Monday, December 24, 2007

A tale of 3 cities - Part Three

I just love the climate during this time of the year in Pune. If you are particular about good climatic conditions for a good living then Pune is the place to be. You will have a good 4 change of seasons, each one with a charm of its own. Especially for a South Indian like me who has not seen much of a winter, Pune would be the apt place to get started. It is not nail bitingly cold like in the northern part of the country, but it is not just the early morning chill either that you would find down south. The summer is not that scorching either. And if you are a rain lover, then you must visit this place 3-4 weeks after the monsoon arrives. Since it is surrounded by hills and army occupied barren lands, in and around Pune is painted green.

No, the Maharashtra tourism board is not sponsoring this write-up. I truly love this place for the natural beauty and blissful climatic conditions. I have been in Pune for over 3 years now and must admit that this place has grown on me. Initially I found it quite difficult to adapt myself to the people, road-rules and especially the food. The sugary sambhar and vada inside a bun never appealed to me. But then I discovered that there are other interesting food options that I can explore. The people of Maharashtra are quite aggressive by nature. You won’t find the auto walas to be too friendly. Of course you would be at advantage if you can speak Marathi. For the Marathi bonding is quite strong amongst people out here and perhaps, rightly so. The traits of Chhatrapati Shivaji are prevalent here and he is no less than a God for people out here. The array of forts that he used to occupy is a must visit too. Most of them are a good trekking destination these days. And Pune is a trekkers’ heaven. Even a lazy bone like me could not resist going on a couple of them. Apart from the famous Lonavala and Khandala there are umpteen number of weekend getaways around this place.

Pune faces the same problem that the major cities in the other part of the country do – Infrastructure. It is aggravated by the fact that the Pune Municipal Corporation is, least to say, useless. The roads are so bad that the buffaloes and cows are finding it hard to walk in the middle of the road these days! A 3 KM stretch near my house, enroot to the airport, is being constructed for over 2 years now. That would give an indication of how serious they are about constructing the roads. I understand that the majority of funds that is allotted to the state go to Mumbai. But I am sure that the funds which do come in for the city is not utilized at all. And honestly, the opposition is bothered only about people celebrating Valentine’s Day in the state.

The pollution level in the city is exorbitantly high. I hate them for two reasons: One, they harm my lungs, eyes and the little hair that is left on my head. And two, it makes the girls in the city cover their faces! You would not find a single girl walking or riding on the streets unmasked. A real shame for beauty lovers :). From green eyed beauties to micro skirt clad babes, you can find them all here. The migration of huge number of people into the state adds to its variety. The educational hub that it has been and now an emerging IT hub, the place is buzzing with youth. But the culture of the city is not yet dissolved. The blend is perfect, at least for now.

All you can see around Pune these days is the high rise. With flats/malls being constructed in every kilometer of the city, the city sure is going to get more crowded. I sincerely hope that the PMC does some kind of justice to the potential that the place has to become a high end city, lest, it should become another Bangalore. The next 3-4 years would be crucial for the city’s growth prospects. The best time to visit the city is during Ganpati( Ganesh Chaturti). The festive season rocks. The only thing stopping me from settling down in Pune is the fact that I can’t watch Tamil & Mallu movies here!!! But then, those are the compromises you have to make in life. And if destiny were to have it, I would be speaking Marathi fluently.

Song for the Occassion: Pune Dhol


_audi_ said...

I agree with most of the things you have quoted...esp about roads an traffic rule-breaking et all...but not about the 'only' thing stopping u from settling down...for a place like pune you may want to find a better excuse buddy :P Call me for DVD rentals ;)

*as alwyz - loved this post too*

Vidya said...

I am so in love with your post about Madras and Pune. Pune was a place that I wanted to visit when I came to India this time!


d SINNER!!! said...


nice space...!!!thnx for droppin a thot at mine...
keep droppin by n keep scribblin!

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Haa..that was a nice description :)

priya said...

Nice post of ur travel and any pics of Lonavala.

New Year greetings to you.

Vidya said...

Happy New Year!


creative-i said...

Hmm...Interesting observations! ;)

Pune is definitely a city that grows on people visiting it...or better still...making it their temporary homes!

Love the city too...for what it is!

I don't think there is any perfect haven anywhere. Pune to me is the city that by far has the right mix of positives and negatives to kinda balances it all make it a comfortable nest.

Nice post.

And thanks for stopping by. :)

Vinod R Iyer said...

@Audi: Watching in theatre a pongal release is a bliss ..How much ever u watch on a dvd anda sugham varuma :)

@Vidya:Thanks a lot. Happy new yr to u too :)

@sinner:Thanks ..

@Priya: Thnks ..same to u ..

@creative-1: Ya .. the city does have that effect on you :)