They say “You can have it all but not at the same time.” There is no iota of doubt that technology and development have helped us immensely. However, time has also taken away the small treasured joys of life and much more! Wondering what Pune was actually like when it was brimming with greenery, peace and simplicity, we turned to people who have seen the city grow from strength to strength. Let’s soak in their experience and find out what they miss about the old Pune.
I really miss the fountain that had a doll atop which flowed water downwards. It was somewhere near today’s Dagdusheth Ganapati Temple. Many families used to come there during evenings and enjoy. I have really pleasant memories of that fountain. I wish I could go back in time and play there!
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Pune has become much crowded than what it used to be. I really miss the Tonga and bicycle rides. I remember going to school on those. I also remember there were no formalities involved in hosting dinners or lunches. Who ever came ate like a family member and simple food was served with a lot of love! I kind of feel bad for today’s kids because they would never know how joyful it was back then. Pune now has a lot of traffic, making it really difficult to cross roads, which was not a problem several years ago when our roads were deserted. We used to amble on almost everywhere freely!
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I really miss going to Bund Garden over the weekends with my daughter where students from a blind school used to put up musicals. I miss the Camp area, it had a different aura back then, less commercial I would say. Watching movies at single screen theaters was an experience of a kind and that culture has dwindled to a large extent. Nothing wrong with multiplexes but now people shy away from clapping and throwing coins at a good scene. It was so much fun.
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I remember the days, when I used to simply go to college on foot. We had so much time to meet people and spend time with our friends. I remember Pune being a much quieter and cleaner city than what it is now. The air was fresh and there was a sense of closeness among people. Everyone happened to know everyone. I miss the Pune which was so well-knitted together. Also, I remember not many people had fans in their homes because there was no need given that the climate was cool and serene.
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Pune in the 70s was just so idyllic. Children would be playing on streets everywhere. What I miss the most is that during summer vacations many traveling vendors shouted out or sang to sell their goodies; kulfi, ice cream, ber, chana chor garam, and even potato wadas took the rounds. It used to be fun begging mom for money to buy chana or kulfi. Life was so simple. The by-lanes of Deccan Gymkhana where we lived were filled with sounds of classical music or ghungroos because it was all taught in homes.
Sigh. What do you miss about a bygone Pune, Punekars?