Quirky, sarcastic and bold; repeat these words after me and you now have an understanding of our lovely Punyanagri. I can safely say that despite travelling to a lot of cities- in India and otherwise, I’ve never seen a city more eccentric than ours. Maybe it’s just us, the Punekars, you know? Or maybe there’s something about this city, something hard to explain which makes Pune so unnervingly beautiful.
Being a Punekar for the past 25 years, I have seen some crazy stuff. Some became stereotypes, while some just went on to become hilarious oddities. I think this is where Pune gets its charm, ya know? So, without any further ado, let’s check out some things which only a Punekar can relate to.
- The Scarves!
Irrespective of seasons or occasions, there’s one accessory which has become almost an integral part of a female Punekar’s outfit. The mysterious scarf. And I mean almost every single girl, on every bike. You know how the joke goes – “Pune should be the scarf capital of India”? Yeah, there’s a reason for that.
- Our Beautiful Sarcasm
What others might consider us rude, we Punekars have cultivated it into our communication. If you meet a die-hard Punekar, there will be a sarcasm contest where he/she will try to one up you with their sarcastic retorts. Hey, it’s all a part of the beautiful city and we love it!
Our favourite eateries have stood the trial against time, and so have we. Waiting outside these favorite eating spots for hours, while we could easily find a table somewhere else, but no! These eateries are a part of our schedule now, and we must follow it dedicatedly!
- Being a Part of the Laxmi Road Ganeshotsav Crowd
Pune during Ganeshotsav is divine, literally. Forget caste, creed, color and race, everyone is eagerly awaiting for our favorite festival. Want proof? Just be a part of the crowd at Laxmi Road on Anantchaturdashi. Every Punekar bears the brunt of the weather so they can witness the amazing processions and pray one last time to our tusked deity!
- The ‘1 – 4 pm Dilemma’
Only, and I mean this, only in Pune will you find shops which close in the afternoon and reopen early evening. The inside joke is that Punekars love napping during the afternoon. Talk to the hand until 4 pm.
- Getting Rejected Repeatedly by Rickshawalas
“Swargate?” “No.”, “Sinhagad Road?” “No.”, “Sadashiv Peth?” “No.”
A life of a Punekar is tough if he/she has to rely on autorickshaws for commuting. It’s as if they’re toying with you; you need to judge their mood before telling your desired location. On some bad days, no autowalla will ever stop and if he does, he’ll straight away refuse to go where you want to. Oh, the never ending saga of Punekars and Rickshawalas!
- The Sassy Slang
Every city in Maharashtra has its own slang, and Pune is right there at the top with Mumbai. “Aawra” and “Vadhiv” are so commonly used, that they won’t even be qualified as slang lingo anymore. So are “kadak” and “vishay”. Even our slang language is polished!