8 Totally Random Things I Overheard People Say in Pune

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

Say that

*Picture from flatonmyback.com

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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A Midday Spell

~*Winning Entry in Snapdeal’s #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity

Tiffin Box

I was absolutely uninterested in the day ahead. Outside the window, the world was silent as the grave, still as the mountains you could see from some localities in Pune. All I wanted to do was snuggle up in bed and stare into the distance, except that this can be particularly hard when you have a growling stomach. More so, when the stomach refuses to welcome instant noodles.

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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


*Picture from http://nerdbirder.com

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.

Together on Diwali

Mum and I had first seen the Rangoli design on television. It was a Diwali special of one of those Ekta Kapoor shows still in its prime – the sort you don’t get embarrassed from admitting being a viewer of. Since neither of us had any experience whatsoever with powder colours we had seen women deftly working with, we made another plan. Armed with water-proof poster paint and mighty paintbrushes, we made the courtyard our canvas. In a few hours, the floor was vibrant with a lovely rangoli. More permanent than the rest of the rather alarmed family had accounted for maybe.

That evening from years ago, we placed the largest deep we had right at the centre of the rangoli. As the sky glimmered with fireworks and the winds grew resplendent with kaju-barfi, our rangoli shone peacefully into the winter night.

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P&P Comes to Delhi


Pune is going through an especially scorching and unusually early summer. The mercury has been soaring; the cold-drink vendors have been doing roaring trade. The sun is beating down on the city like never before and if not for the calendar, you wouldn’t believe April only started. It is this city of her many wonders that I left behind yesterday. Yes, all over again.

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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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Letters to my love…

No Little Letter, I have qualms about sending you via post.

What if you are lost in a scary traffic jam? The postman may decide he has had enough of the vicious Delhi traffic and abandon his bicycle in the middle of the road. Then you, along with the others letters in his kitty, will troop all the way down to the asphalted roads, breathing your last as speeding vehicles crush you to dust. No! I won’t let that happen.

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The Day it Rained on the Onions

Good Luck Cafe has stopped serving onions with the food. Renowned for delectable chicken goodies, its customers are having a tough time going without the tangy onion flavour in their tangdi kababs. To add insult to the injury, they now accessorize with watery cucumbers.

“Didn’t I hear Maharashtra is the major onion producer in India?” cried out a victim the other day. “Sure doesn’t look like it to me!”

Indeed, a large proportion of the delicious onions you gorge upon comes from Nashik, Ahmednagar, Satara and the Pune district. But owing to the cats and dogs it has been raining lately, the yield has been hugely damaged. But naturally, the supply of fresh onion has gone down.

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A Winter Evening & The Grey Woolen Cap

Grey Woolen Cap

Nine degree Celsius. He could bet it wasn’t higher.  His watch said eight in the evening and Pune was already dark – the night sky glittering with lights from the all new Marriott hotel on Senapati Bapat Road. A rather dusky Santa Claus  was hip hopping in Crossword amidst streamers packed with bells and  thermocol icing. He shivered in his new cardigan, purchased the day before from a quiet little outlet in Deccan. As he drew his arms closer to himself, he realized his folly in not wearing a shirt underneath it.

“Haven’t listened to a word I have been saying, have you?” Her voice broke into his thoughts and he slowly turned to see her closely scrutinizing his face.

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