would mean you not gettin into tht college of yours, you are occupying a seat that a guy had worked hard for.. You think thts equality? But then thats how skewed our ideas bout equality are..

    About the constructive criticism, I think tht point is the least important in my post.. See, I apologise if I have hurt you in any way coz u sounded very agrresive there, askin for elaborations and stuff...(If you have noticed,I answer all my comments)

    By asking you to lower your guard i meant u to take it easy..Chill.. You call me judgmental just coz I think you are a female chauvinist??
    Am I wrong in calling you so?
    You demanding an elaboration from me like that shows that you had already judged me before i even replied to your comment..Doesnt that make u judgemental too..
    (Btw, being judgemental isnt a bad trait either..just like being a female chauvinist isnt..)

    I dont mind that though.. If I did, I wouldnt be writing on this blog..

    I want to arrive at a concensus too, but you are too naive girl..

    You think in linear terms, which i really like, but the problem with that kinda thinkin is tht u become so obsessed that you try to arrive at a point by force.. It takes a lotta growing up to realise that there is more of grey than black and white in the real world..

    Girl you got too much time on your hands..

    On September 12, 2008 at 8:22 PM     
    Mayu said...

    With a discontinued use of da same "Hello",

    Yes! it might be 2wierd that they did that. but there r exceptions,rgt???? Almost all generalisations hav exceptions.
    Their demand was absolutely right but the modus operandi for their protest war wrong or wierd.
    An example can be cited here-do u remember (arnd)da last year,A mass of people had expressed their concern towards Global Warming by carrying posters/slogans naked!!

    "No 2 men r equal"
    Ofcourse they r not but the whole demand is to make them equal..
    (hey,i never thought equality wud b this engrossing!)

    About the Reservation policy- Even i m very stringently against it..
    and if u r only considering women in this respect then, also consider the other groups,race or castes who r privilegd of this unjust right...like, may be SC's, ST's, OBC's, et al(i m excluding the physically n mentally disabled)........Even i m against it but with certain exceptions. The exception being Reservation for Women in Parliament.....(being a Law student, i hav a lot 2 say abt this, in respect of the Constitution of India but it wud amount to a damn lengthy explaination).
    Equality- Indeed the thoughts abt equality r wasted, screwed by the politics....its all politicised!

    Abt constructive criticism- It was least imp for u but for me, it was equally intresting!!
    Abt hurting me- Not at all!! Y wud i feel bad or hurt??I M not as immature 2 mind such banal opinions of people.."Neither wud i mind n nor do u matter".
    + I wasnt aggresive at all but i mgt jst be audacious!
    I just demanded an explaination......I kno! ppl do tell me, always dat i m a little demanding but was an explaination too much 2 ask for??

    I m chilled out, almost sinking in da deep tropical iceberg!
    "Am i wrng in calling u so?"- You certainely are! Also, asking u an explaination does not mean i judged u......Had i judged u, I wud hav made sum grave comments abt u or ur blog! but infact i asked u to correct me.(if u hav noticed),
    That's the whole idea of an elaboration!

    "I want to arrive at a consensus too but u r too naive girl"--
    I dont think i shud resort to any vendification but i will as i m a little too used to misunderstandings!
    I m naive, may be but in your sole opinion!go ahead wid ur misunderstood understanding! For me, i m not childish though many times, i might be childlike(ther's a huge diff betwn the two)!
    Does dat statement of urs mean that i m unworthy of arriving at a consensus with u?????well, i dnt mind if u ignore dat question of mine wich preferably u shud because I decide my own worth not ppl!!

    Abt thinking in linear terms-
    I dnt think so! I m quite diversified n versatile in my thoughts! I can also comfortably say dat u r quite Monotonous(not monotonous in respect of rule) in ur thoughts!Typical!! i wud say!
    Who's even arriving at a point by force??Give me sum evidences in this respect!

    "It takes a lotta......."-
    Yes! Does take a lot of time but it is extremly subjective!
    I wudn say dat i've grown up completely, no one does!
    I'am Imperfect n luv myself for da same!
    Wat if i say dat i hav already realised all of dat????how wud u kno??
    Well, for me, there's more of grey than black n white in not only da Real but also in da Actual World!!

    I belive in reason!
    For me, it wud be in stages-firstly Acquiruing, 2ndly Storing n at da acne Applying!
    I may not apply everything i acuire n store though i wud want to!!

    Ofcourse, I do hav time, Even if i grow up to become the busiest person on earth.........and basically ever1 does!
    as i always say-"Its all in da Mind"!!!!
    I wud always hav time for my intrests through wich i wud learn n incorporate(Though at times i may not accept it by a defence of various reasons).......
    Learning like for every individual, wud be a never ending process for me!

    I was cajoled 2 write much,much more than this but i disallowed myself from doing so!

    Annnnddd the hits just keep on coming!! :)

    That comment is longer than most blogposts I have read..Sadly I have to read this in full :P

    "A mass of people had expressed their concern towards Global Warming by carrying posters/slogans naked"
    And that wasnt weird??!!

    "Ofcourse they r not but the whole demand is to make them equal.."
    Do dont get the concept of utopia, do u?

