The Oxford of the East. The cultural capital of Maharashtra. The cosmopolitan heaven. Pune has so many names, all of them too apt for its own good. Falling in love with Pune is really easy, because of the way it blends old with new and modernness with conservativeness.
Here are some things every true-blue Punekar will have experienced.
1. Your skills for understanding (and sometimes speaking) Marathi have grown to become exceptional
And so have your skills for quarreling with the rickshaw wallahs (unless you’re Maharashtrain, of course.)
2. You have tried to name all the possible ‘Peths’ that you can
And you were always a little reluctant on ‘Wednesday’ (Budhwar).
3. You have bought a book for reference (in school or college) from Appa Balwant Chowk
..or ABC as it is fondly called.
4. Head-scarves + Women + Bikes = Pune
5. You have witnessed the charm and liveliness of Laxmi road & Tulsi Baug
And the unapologetic vendors of the Shivaji Market.
6. You have experienced the quiet streets of MG Road in the afternoon
And you remember the time when MG Road would turn into ‘Walking Plaza’ every weekend. What fun!
7. And when there was a craze for Cad-B and Cad-M
8. You have witnessed the streets of FC road brimming with cheery people on a Sunday night
Not to mention having done some serious bargain shopping.
9. You swear by a couple of old eateries like Good Luck Cafe, Vaishali, & Vohuman Cafe
And you’ve loved every bit of it.
10. You have made trips to Shanivar Wada and Sambhaji Park
And the Aga Khan palace, to name a few attractions of the city.
11. Only you can understand the magic of Ganesh Chaturthi, at the Dagdu Sheth temple
And all the dahi-handi celebrations that are always so fun to watch.
12. You have been to at least one Maharashtrian home during the festival, and marveled at their decorations
…and gorged on yummy karanjis, shankar pali and modaks there.
13. You have tried out wada pavs from Joshi Wadewale, JJ Garden or Maushi’s
And you occasionally declare your love for misal pav and kanda poha.
14. You have had a day off during Palkhi
Palkhi = Pune isspeshul.
15. What can beat those impromptu trips to Lonavala, Mulshi, or Lavasa with your friends and loved ones
Or Sinhagad, Khadakwasla or Rajgad. Tranquility isn’t too far from the city.
16. You have zoomed around all over the city on a bike
And you prefer bikes to cars (or autos) anyday.
17. You have walked around the quiet, lush-green lanes of Koregaon Park
And you miss the old German Bakery sometimes. 🙁
18. You have started to detest cities that are too crowded
You get all the peace that you want, here, with few people around. And you love the fact that this city is cosmopolitan in the most comfortable way. Why would you want to let go?
19. You are used to local shops opening late and being closed in the afternoons
And that only adds to the charm of this lazy city.
20. The joy you feel during the cool breeze in the evening is unexplainable
And they’re wonderful companions to your thoughts after a long day at work.
21. Because no matter where you live, nothing can replace the beautiful and charming city that is Pune
Because when it’s true love, it’s true love.