Discovering dating, especially in a small town like Pune when I was a teenager came with its own discovery of rules and dating do’s and don’ts! Almost a decade ago, I discovered how it was entirely possible to be connected to everyone under one roof in a romantic/ fling fashion. So your ex-boyfriend and current one, with a fling or two and a crush on the side having a perfectly happy conversation, ordering drinks and munching on starters was a regular reality. A friend fondly termed it then as ‘Pune’s Circulating Library’ and everyone was fair game! The rules were simple: Dating a friend’s ex – make sure the friend is cool with it. If not, change your group of friends till he/ she calms down!
A piece of advice I got from my senior in college, who I moped about complicated friendships and entangled romantic equations was blunt and straightforward: “Pune is very incestuous. So the first thing you have to learn is to be friends with your exes and your flings! The city is just too small. So if your heart is broken, and if you are mad at your ex, get over it!”
The dating rhyme could actually be simple: if the girl you must win; with the ex-boyfriend you must begin.
I discovered others too! Bitching out your ex –unless he or she was Cruella the second — was not at all a good idea. He/ she might soon be a part of the same group or dating a close friend and having to eat every nasty thing you have ever said about him/ her could give you a serious case of indigestion! Or worse: You could date him/ her again and then making up and getting over rude things you said will make you eat much humble pie.
The valuable advice helped too I saw people hanging out with their exes and their current spouses/ friends without even a mere raising of the eye brow from friends and learningto be super cool even as you know that your boyfriend/ girlfriend could have dated every single woman in the room is a skill you must perfect! Sometimes, it also makes tests your observation skills and memory in conversation around a dinner table or at a reunion of friends, as you watch the undercurrents of ‘who’s been with whom’ before you open your mouth.
I was reminded of how most of us who grew up in this city were separated by two degrees of separation when I visited Iceland this summer. Given a mere 3.5 lakh population, Icelanders have an app that warns you if you are dating a relative, so you aren’t kissing your cousin! But over the years, I assumed Pune had changed as the city has grown with more and more people from all across the world calling it home. But it hasn’t as I discovered this when I started dating the husband again! I found that the jealous twitchy nerve has been desensitised – when I bumped into the husband’s super svelte and stunning ex at a Diwali do and exchanging genuine hugs and conversation!
So if you are new to Pune or returning back home, it would be handy to keep these rules by your bedside! After all, we are one big happy family!
On another note:
Bookmark September 2 and 3 to let your wallets do the talking as homegrown fashion brands from across the country are coming together at Shivogue at the Hyatt Regency. The lovely Deepika Rathi with Natania and Pune’s Sonam Vaswani are showing too. So ensure you are there!
The inlaws were raving about a documentary Dance with Parkinson’s they saw at Gyaan Adab, Pune’s new cultural hub. Shot by Tapan Pandit, this documentary showcased how Pune’s very Hrishikesh Pawar runs free dance classes for those affected by Parkinson’s in association with Sancheti Institute for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. So if you would like to volunteer with time or money, write into Hrishikesh today!
Bookmark Sunday morning (August 28), if you would like to hear Professor Sunil Handa speak. A teacher at IIMA and a successful businessman too, he is speaking about his school Eklavya created by the best international and national practices. Hear how this became a model school for educationists across the country. Put together by Life School and Dancing with Tigers, reach out to them if you would like to be inspired!
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