Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mumbaikar v/s Punekar, a dilemma

>Namrata Jadhav Namrata Jadhav
June 12, 2013

I am sure each one of us living in Pune or Mumbai must have got into such a debate. Being a Mumbaikar, I was always against Pune, be it with respect to anything. But like they say, life always gives you the thing that you least expect. And the most unexpected thing that happened in my life was getting a call from my dad saying that he had been transferred to Pune, where we would be shifting shortly.

The first week in Pune was quite tough for me. Adjusting with the climate, food, and moreover the rikshaw drivers took a toll on me. A Punekar is usually known for his/her arrogance (arrogance for others, ‘swabhimaan’ for Punekars), but within a week I realized that it is a pure misconception. The people here are as sweet as the stuffing in Chitle’s ‘bakarwadi’ with just a spicy tadka at the outer end. A Punekar just sticks to his/her fundamentals and beliefs, and that’s what makes a Punekar stand out of the crowd. The people I work with changed the view I had about Pune, the one I had before coming here. They helped me with every single thing possible without any expectation. I realized how ‘Ganesh bhel’ is different from any ordinary bhel stall, and why it has a website of its own with hundreds of followers.

I also came across some terms which exclusively belong to Pune, for eg. ‘rao’, ‘lai bhaari’, ‘bhau’, ‘kissaaa’ etc., to which I was resistant at first, but eventually got attached to it. The most weird thing that happened when I went back to Mumbai one weekend, where I got into an argument with a friend of mine and to my surprise, I said something which I never thought I would, it was the term ‘kai rao’. The response that I got from my friend actually kept me thinking for a while, he said,’ I can see the Mumbaikar in you fading, you are turning into a Punekar‘, to which I said, ‘correction, its The Punekar’ (in a tone typically like proud Punekars).


Well yes, the city of Pune is actually addictive. No matter from where you are, it overpowers the ‘citykar‘ you were before. I was confused as to what exactly is the adhesive that ties people together in this city. And soon realized that it’s nothing but the true Punekar that resides in every individual living here, and now it wouldn’t be wrong to say, that it resides inside me as well!


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  • Tanmay Bhagat

    True it is.!
    There is a difference in lifestyle and culture of Pune and Mumabai.
    Also it is true that those words are so addictive rao 😀
    as a Mumbai kar I can say Mumbai Rocks but heart says, Pune Rules 🙂
    very well written article.!

    Jun 12, 2013, 3:45 pm
    • Namrata Jadhav

      Thank you tanmay! Yes Mumbai vs Pune is really a severe war! Agreed. 🙂

      Jun 12, 2013, 5:01 pm
  • Pranit Kulkarni

    It’s quite true 🙂 ….specially about the ‘Swabhimaan ‘

    Jun 12, 2013, 3:55 pm
    • Namrata Jadhav

      Thank u Pranit. :). Punekar’s are known for their ‘Swabhiman’ :), Who would know it better 😉 😀

      Jun 12, 2013, 5:03 pm
  • Chinmay Datar

    heheh 100 percent correct.. In my college days I managed to convert a few hardcore english speaking mumbaikars into marathi speaking punekars! 🙂 Pune is Pune!! 😀

    Jun 12, 2013, 4:21 pm
    • Vedvrat Shikarpur

      I helped with one Datar. More to go. 😛

      Jun 12, 2013, 4:46 pm
    • Namrata Jadhav

      Lol, i can very well relate to that ‘conversion’ you are talking about. 😀 And yes! have to agree, Pune is Pune! 😀

      Jun 12, 2013, 5:00 pm
  • Ganesh

    Punekar tumhi lai bhari aani Mumbaikaranchya bochyat Khari…. haha

    Jun 12, 2013, 8:33 pm
  • kaustubh

    on the spot!! having been born and brought up in mumbai and having lived there for 30 yrs…..i changed and became a staunch ‘punekar’ and that with an attitude…in just two years….leaving pune after the two year stint has still not erased that punekar tag…..even after 10 yrs……….punekar till i live!!
    Dr. Kaustubh

    Jun 14, 2013, 6:32 pm
  • Nikhil

    u r right… the city is addictive… but hard luck, one cannot simply adopt the original traits of Puneri attitude just like that… (sorry, but that’s its uniqueness 😛 ) … leave apart the attitude part, everyone can choose to love it 🙂

    Jun 16, 2013, 11:23 am