Why Pune Is Not Bangalore

6 min read | About Pune, Bangalore, City, People

I have spent the biggest part of my sane life in Pune (Maharashtra, to be precise). If forced to define, I would say I am equally or more a Marathi (Maharashtrian) as I am a Gujarati. I have loved every moment (almost every) of my time being there and I any day love Pune and being in Pune more than any other places I’ve ever been to.

Little over two years ago, the fate had me relocate to Bangalore. Another beautiful city, but with less than limited love interest from my end. Rang Shankar, Radio Indigo and Cha Bar aside, there was barely anything to feel energetic about. And then suddenly, Bangalore was declared 3rd Best City To Be Visited In 2012 one fine morning. Not much later, a worldwide survey honoured Bengaluru as the best Indian city to live in. (My moving to Bangalore didn’t influence these developments in any way.)

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Home Is Everything

2 min read | About Home, City, Pune, Bangalore

Yet another absurd title, considering what I’m planning to write about. I still hope it’s justified (by itself) by the end. I started 'typing' this article back in mid-2006 (on July 2, 2006 - to be precise). Not sure what stopped me from completing and publishing, I guess I had to move to Bangalore to realize the need.

Talking of the background, I thought of writing over this whole ‘home’ context soon after I happened to watch two of the greatest Hollywood movies in a very short span of time – Syriana and Munich (thanks to Pushkar’s keen interest and faith in Hollywood). They’re independently great movies with very limited things in common. One thing that attracted all my attention though, was the element of ‘Terrorism’ and its aspects portrayed in them.

Syriana showed the ‘making’ of individuals turned to terrorists, while Munich briefly discussed why one would take the tough road of terrorism – that would lead to a life full of hatred, violence, blood and painful struggle. In one of the scenes in Munich (not so surprisingly – a Steven Spielberg movie), one of ‘those’ guys tells Avner (the lead actor – Eric Bana) how ‘they’ did it all for home and how they were willing to continue and stay away from home for centuries to follow – just to ‘save’ their Home from the ‘bad’. He concludes by saying ‘…after all, Home – is everything!’ and Avner – fighting the terrorists – is speechless.  Anyway.

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Road To Healthy Life ‘09

2 min read | About City, Pune, Health

Article title courtesy: Symantec Road to Cutting Edge ’09. The big difference being, when I write ‘Road’ I actually mean ‘Road’. Lately with my highly conscious efforts to get into some good shape (other than ‘round’ shape), I had to make some serious commitments. One of that happens to be my daily (evening) visit to Air Life Studio (the gym) around 7 PM.

I now know what they mean when they say ‘road to success is not easy’. My 3 km journey from my current residence to the gym is ‘that same road’ they’ve been talking about. While I can be home in less than 5 mins on my way back, reaching the gym during the evening peak-hours takes me at least 25-30 mins. ‘Deadlock’ jams at Parihar Chawk traffic signal (one of the most prominent, busiest, narrowest junctions of Aundh suburb) starts testing my patience and willpower. If waiting at the signal for ages and crawling at less than 10 kmph were not enough, the other day a bicycle-rider gladly slipped through small gaps, bumped onto the pedestrians’ path to ‘cycle-track’ and disappeared. While I was still stuck in the traffic at the same place and envying  thinking how lucky he was, he passed back in the opposite lane – probably done with his work (out).

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Journey To Bhopal

2 min read | About Travel, City, Bhopal, Pune

Titles can really be deceiving. The ideal article-title here could have been “Traveling by Raj National Express”. I basically wanted to write about my recent journey from Pune to Bhopal by bus. A great new experience altogether! Like okay, I used to have 24 hrs bus-journeys from Bangalore to Mumbai and Pune to Indore and so. But gone are the days. Lately my super-delicate body has left me with no option than train/air route or on occasions, NO route! More than 4-5 hrs, by road, that too in a bus (let it be Volvo whatever), it’s just not my cup of tea any more.

However, beliefs are made to be broken I must say (or was it theories?). I was left with no option, had to take a bus to Bhopal and guess what? I know at least three airlines which offer cheaper air-fares than this bus fare. Against less than two hours journey to Bhopal (for Rs 950Air Decaan, Rs 550 Go Air, Re 1 Air Deccan FF-Bonanza Bid), I opted Raj National Express (formerly Raj Travels) with a 15 hours alternative for Rs 990.18 (inclusive of all taxes). However, it wasn’t NOT worth it.

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