    "its all politicised" - exactly my point.. its politicised and overrated by media and by girls like you..

    "Neither wud i mind n nor do u matter"
    Oh!! Thts quite an eye opener.. coz you have become the most imp person in my life since the last 2-3 days :P
    I am writing more to u than i have to my mom :P
    And thanks for puttin tht in "" coz tht woke me up..

    "I m chilled out, almost sinking in da deep tropical iceberg! "
    Doesnt sound like it.. The iceberg aint doing a very good job then :P

    "infact i asked u to correct me."
    I answered that in the very first comment.. But you just kept going on and on after that..

    "I dont think.....misunderstandings!
    I m naive,.....childish though many times..... my own worth not ppl!!"

    And since when did my blog become some place where you can publish your autobiography?!!

    "Who's even arriving at a point by force?"
    I never said that u were.. I said ppl who think linearly do..
    See? for a law student not much of a listener!

    "I can also comfortably say dat u r quite Monotonous(not monotonous in respect of rule) in ur thoughts!"
    Oh!! Compliments! Compliments!!
    Cant believ I read it till here(or did i?)

    I dont think the rest of the comment makes any sense.. You just shifted from the topic to describing yourself, and its got a lil tiring..

    And you can write as much as you wanna, we will decide what we want to read..

    I see you winning a lotta law cases.. You wud either win the cases or bore them to death..

    Joke tha!

    On September 13, 2008 at 4:08 PM     
    Mayu said...

    everything i hav written is in response 2 wat u hav commented!--
    -This wud be in response 2 most of ur comments!
    P.S- Nevertheless, none of ur blogs wud hav gained as much attention as this one!

    I've bored u 2 death,havnt i??????
    Happens usually wen one wud not understand or does not want to understand wat da other person tries 2 explain, howmuchever logical it is! (try listning to the song Frozen by Madonna!)

    "Abt Iceberg"-Not that the iceberg is not doin any good job, its jst dat it better dont!

    "thats quite an eye-opener............cuz that woke me up"--Thanks! I kno! I do at times manage to trigger people's thinking process!
    and just like u, even i m not intrested in wat u realise or dont anywhichway!!!!!!!!

    Not dat i dnt wish to but i choose not 2 answer ur residuary comments!!!!!!

    Abt law cases-
    "The Counsel very Sincerely thanks Ur Lordship"!!!!!!!!
    Oh man!!This only makes me wanna Laugh......
    Well, u can indeed decide on people's future!
    God forbid if ppl like u wud constitute the judiciary! BUT
    Sume day, do try n empower me with this Knowledge! I wud luv 2 gain!

    Joke nai tha!

    Cant believe I am still aproving and answering these comments..

    About me commenting on you, well, you started it :P

    "P.S- Nevertheless, none of ur blogs wud hav gained as much attention as this one!"
    tht was the funniest line I ever heard..

    That line tells a lot bout you are and wht you want..!! You might crave attention.. I dont!! I have a few loyal readers (most of them are my closest friends) and I love them. I dont want every tom dick patil to come up here and read this stuff..My frds wll tell you tht I hate attention..

    But since you asked, this post is not even close.. I had a post(when i used to host on Wordpress) which had double the comments of this one..(and most of them made sense!)

    "I've bored u 2 death,havnt i??????"
    Oh no no.. wht gave you tht idea? You are all bout the fun!!

    And wht you are saying is not logical to say the least..
    If thers anyone logical here it has to be yours annoyingly

    "I do at times manage to trigger people's thinking process!"
    Oh... I m sure you do.. Are they all brain dead now? :P

    "Not dat i dnt wish to but i choose not 2 answer ur residuary comments!!!!!!"
    Thank you!! Thank you so much.. now why didnt anyone think of tth before?!

    "Oh man!!This only makes me wanna Laugh......"
    Oh..Good.. My good deed for the day is done.. :)

    Phew!! Someone has to give up here.. And I want it to be you..

    Mayu, you demanded an elaboration and I think I have given you enuf of that and more..

    Its not possible for me to think on the same lines as you do, and vice versa.. And if you think you can make me believe what you believe in then you are highly mistaken..

    I dont care for what you think and I am sure you dont give a shit bout what I think..

    This is my blog and this is how I think, you tried explaining me stuff and I appreciate tht, but to be honest it dont make no sense to me.. Want to tell your side of the story? Get your own blog!! :P

    And if this whole thing was about arriving at a consensus, I dont think we are anywhere near it.. Both of us are to blame there..

    The best thing here would be not to shower my blog with attention.. its had enuf already..we shud get on with our lives..

    If you find anything worth commenting in the future you are most welcome..But for now I m done here..

    I rest my case...

    On September 14, 2008 at 11:31 AM     
    Mayu said...

    So do I!

    cool.. :)

    On September 16, 2008 at 8:30 PM     
    Mayu said...

    Super cool...:)

    On February 1, 2010 at 7:33 PM     
    deep said...

    a wonderful description of pune.. hilarious too..
    loved the part when u have precisely compared two cities..as woman with different age and lifestyles..
    lovely post :)

    On February 1, 2010 at 7:35 PM     
    deep said...

    and its great to hear(read) that someone from mumbai has something nice to say about pune..