Lady Singham

Atta Maajhi Satakli: Week 1 in the Life of a Non-Punekar

Lady Singham moved to Pune a week ago? Does she like it? Summarising Week #1

Moving into a new city is always difficult, and this is a change a lot of people go through. May it be as a student, for marriage or a career. Pune gets a lot of incoming from the first and third. So, people who have been through it will understand my pain.
A job opportunity brought me to this city, exactly a week ago. So, having gone through different property brokers and seeing endless homes, I finally settled on one. Spoke to the landlord, agreed on it and also gave him a booking amount. All this happened in the last week of September. Two days before my move, I get a phone call, which blows me up. The landlord decides to give his home to a relative. And now I’m homeless. Cursed the landlord a hundred times in my mind. Covered the distance from Kharadi to Kothrud 4 times a day. And finally settled for a home in a day so that I can have a roof above my head. Strike 1!
Now, having lived almost three years of my life in Mumbai, I got used to basic things like transport, which I think Pune doesn’t agree is a necessity. Transport in Pune sucks, literally. You may be getting angry as you read this but in your mind you are thinking- ‘Damn, she’s right’. You know it, you have faced it!  You need to have your own vehicle, the autowallas will rip you off and take you for a ride if they know you are new to the city. You really need a place near your workplace, irrespective of the property rates in the area. Strike 2!
Let me tell you that I basically belong to Indore (MP), and I’m used to Hindi and English. I WILL NOT AND CANNOT LEARN MARATHI IN 2 DAYS!! Oh, I do know a few words of Marathi, credits: Singham. But there are thousands of people who come from different parts of the country to this city and they DO NOT know Marathi. So please people, stop looking at me when I reply to your Marathi sentences in Hindi, or say ‘I don’t know Marathi’ with surprise. Just imagine how you would feel if you talk to an American in Marathi. It’s the same thing to me. Alien. Strike 3!
Week 1 and you are already in a tough spot, Pune! I agree that a new city is always a challenge in the beginning and gradually things gets easier, but I’m waiting to see how many strikes and weeks before I can actually call myself a Punekar. (For God’s sake, people who are born here aren’t the only true Punekars!)
P.S.- You didn’t like what you read. Well, I’ll have you know that I’ve hired a lawyer.

11 replies on “Atta Maajhi Satakli: Week 1 in the Life of a Non-Punekar”

The Virasat Pune’s ‘Pune Heritage Walk’ might help you understand the city better. The guided walks, that they offer, are in Marathi, Hindi and English.

This is the only sensible reply 🙂 I agree… as a ex Mumbaiite, Pune grows on you. Slowly but surely but it will. We promise!

Be happy dat at least u r in maharashtra where half of d population can speak hindi. Wht will u do if u go to south.. And plz expect sensible replies to sensible writings only..

There are a lot more strikes which will make you love this city 🙂 and I don’t agree with the Marathi -Hindi bit. Me being a Punekar , I.have to ask people who know Marathi to talk to me in Marathi and not Hindi.

(For God’s sake, people who are born here aren’t the only true Punekars!)
When you will start speaking Puneri Marathi & start loving Pune, then only you will be PUNEKAR……

First of all welcome to Pune.
Strike 1 – You may be the unlucky one. Not all landlords are same. Not only in Pune but anywhere in India. What if he really want to give his house to some1 of his relative who is really needy?
Strike 2 – When you are equipped with technology or basic communication skills you will come to know the distance between to traveling points before mindlessly jumping into an auto. I have seen riksha wallahs in Pune who actually guide in proper direction.
Strike 3 – No1 here is expecting you to learn marathi in 2 days or learn it at all during your entire stay here in Pune. There are so many people who are settled here and still do not speak marathi. Still they are doing well and nobody is having problem with it.
I hope you come up with something better and positive to write about anything or anywhere you go.
No hard feelings. Its just that i am a bit offended by your post being a Punekar.
Its better we live with mutual understanding and respect to each other.
P.S : It does not matter if you hired a Lawyer or a Carpenter.

Pune is one of the best cities in the country BUT food sucks here. I am a Marathi from Hyderabad and did my PG from University of Pune. I do not expect authentic south Indian food in Pune but I expected at least authentic Marathi food in the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Most of the restaurants are run by non-marathis, either Kannadigas or Biharis-UP bhaiyyas. So called marathi food tastes really bad and places where the food is good, it’s priced too high. Non-veg food too sucks at most of the places. And all the so called well known Biryani places sell spiced up Pulav and in the name of Hyderabadi dum Biryani.

I understand that Punekars will be offended by this. But then, they get offended by everything – this is one of their most common traits that I’ve picked up over the years. In my opinion, there’s no harm in accepting where you lack. I am a non-Punekar too but living in this city for the past 7 years. I previously stayed for 2 years in Hyderabad and a year in Kolkata as well. In my experience, Punekars may welcome you in the city but to them, you’ll always be an outsider. There are instances when I don’t understand a Marathi conversation and to my dismay, they wouldn’t even bother to translate. They simply smirk. And yes, the food here sucks. Boiled and watery.
All said and done, it’s a chilled out city to live in but certain things do get to you. But… when in Rome……..

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