7 Life Lessons Taught by Aged Punekars

The soul of Pune is intact.

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To understand the future, we must look at the past, and then observe the present. Sounds like a mouthful, right? To simplify it- listen to your elders, and then act on it.

There are golden lessons which our aged Punekars have picked up over the years. Lessons which revolve around the city, and our lives in it. Experience can help us to avoid the repetition of mistakes, and although it seems like we know a lot, we hardly do. Growing up in Pune is beautiful, agreed, but it’s taxing, confusing, and sometimes, painful. Which is not to say that the city is to be blamed, but perhaps the way we interpret its importance in our lives. I had a golden chance to visit an old age center and I took it, naturally. These are the seven life lessons I was gifted with; I would like to share them with you.

Image by Parmeet Kohli

Love the city, don’t become blinded by it – Mr. Vinayak Atre, a retired army officer was quick to point out the difference. He states that defending a city but accepting even the faults and flaws is wrong. In times of need, “raise your voice”, he says.


Don’t forget your responsibilities towards Pune – Quoting Mrs. Asha Narayan, a retired teacher, it’s evident that we have our civic duties along with moral responsibilities. Things like following rules and respecting everyone are the founding pillars of a good resident and personality.


Leave Pune and travel as much as you can – I first thought this was sarcasm or cynicism, but Mrs. Rekha Atray, a former bank employee explained her point by telling me the importance of traveling. She said that to understand the beauty of our city, we must live somewhere else and explore, and then come back. Makes sense!

Understand why Pune is Maharashtra’s cultural capital – Mr. Sandeep Namjoshi, a retired police inspector, says that the best thing about Pune is its culture. Nowadays, it’s fading swiftly, and we need to do something to hold on to it. “It’s a golden culture which has supported and encouraged generations of Punekars”, he says fondly.


Observe the residents, not the media – When a retired radio anchor says this, then we must really pay attention to her words. Mrs. Alka Patre says that the media always talks about the top most layer of the city and forgets the heart and soul of a place- it’s residents. Wise words, indeed!

Change yourself before you change the city – Mr. Uday Chavan, a retired surgeon who worked in the USA, states that even though things aren’t perfect, we shouldn’t pressurise the urgency of the change. He says that the city is constant, and despite the changing times, the soul of the city is intact. We just need to change the way we see things sometimes!


Walk more often – This bizarre suggestion by Mrs. Yogini Mitra, a former government employee, is deeper than you think. With two parts to it- the first being actual physical activity, and the second being reaching for something- it’s safe to assume that Mrs. Mitra wants us to solve all the life riddles by reading between the lines!

Now, consider asking your elders for life lessons about Pune (or even in general) and let us know; maybe together we can continue publishing such gems!

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