A Wedding, a detour and a flight to Pune!


A cousin ties the knot tomorrow. The golden, jewel-studded knot of prospective marital bliss. We will all be dressing up in finery and going to this banquet hall that will have music and good food. I can already see myself gazing at her wedding sari and the glowing lights overhead.

I have always been fascinated by weddings. Yes, I hate it when you have to stand all alone and look at groups of people chattering away among themselves. That would happen to me when I was in school and was taken to weddings of every A, B and C who lived within ten miles of our block. Now, this wedding doesn’t come with such scenarios as I will be familiar with many of the people who will be turning up. In another time, I would have spent hours getting my outfit ready and sorting out jewellery. But my mind is preoccupied.

The day after the wedding, I will be travelling. Quite a lot of travelling. It will be a new city and a new village and an experience that lies merrily shrouded in mist. I have no idea what will transpire in that new land though I have been preparing to unravel the mist for a long time now. I sound lost do I not? But my mind is preoccupied.

What preoccupies my mind, do you ask?

Well it is simple. The day I will walk away from the new village – precisely on the 7th – I will be flying to – hold your breath – Pune! Sheesh. And we thought you were going vacationing with R to Africa’s land of lions. Now, Pune may not exactly be a universal Wonderland, but for this Alice, it certainly is. :D

(Come to think of it, wouldn’t it have been grand had this post been in first person? I mean, the wedding bit…)

I wish there would be no return flights to catch. I wish I could unlock my former flat and sneak into the corner bed with its yellow quilt. The curtains would be dancing in the breeze and there would be a lone flower on the mantlepiece…

I have a couple of interviews lined up in Pune. Two, actually. And then there is one more later in the month. So that boils down to almost a week in the city. When I am done being interviewed, R and I can go check out if Art Beat still serves palak paneer and has the same smiling guy to wait on us. We can also go dine in Good Luck Cafe and relish some of the amazing khaana. To save myself being labelled a glutton, I also plan a trip to Chaturshringhi Temple, ICC, F.C. Road and J.M. Road. I wonder if these places will recognize me from March last year.

It’s been a long while away from Pune. Now that I think of it, it surprises me how long I have been away! How did I spend the long and lazy summer afternoons? Did the monsoon and its first rain not tantalize me? Did I actually get through Christmas without an aww moment at the decorations in Pune Central? I shake my head in dismay. I actually did.

I apologize, Pune. But I am coming back to make amends. It may be only a week now but if you forgive me, it might be a lifetime. The way R and I adulate you – gosh, you should be beaming from your left ear to the right.

God. Pray there be no detour(s) whatsoever now. Wish me lots of luck and get set going with me to ace every hurdle. Here I come!

Preparing for Christmas in Pune

Yes it snows on my blog. Thanks to WordPress for helping us get the Christmas-is-around-the-corner feel. Even more so because packed away in Pune this year, I am desperately missing any other pre-Christmas environmental symptom.

This time of the year it’s deliciously wintery in Delhi. The mornings dawn misty, the afternoons lovingly sun-baked, the evenings chilly. Perfect cuddling-around-the-bonfire material. As December draws to a close, you can almost visualize sky sledges and wavering tree lights in the night sky.  My coffee mug here at office brings me to reality. But being the Christmas person that I am, I am determined to make the most of what little even Pune has to offer in this regard.

Maybe I am reacting too soon. Even though the weather does little to make the air festive, the people probably do. In fact I remember walking in to Pune Central last year and catching sight of an awe-inspiring X’mas setup: a gigantic sleigh with Santa sitting snugly inside, reindeers tugging it along… all done suspended by strings. (Edit: See Picture for Amazing Christmassy Cottage @ Central this year. Too bad they don’t allow you to film the decorations inside.) Cinemas probably deck up nice big trees and airports have dummy gifts wrapped in bright colours arranged all over the place. Do bakeries have plum cakes that are soft and spongy? I’ll have to check on that.

The truth however remains: Christmas is about home. And even if it suddenly starts snowing huge rounded flakes here in Pune, I’ll keep reiterating that Delhi has a magic no other city does. Yeah, the new moon and crime connection, you are possibly mumbling. But trust me, if you stay away, the best gift you can get (or give yourself) for Christmas is a trip home.  The very mention of home brings to my mind visions of Mom running about filling my stockings with gifts, Dad setting up the lights in the balcony, Dada sunbathing on the terrace in his five layers of clothing and Ma stirring a stew that deliciously smells of roast chicken and onions.

Ah! I am allowed to dream aren’t I? Maybe I will go some weekend and get festoons for my flat. Pune – my work home for well past a year now – deserves its own share of my X’mas madness. Until then.

XMas @ Pune Central

Picture Courtesy: Declan McCullagh & Rupesh Kumar