The City of Cyclists or the Mecca of IT, Pensioner’s Paradise or Party Capital, Oxford of the East or Detroit of the East, do you see a trend here? Yes, indeed Pune is a land of many definitions and yet undefinable, because each of these contradicts the next. It is not possible to describe a city as diverse as this in a couple of words and this article is an attempt at dispelling the efforts of those who try to do so. So, do not believe these six myths about Pune that non-Punekars will try and have you believe!
- Pune is Tier 2 City
Lord, just quit with that already! Nothing gets the blood of a proud Punekar boiling like calling Pune a ‘Tier 2’ city does. In fact, I will have you know that on the basis of its population, professionals and skilled workforce, Pune has been classified as a mini metro (Tier 1 or Class X) city as of 2014.
- Puneri Patya
Sure, more often than once we have got our fair share of laughs from the quintessential ‘Puneri Patya’ i.e. Puneri signposts. These are famous for their funny, often witty and snide comments and show the true nature of a Punekar in their sarcasm.
However, if you go looking for them all around the city and especially to new and upcoming areas like Baner, Kharadi, Aundh, Viman Nagar and Koregaon park, you would be sorely disappointed! These ‘patya’ exist now only in the nostalgia of Pune and a few bylanes of the old city. Although the legacy remains, the truth is far from it.
- Maharashtrian Food is Bland
Well, clearly you have not wiped your nose on a sleeve, while tears stream down your face as you slurp on the famous Maharashtrian gravies!
Known to be one of the most fiery cuisines in India, it is characterised by its spicy aftertaste, a fine balance of ingredients and a unique red coloured gravy. Not only this, Saoji cuisine prepared in central Maharashtra is sure to give Jalapeños and Peri Peri(s) a run for their money!
And some of Pune’s oldest restaurant landmarks are known to serve the spiciest of authentic Maharashtrian dishes. You just have to know where to look 🙂
- It’s a City of Lanes and Bylanes
While that may be true, it is also a city of intricately constructed roads, planned layouts and regular albeit a little haphazard development. However, the other parts of the city like Kalyani Nagar, Baner, Bavdhan, Aundh, and Koregaon Park, all have wide open spaces, shaded walk-paths, planned intersections and wide roads that are quite unique to them. Know this, Pune maybe unplanned but it is certainly not illogical. You can also see the city in its full urban glory with its malls, multiplexes, high-rises and aesthetic neighbourhoods.
- Symbiosis is the Only Good College
There is no doubt that Symbiosis is indeed one of the most revered institutes whose stature and methods have contributed to it being a college of international repute. That being said, Pune also has some great colleges that are known for their high standards of education. To state a few, COEP – College of Engineering Pune has been guiding top notch engineers to brilliance, the MIT group of institutions with their myriad offerings have been pulling crown from all over the country and the arts faculty at Fergusson College has consistenly maintained high standards in teaching.
- Only Marathi Culture- No Cosmopolitan Crowds
Well, clearly you have been misinformed. Pune, being a mini-metro has pulled people from all walks of life to test their mettle. While it is still far from being called a cultural melting pot, it is definitely fast approaching the status. Walk into Camp or the East street area one sunday, or haunt one of the bars in KP on weekends you will surely know what I mean. From Anglo-Indians to expats, from students to high ranking executives and from a Northerner to a new age Puneri- you will find them all here in the city. We do not discriminate and we certainly do not keep anyone away.
Let the city cast its magic on you! Don’t be bogged down by these myths. Punekars are always eager to welcome you with open arms!