Today is alphabet L for the April A to Z Blogging challenge under the theme. ‘College Memories’ and my prompt is ‘Lakshmi Road’, Pune.
Lakshmi Road, Pune
Crowd swarming their way to the jam packed Lakshmi Road as bikes and cars horn their way in desperation and shoppers scampering their way, carrying stack of shopping bags. You know it’s the festival season when traffic moves at a snail pace on the lanes at Lakshmi Road as the mammoth crowd swing their way to both sides of the road inhabited by busy shops putting varied hues of Kurta Pyjamas, Sarees, shirts jewellery and trousers.
You know it’s Diwali at Lakshmi Road where shops housing earthen lamps, candles, goodie, bangles and clothes makes a killing with robust sales where discounts are shown at the entrance of the shops. The busy Lakshmi Road provides the glitter during Diwali and showcases the spirit and soul of Pune where you have the traditional small shops selling traditional attires-cum-chappals exist side by side with luxurious shops. It’s something one should experience once in a life where you can spend the whole day on the busy streets struggling your way amidst the vast human masses to get inside and outside the busy shops. It’s quite a task to find your way out of the shops, haggling for deal on your favorite Kurta-Pyjamas, sarees or Chappals.
I vividly remember it was the eve of Diwali when I landed at Lakshmi Road with some friends and we walked on our toes trying to breathe, walk freely. I was in Second Year in college and saved the pocket money to deck myself in colorful Kurtas for Diwali as Lakshmi Road seems to the preferred location. I was gaping for breath since I hate huge crowds and was sweating profusely inside the shops as the staff removed from the shelf, different colors of Kurtas to show me. It was tough choice to make since whatever stuffs I like was way too expensive and there were some colors that I I didn’t like at all.
It’s Diwali celebration and you can often bump on friends shopping for Diwali as you exchange a Hi in a hurry since there is no way you can stand to have a light-hearted chat, owing to the huge crowd and there was hardly any space to speak at leisure. I still remember that we spent the whole day at Lakshmi Road and I didn’t buy anything because I am very impatient when it comes to getting in shops and braving the crowd.
I didn’t abandon my tryst with Lakshmi Road and the next morning, I went with a friend and classmate Neraj. This time, we decided to go to the small shops inside the corridor. The shop-wala showed me some Kurtas that I somehow like but Neraj wasn’t convinced and stomped on my feet to urge me that we should get out of the shop. As we walked away, Neraj told me that the quality is not good and that the staff was trying to fleece me. After walking in the scorching sun, I finally laid my hand on some decent Kurta Pyjamas at an affordable rate and was happy that finally some shopping done. All said and done, Lakshmi Road is one place whose simplicity and culture touched the heart and remains vivid in the heart as one makes college memories more vivid.
The limited pocket money, college days, bargaining and shopping experience makes my tryst with Lakshmi Road an experience to cherish. Predominantly, a Maharashtrian area, one can only hope that Lakshmi Road will retain its traditional aura that shows its original beauty and doesn’t give way to the swanky but artificial mall culture. If you are in Pune and wanna shop for Sarees, Kurtas as gifts to for your mom, wife or sister, you know where to go. Lakshmi Road in Pune is a place that one must visit at least once in a lifetime.