I begin with a confession- I was inspired to write this based on a photo shared by my friend Adwait Gokhale on Facebook. The photo was of King Leonidis from 300, against a backdrop from one of the most famous places in Sadashiv Peth- Umbrya Ganapati Chauk, with the quote “This is Sadashiv Peth!” on lines of “This is Sparta!”
While initially it seemed funny, (which got me thinking) infact it is not! We Sadashiv Pethis are comparable to Spartans. We love to preserve our identity. We are fiercely proud of the fact that we are Sadashiv Pethis, and make no mistake, we will go to any lengths to tell everyone else so. In that respect, the picture was quite authentic. Although a few may argue Leonidis could have been replaced by a hardcore Sadashiv Pethi, I agree with the depiction as it will help dunderheads (“शुंभ कारटी” as we call them) from other places to truly be able to relate to a Sadashiv Pethi.
While this comparison holds true to some extent, there is a hell lot of difference between Sadashiv Peth and Sparta. Sparta is known for its brave warlords, fighters and indomitable warriors. Sadashiv Peth on the other hand known is for its intellectuals, social reformers. The philosophies adhered to by the two communities are different. While Spartans feel that strength rules them, we Sadashiv Pethis believe that derision not only rules, but destroys them. Infact, we are so good at it, that we can make Sparta crumble before our snide comments.
A Sadashiv Pethi may not be as strongly built as a Spartan, but through his words alone, he can inflict wounds which are as deep as any gashes delivered by a well-trained Spartan. Hoards of boards giving advance warnings of “Stay within your limits, otherwise you will be insulted” are seen all over Sadashiv Peth, reserved for unwelcome and arrogant visitors. (These in our eyes are mostly convent school educated public who have a habit of speaking some hybrid language consisting of Hindi and English or having an outright fake English accent).
The crux behind these signboards is delivering maximum insult in minimum words. That’s one of the best Sadashiv Pethi traits. We talk less. Our energy is valuable. That’s why we resort to these aggressively written boards. But they have its effect. A typical (“assal” is such a beautiful word for it!) Sadashiv Pethi insult will initially hurt your ego, but you will take time to realize what has actually been said to you. And trust me, once insulted, those wound never heals. So beware before you cross the limit with any Sadashiv Pethi. Once you actually comprehend it, though and look from our point of view, you will realize that it is completely valid. Our intellect in that respect is way beyond the reach of the commons.
This I know is extremely flammable to some people who call themselves “Puneites” but I’ve already said before, we Sadashiv Pethis are provocative in speech. Learn to live with it and learn to respect it.
Enough introduction of Sadashiv Peth, (although realistically, it needs no introduction- A Punekar already knows it!). I will get back to the point of how can you recognize if a person is from Sadashiv Peth- some basic tips, based on observing myself and a few friends of mine.
- Typically the surname is along the lines of Datar, Gore, Phadke, Bhat, Sahasrabudhe, Sathe, Abhyankar,Deshpande, Phadnis,Phatak, Joshi (Koknastha and Deshastha are a majority) although that scene is fast changing.
- There is proven, built in and evident arrogance written on the face. It’s present in our blood is etched on our faces.
- Never gives a straight answer. A comment has to be passed on each and everything.
- Derision need not be thought of as an offence. If anything is below expectation, it is there to be ridiculed.
- Naak var asta, kayam. ( Nose is in the air – all the time!)
- We do not address “Umbrya Ganpati Chauk” as “Shagun Chauk”. Its Umbrya Ganapati Chauk idiots- get your facts straight!
- Talks endlessly and fondly of Sujata Mastani, Anarse Samosewale, Wadeshwar, Badshahi boarding and other hangout places. (These are more dear to him than his girlfriend- provided he has one)
- Favourite places are Bharat Natya Mandir, Tilak Smarak Mandir, Gopal Gayan Samaaj etc.
- Schooling is from SPM, Ramanbag, NuMaVi, Bhave High School, or similar schools and afterwards, most likely from S.P.College.
- Has sometime or other lived in a Wadaa, or has a relative who lives in a wadaa.
- Has the attitude-Manache Ganapati Sodale, tar jagat ekach Ganesh Mandal ahe – Nimbalkar Talim. Seriously, we don’t care about any other thing on the last day of Ganpati. We have to dance before Nimbalkar Talim no matter what. We love the Mandal.
- We have special derision reserved for people from Aundh, Baner, Kondhwa, and other “outskirts” areas. These are typically people who are hesitant to refer to themselves as Punekars, instead preferring to be known as “Puneites”. Hell yes, we have a lot of insults especially reserved for them.
- People from Narayan Peth, Shanivar Peth, some areas around Deccan Gymkhana and Kothrud and pockets in Bibvewadi and Sahakarnagar are treated as brothers, and are never insulted.
- Has never ever followed the one way from Lakshmi road to Khajina Vihi.(Mama Nasato, kon dhartay mag mala!)
- When someone talks of Khunya Murlidhar Mandir and Lakshmi Narsimvha Mandir as old structures which should be pulled down, A Sadashiv Pethi gets emotional to the point of drawing swords. Well, the names of the two Mandirs are inspiration enough to draw arms to protect them.
- Is extremely sharp in intelligence, excessively blunt while insulting, and extremely provocative in speech.
- More often than not, wears or has a thought to wear a Bhikbaali In his ear.
- Has had atleast a couple of appearances at Bharat Itihas Saushodhak Mandal.
- Blocks his parking space with walkers used by old people which are secured with a metal chain to some part of his compound wall.
- Knows all local dunderheads – Bhimbai(Bhimu), Police Bai(Police), Olonga, Chinku, Kachra to name a few!
- If a Sadashiv Pethi is bored, doing nothing, he spends his time in the world famous “Modi Ganpati Mandir” of Narayan Peth. The objective is not to attain peace of mind by going to a temple. It is an opportunity to look for potential matches and othe “Prekshaniya Sthale”.
- A Sadashiv Pethi used to consider All Girls Schools such as Hujurpaga, Renukaswaroop etc as “Prekshaniya Sthale”, which alas, can no longer be said!
But, the most important one-
- Proudly declares that “Darasamor lavlelya gadyanchi hava sodun gadi No-Parking madhe lavnyat yeil”.
Such people are unique. Each area has its own speciality, but Sadashiv Peth goes one step ahead. We do not care what others have to say about us – what matters is what we think of them. This I know is extremely flammable to some people who call themselves “Puneites” but I’ve already said before, we Sadashiv Pethis are provocative in speech. Learn to live with it and learn to respect it. We have lived in this place far more than what you can imagine, and we wont change one bit to accommodate your English speaking nonsense. If you cannot digest it, and plan to lock horns with us, then in the truest Sadashiv Pethi spirits we have already called you a “एक नंबरचा टिंब टिंब टिंब अडाणी मूर्ख” with the swear words removed.
A warning shot to all who want to cross their limits again, “THIS IS SADASHIV PETH”. Its a Shaabdik Warzone. Here tongues are sharper than swords!
Check out this one and much more by Chinmay on his blog: http://chinmay-datar.blogspot.in/2012/01/this-is-sadashiv-peth.html