Pune, By God- Nothing Quite Like It!

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Moan and gripe, moan and gripe.

Sometimes (oftentimes, even) it might seem as if all I do where our fair city is concerned is moan and gripe. This, you might think, coming from a man who claims undying love for Pune is a tad unfair. I am on record as saying that Pune is by far and away the best city to live in where India is concerned, and yet, as I said, m. and g.

Ah, but dear reader, it is precisely because I love Pune so much that I moan and gripe. Because I, like you, am painfully aware of how much better Pune could be, if only certain things would take a turn for the better.

But, on the other hand, this column – the one that you are reading right now – is not about moaning and griping. The exact opposite, in fact: in this column, I fervently, feverishly aver that Pune is indeed the best city in India, and beg forgiveness for having made light of its many advantages in columns past.

Actually, come to think of it, this column is in fact about moaning and griping. The change is that the target(s) of my ire are rather different this time around.

Last week, I found myself in the middle of the furnace they call Gurgaon.

I was there on work, and it just so happened that my work was scheduled on the one day that the mercury in that part of the world decided to try and find out what the stratosphere looked like. The temperature, and I am not joking about this, was forty-eight degrees.

Not a typo.

And this column is being typed out in a cafe in Hyderabad, for that is where my travels have taken me next. I stay in a lovely part of this city, and the food is fantastic. It is hot, yes, but compared to Gurgaon, I am surprised I haven’t seen penguins waddling around. But, on the other hand, there is no water in the city.

Not a water shortage, not a paucity – there simply is no water.

It is grudgingly made available for about forty five minutes at a mostly unspecified time in the ante meridian, and then the taps run, and stay, resolutely dry for the rest of the day.

And by the time you read this column, I shall be in Bangalore. A place that takes Hinjewadi at six in the evening, feeds it multiple steroids, expands the realized concept across time and space, and thereby calls itself a city.

And so my travels have taken me to a places that are hot, waterless and eternally crowded. But on the day after tomorrow, a plane will take off from Bangalore, and head off in a northwesterly direction, carrying in it a rather plump, but gloriously ecstatic individual. Said individual will weep tears of joy on getting back home, for yes, the roads may be narrow, the airport may suck and the BRTS may be idiotic.

But I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again.

In India? Pune, by god.

~~

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni

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