Oh, the joy of wolfing down a vada-pav to appease one's growling stomach under the hot afternoon sun, and proceeding to sip drinks and vibe to the atmosphere at High Spirits with a bunch of friends. One day you're exploring Aga Khan Palace and reliving Indian history, the next day you're catching the latest flick at Amanora. If there is any city so diverse and versatile, it would be Pune.
Those who have not visited Pune may find it amusing to hear stories chock-full of emotions from Punekars. After all, what is in the air of the city that makes it so special?
If we go back in time, Pune boasts of great history; from being a stronghold for the Maratha empire to a mecca for students pouring in from across the country, it is a hub for education and culture. In today's time, one can explore the length and breadth of the city and yet come across something new each time; be it a chat with the friendly kaka at the store, a thrift store filled with quaint items, or an undiscovered restaurant that happens to serve the best seafood. There's hardly a dull moment in the city with an attitude.
If one went on to explain the various things that Pune is loved for, it would probably fill up a book. Due to Covid-19, the once-bustling city has come to an eerie standstill. With many of its residents either confined to their homes or scattered in other cities, one can only look back in nostalgia at life in Pune before 2020 struck. When asked to discuss what they missed about Pune, a flood of replies gushed in from people. And the responses did not disappoint! Rather, they brought a tear or two to the eyes as one happily thought back to the good old days.
"The sabudana bhel"
"The warmth it gives, Pune is like my first home"
"The drive to Pune itself! It's so magical"
"The culture in Pune varies in every area and district, so the variety of people you get to interact with is amazing"
"Everything about it, morning coffee at Vaishali, hanging out at KP with friends, hiking!"
"The skies and scenery of Viman Nagar"
"The food! And also how vibrant the city is because of so many students"
"The entire city!"
"Ganesh Chaturthi and the dhol tashas"
"Of course, the misal pav and vada pav!"
As we wait for the city to bounce back on its feet, we realise that it truly has something to offer to each and every person. Maybe that's the beauty of Pune, you'll get verbal thrashings from shopkeepers if you dare to disturb them during their afternoon siesta, but come back a bit later and they might just strike up a conversation with you. Maybe next time you'll actually get out of bed and explore Hong Kong Lane, perhaps even doing some thrift shopping!
Hey, Krishna Barot here, your atypical university student; I'm pursuing my degree in journalism, hoping to change world and touch your hearts one article at a time. Writing has been my passion since childhood and I've grown up from writing short stories to penning down my thoughts and expressing them to the world, for writing gives the stage to express myself.
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