It’s Raining Tonight


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It’s raining in Pune. The night is still young but the skies look set for an all-nighter. The street lamps are glowing like fairy lights; they twinkle with every falling raindrop. The stars are all under cover but you can figure they are there somewhere, enjoying the sudden shower. The stars love anything that brings shine to the world – and takes the dust off leaves, pebbles and balcony railings. Continue reading


8 Totally Random Things I Overheard People Say in Pune

*If I have accidentally quoted you, send me a card.

Say that

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Auto Wallah to an office-goer: You will need to pay me 80 bucks extra as I don’t personally like that area. (Girl starts to walk away frowning) Okay Madam, sit. It was worth a try!

Middle-aged woman to a shopkeeper: Bhaiya, you really need to give a chocolate free now that I have bought so much from you. My old nerves need a sugar rush. (She had bought a packet of Britannia biscuits)

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Of Watch-Men Who Give You Headaches

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I committed a grave mistake the other evening; I went to get the battery in my watch replaced. Turns out this can be as dangerous as playing with fire.

The watch repair guy sat busily doing nothing behind the counter and said to me: “What’s wrong with your watch?”

“I think the – “ I ventured to reply, when he hushed me and continued. “You don’t really need to tell me. I can figure it out in a second just by holding your watch. I have been in this business for twenty years and this shop of mine is frequented by any knowledgeable Pune-ikar.” He turned to a tea-seller who had his little pop-up shop next door and called out. “What say, mate?”

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Of blankets and ice-creams

Rainy Sunday

Pune gears up for a rainy Sunday

“I don’t think we will need that blanket until after June.” I said to R the other day, while opening the bedroom windows for some air. All the fans in the house were whirring at top speed – or at least, trying to – and the number of bottles in the refrigerator had noticeably increased since we moved in.

“I would keep it somewhere handy.” R sounded cautious. “I have known Pune to be as moody as my wife.”  Continue reading

When History Repeats Itself


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There are a few birds chirping right outside the living-room window of my new home in Pune. It is a quintessentially “Pune” day – a hot sun, a very slight wind and the promise of a rejuvenating evening breeze hanging in the air. R and I are now married and have graduated to being housemates, student-teacher in the kitchen (no prizes for guessing who’s who) and regular visitors to the departmental store. We still sit back sometimes and breathe in hard to let it sink in – the fact that it all turned out well and we are truly, finally, man and wife.

This morning is when my laptop was accessible over suitcases, kitchenware and general chaos. Ladies and gents, welcome again to “Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune”. We promise to regale you with stories from this charming city, told with the gusto of a hot vada paau and garnished with a generous sprinkling of panipuri masala.

This is the umpteenth move from “Saddi Delhi” and I have been awarded the title of the best luggage packer in town. While life doesn’t really allow me any wind of its plans, thus preventing me from forecasting, I look forward to many bright evenings, delightful meals (some of which I will cook), fun times with R and, hold your breath, settling down in happy matrimony.

Wish me luck.

A Loaded Morning

I woke up this morning to a distinct feeling of déjà vu, probably brought on by the familiar strands of music from the window and the aroma of freshly baked buns at Good Luck Café, Pune. This is my last stop at Pune before the wedding and we are here to shop for furniture for the new flat which will be the first house R and I move into as a married couple (*jumps*). I feel more grown-up than before, and yet an absolute child when it comes to gazing at bright upholstery, home décor and colourful cushions.

Pune has always been close to heart, as those who were here when “Saddi Delhi” was “Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune” will vouch for. Come March, we will move again to the city of delectable German Bakery cookies, impressive Crossword bookstores, and breath-taking hills and beaches within weekend-getaway distance.

There is anticipation in the air today, as well as trepidation, when I realize that this Monday is only the first in several that I will be waking up to in Pune – not as a student or a singles-club professional, but as a married woman who still needs to learn to cook and tie a sari properly. This is more serious thinking than the beautiful morning allows. I think I will instead order for coffee, sit by the window, and admire the azure sky so full of promise and poetry.

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Savera Shuts Shop

“They only serve in the mornings.” R would chuckle as we walked along Savera, F.C. Road.

I would make a face and pretend to be very engrossed with my mobile phone. There would be a colleague or so by my side. We would be on our way to have a chocolate sandwich. This was several years ago, when we first came to Pune. I would steal a glance at R when I thought he wasn’t looking. Back then, he would often sport his favourite blue shirt. The one that today exists only in my memories.

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Four Years of Pune

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. 

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Pune wears a B-School hat

Life ends the day you decide not to do an MBA. Or at least, life stagnates. Oh, didn’t you know? Without the esteemed MBA degree in your hand and half-a-dozen theories on ‘the marketplace’ in your pocket, there is no way you are ever going to go up the corporate ladder. You will be stuck in a rut, watching with teary eyes as comrades climb up to the roof and you stand below it. And eventually, the roof leaks.

“Your kid sure has grown tall!” said my Mom to someone at a society Diwali event. “Only in height. He is in bad company – with some photographers or the sort. Have been pushing him to do his MBA but the brat doesn’t listen.” We gave polite smiles and exited. I, you see, had a camera in my bag.

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