Today, I complete four years and a month in Pune. Way back in 2009, I was bloated with apprehensions about settling in my phenomenally huge luggage-cartons. Who the hell takes all that? I had bravely ventured to ask as much to Mom, only to be reprimanded for how I clearly had no clue about moving. As I sit tucked in bed this night, the windchimes in my room dancing in the light, late November breeze, I realize how much has changed since then. I have grown into an expert packer, for instance. The only apprehension I now feel while moving is whether or not I clicked enough pictures to protect my best moments against time.
The city has been very kind to me. I have found love, contentment and freedom like never before. I now appreciate sunlight to dry clothes on a monsoonal day, lift spirits when little else does. The city, in its nimble little way, has given me multiple reasons to celebrate life. Tonight, with memories from the years gone by coming to mind in a melange, I feel the urge to document.
P&P, therefore, presents to you some of my best cherished moments in the city, in no order of preference.
1. The Homecoming
Shifting into my first paying guest accommodation and discovering a sleeping, messy roommate. Overcome with the desire to paint the room in shades I like and settle into reading by the night-lamp. Introducing myself to the society’s grocer, laundry guy, housemaid and dabba-walah.
2. My Fond Food Times
Gazing thunderstruck at the watery daal in the dabba I had managed to open with difficulty. Ordering in food from the city’s popular coffee places. Gorging on too much paneer during a self-administered vegetarian diet, eventually leading to the inception of dear old P&P. Discovering how food is a whole new art in a diversion from my earlier, utilitarian away of eating.
3. Meeting Mr. R
The months where there was magic in the air and Puck went about with his purple flower on midsummer nights. Watching the rains lash at my window and the afternoon sun make rainbow patterns. Learning to cherish companionship, conversation and care with the one who gives all of that an entirely new definition.
4. The Pantry-Side Cubicle
Sitting with a notebook for training sessions which spoke more for tic-tac-toe by the end of the day. Coding away to glory in my cubicle which got animated each time the pantry door opened and brought in the whiff of home-made food. Clapping my hands in glee after an appraisal meeting. Overwhelmed with all the good things said at the farewell.
5. The Road Less Trodden
Pursuing nature trails in places without phone network and shopping malls. Strolling on the city’s bustling lanes when evening arrives. Re-learning to dream and following what my heart tells me to. Looking up at the end of the year to behold hundreds of wishing-stars. Gazing at the bejewelled city from a hilltop, planning to stop for panipuri at the very stall from years ago.
I see the night deepen, the stars close and twinkling like glow-worms in the dark. But, in sheer indulgence for the city that has meant and continues to mean so much to me, I find myself wide-eyed. The colours of morning will soon light up the sky and just like four years ago, an entirely new day will be announced.For more Pune tales, you might like to drop by Pune – Jai Maharashtra.