I was once The New Girl in Pune (and even wrote all about it here), and seven years later, BAM – I’m a Punekar! I’ll admit it was a rather slow journey, but it really does take that much time to develop a threshold for all that spicy Maharshtrian food! Nevertheless, it’s been a journey that has taught me many-a-things. In the last seven years, I’ve had all the realisations that one would in their early 20s; like the importance of working out, eating healthy, understanding finances, importance of family, and so on and so forth. However there are some life lessons only living in Pune can teach you.
I remember sitting in the warden’s office on my first day, eyeing the simple girl from Sultanpur in her yellow kurta who hadn’t said a word till now. She was going to be my roommate? I was sure we didn’t have a thing in common. I mean, I have never watched an episode of Swat Kats in my life! At the time, I didn’t realise that being strangers in the city would become the greatest common point. It became one of the strangest friendships people have seen and one of my most cherished. I had begun to form a new perspective on Pune and the Punekars.
To recap, 17 year old girl (a.k.a. me) moves to Pune from 5,000 miles away to meet an unanticipated and unwelcome new friend – culture-shock. 5,000 tears, a slightly forced Indian accent and a wardrobe change later I finally felt a little less out of place. I had made 3 new friends that I will forever be thankful for. It was time to explore…
We left off at the culture shocked 17-year-old who had left her home 5,000 miles away to live in Pune – a.k.a. Me. My tear ducts had literally dried out at this point and part of me still wanted to run back home, but a bigger part of me just did not want to give up. I finally decided to give it a shot.
had stepped off the plane in Bombay, my nerves tingling with excitement and nervousness, my heart heavy from leaving my family behind, and head slightly dizzy from the turbulence of landing in the rains. I couldn’t wait for those doors to open and when they did, the feeling was indescribable. The airhostess swung the doors open with a smile and a strong scent of manure hit me like a wrecking ball! *sorry*. I held my nausea together and smiled back at her. I entered the dull grey airport (this was the old airport), tripped at the entrance and landed flat on my face. I got up, dizzier than ever, ran to the bathroom, which smelled strongly of cheap orange air freshener, and threw up. So, that’s how my journey began.
Even though I have converted to the awesome religion of ‘Punerkarism’ pretty fast, it required some hacks here and there, a little ‘Bumbaiya’ attitude alteration and some serious searching on the World Wide Web. For all the Mumbaikars, Bangaloreans, Chennaites – the whoever from wherever moving to Pune, here are some dos and don’ts and some general things about this city that you ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW and DO!
Five reasons why Pune needs a Metro… Now!
The changing culture of Pune.
Woes Of Apartment Hunting In Pune.
How a Moroccan became a Punekar.