One small step for expansion, one giant leap of progress.
The words truly define the story of Kothrud. Most grandparents will tell you stories of how this place was once a jungle where bibte (panthers), landge (wolves) used to prowl and were feared. Today, its an urban jungle where rickshaws, buses and traffic are feared by people. The once-fastest-growing neighbourhood which found mention in the Limca Book of World Records, has seen rapid expansion and a continuous change. The rapid progress of this area paved the way for other areas like Aundh, Baner, Bavdhan, Koregaon Park, Wanowrie, etc., which are now the ever growing hot-spots.
Due to its geographical location, dividing those who prefer being Puneites to those who like being Punekars, are a breed that are a part of both spheres. The unique thing about them is that they have very few special traits, for they cannot be on the same page on anything. There are very few characteristics that can define us, yet, as a Kothrud-ite, I try to decipher some typical traits of my people and me.
They are as follows:
- If a Kothrudite hails from Pune itself, he always has relatives living in Peth areas (most probably Sadashiv Peth, Rasta Peth, Shukrawar Peth, etc.)
- When making plans, we always prefer to go outside Kothrud. Koregaon Park, FC Road, Camp, SB Road and Aundh-Bavdhan-Pashan side are our favourite hangouts. So much so that a place that had to shut down in Kothrud is now frequented by many just because its now located in Baner-Pashan. (Off Beat, wonderful for its different menu)
- We literally hate City Pride Kothrud. It is overpriced, never has good public (like E-Square, Inox, etc.) and has many drawbacks, yet most of the movies are watched here.
- The best drinking places here are family restaurants and bars, which are frequented for their low prices on drinks and the free chakna that most lounges never give. (especially chakli with green chutney, farsan, etc.)
- Even though not preferred, McD, CCD (mostly Chandni Chowk), Apache, K-Lounge are the hotspots. Dinners mostly happen in Abhishek (veg and non-veg), Sheetal, Kalinga, Nisarga, Mirch Masala or Tiranga.
- Sweekar, Nal Stop che Pohe and other such early-morning breakfast tapris are a favourite. Poha, Upma, Khichdi, Vada-pav with cutting tea are most ordered. Any Kothrudite will proudly endorse Durga chi Cold Coffee and CadB/CadM as their favourite drinks and fondly tell stories of how it all began in Kothrud.
- We mostly are in Abhinav, KHS, MIT, Bal Shikshan, Jog, Garware for schooling (most even for under-grad and graduation).
- We have at least one relative who lives abroad. (Singapore, US of A, Canada, UK are the hotspots)
- A Kothrudite uses the word “Kissa” for everything that he thinks is worth telling. It can be extended to people, situations, places and almost anything. You’ll always hear, “Are kay kissa zala aaj”, “Are tu kissa ahes”, “Ti kasli kissa jaga ahe” and the favourite, “Kay vaddhiv kissa ahe/hota”
- Other most used words in the lingo are, “Barrrrrrrrrrrrrr”, “Theeeeekaaaay”, “Aai Shappat/Aai chya” and “Kaaaaaahiiiiii”
- We love hanging out with the “hip people” during their teenage years. People from Symbi, convent schools are looked at as an inspiration.
- The hottest girl we know always happens to be one from a convent school or studying in Symbiosis, Fergusson or BMCC. Their fashion and style is referred to as “Dressing” by Kothrudites.
- Most from the Puneite part of Pune make fun of Kothrudites for their traits and language. They find solace in those from Peth areas (for these are the people who normally groom them to be proud of their culture and traits). The peth people also teach Kothrudites amazing comebacks to typical Puneite accusations.
- Almost all cultural events happen within Kothrud or in the Peth areas, especially family lunches (Durvankur and other places serving Thali become the favourite spots). Ambar hall is the place for all Munji/marriages.
- If Kothrudites have a background in Indian Classical Music, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, etc. they will be seen frequenting Ramanbaug, Tilak Smarak, Bharat Natya, Balgandharva, Yashwantrao, Ganesh Kala Krida, etc. If they are into rock, metal or dance (the Bollywood of hip-hop kind) they frequent Shisha, Hard Rock, High or places where there is live music with drinks. 90% of dancers go to any of the one Shaimak batches in any part of Pune.
- Our wardrobe has at least one kurta/indian dress to be worn on Special Events. (exception: women have a lot of options in all kinds of dresses, Indian or western) Some like me have only one kurta which is reserved for any program that mostly happens in the Cultural Part of Pune (the old city area).
A Kothrudite uses the word “Kissa” for everything that he thinks is worth telling. It can be extended to people, situations, places and almost anything. You’ll always hear, “Are kay kissa zala aaj”, “Are tu kissa ahes”, “Ti kasli kissa jaga ahe” and the favourite, “Kay vaddhiv kissa ahe/hota”
- The old part of the city is referred to as “Gav ”, like its some village.
- A typical Kothrudite has two kinds of groups to hang-out with. One are the cool kinds, with whom we prefer partying and going crazy, the other are the sober and sophisticated kinds with whom they attend cultural festivals, functions and events, going to bars in Kothrud, etc.
- We hate being referred to as “Puneites” or “Punekars”. Puneri is what brings a smile on our face.
The best thing about us is that we are the best of both worlds. We can not only fit in both crowds but take the best things out of both. We love the “cultural pride” exhibited by Punekars and the “sophisticated and upper class mentality+ narcissistic ego and attitude” of Puneites. Kothrudites are unique in their own ways…
P.S.: I did not quite like the word Kothrudite, but “Kothrudi” doesn’t suit us. If you have a better word to define people from Kothrud, do suggest.