If you follow me on Instagram (@misspunekar), you know that I was in Bangalore for a few days last week. From what I remembered about the city, it used to be gorgeous; beautiful weather, delicious food, fun places to shop in, wide, clean streets, everything just about perfect. I always called it a larger, greener Pune (with slightly better weather) and figured it to be the only other city in India I’d ever want to live in. Today, if I had to compare Pune with Bangalore, here’s how it would go.
Good heavens, Bangalore, what on earth happened to you on this front? And here I thought Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi were bad. Sorry, but you take the cake and then some for the worst traffic jams in this country. Readers, take note, if you have to be at the airport on a Friday at 2 pm, leave your hotel on Thursday at sunrise. You’ll most likely make it. No promises.
Also, when it comes to following traffic rules, I thought Pune’s condition was shameful. Bangalore is abhorrent. Breaking signals, driving on the wrong side on a one-way street, blaring horns… And all of that with traffic cops standing in a gossipy bunch in clear sight. I couldn’t wait to get back to our shameful condition.
Pune: 1 | Bangalore: 0
I visited more than a couple of malls in Bangalore, namely, Orion, UB City, Garuda Mall, Mantri Square Mall, Phoenix Marketcity and the VR Mall. Leaving out the last one, Pune’s Phoenix Marketcity alone is more than enough to beat the bunch of them. Although UB City does have high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and the likes, the variety and mall maintenance still leaves one feeling ‘Meh’.
(Image: Outside the VR Mall)
Pune: 2 | Bangalore: 0
Probably the one point Bangalore can bag. The variety of places, food presentation and quality were quite impressive. It’s not to say that Pune doesn’t have good food, but we could sure do with more national and international cuisines. I must say though, that I didn’t try Bangalore’s street grub. But it’s pretty safe to say that few cities can boast of being better than us in that aspect.
(Image: Sushi at Shiro, UB City Mall)
Pune: 3 | Bangalore: 1
Bangalore, just like Pune, used to be pretty pleasant all through the year. And now, just like Pune, they’re battling heat that turns us humans into melting popsicles. The city is maybe slightly better than Pune at 35-36 degrees, while we’re dying here in 40-41 degrees.
Pune: 3 | Bangalore: 1 ½
There wasn’t a footpath I walked on that didn’t at some point need repairs. There wasn’t a dusty street I drove on that one can call remotely smooth. Tall buildings and huge international hotel chains are all very nice, but the basic infrastructure seems like it’s crumbling.
I’d give half a point to their airport though. Pune’s airport needs to get its shiz together.
At least we have decent pavements here in Pune, no? But that’s probably because they’re never used. Well, at least not for walking. Thought provoking jokes apart, Pune is definitely cleaner and greener but there’s always room for improvement.
Pune: 4 | Bangalore: 2
To conclude, unless you have to visit Bangalore for work (shame), go there only if you’re really, really hungry. Pune, you rock!