Hey folks, starting a series on the Pune days, recollecting memoirs of three years spent in the city and it may span over two to three months, depending on the mood. I am also linking today’s post to #MondayMusings hosted on Write Tribe.
I open the grey envelope at Ganeshkhinde, University of Pune and leapt with joy. I am already flying. I have just been accepted at India’s and Pune prestigious, Fergusson College. Dreams do come true, after all! I excitedly hopped on the rick to file admission papers and paying fees at the best college in Pune, hip and happening as I walked past the white gate, proudly written, ‘Fergusson College. I felt a huge sea of opportunity waiting for me as I walked in the grand college, hugely spread across 65 acres.
I could sense that my life gonna be grand like my college. Unfortunately, office hours was closed on Friday and came back on a Saturday to file for admission.d Checked at the Princi office, Wagh Sir and a lady, bubbling with energy greeted me with a smile. I still recall the words Jog Ma’am told me about Pune, ‘Oh! You’ll love the city.” Years down the line, it became so true and feeling emotional writing this post. Pune has given me the best days of life, made the bestest of friends and welcomed me with open arms. It’s the city where I started my life. It gave me an identity and a sense of purpose that I made it my home. Faraway from Pune, I still call it home. The city keeps growing on you.
The initial days were spent plodding my feet to Jungli Maharaj Road which we call JM to munch on Chinese food at China Gate, Mc Donald or hopping at Archies Gallery, the place to shop for Greeting cards. Life was beautiful, exploring places like Deccan Gymkhana and Aundh, that was my first PG at Goodwill Housing Society where I had regular lunch and dinner with the owner, Mr Oak. What a lavish bungalow it is! He would rent rooms on sharing basis to students and working boys & girls.
College started during the Monsoon season. Running in different directions to find classes and clueless about our time tables. That’s quite another story to tell. Waking up at 5 a.m in the morning to attend our Economics classes, scheduled at 7 and there was no time to make tea or breakfast. The small tapdi (tea stall) on the street was such a blessing in disguise where tea for 3 bucks and 1 buck biscuit filled the stomach. Evenings were spent walking at FC Road. It’s was such a beautiful sight watching the crowd swarming for dinner at places like Roopali, Wadeshwar and Vaishali. I enjoyed the evening walk on FC, surrounded by the small shops on the streets selling stuffs like Kurta, hats, shirts and ornaments.
I would often walk long distance from college till Deccan, shopping for books and magazines on the streets cum Crossword, that was the only bookshop in Pune, much before Landmarks came. CCD on FC was the place I would became a regular, sipping cold coffee with ice cream. I love the hip and happening crowd, cool chicks swarming there. The first coffee I tasted was Arab Eskimo and absolutely love it. Love the music playing at CCD and we were getting free tickets for parties.
It was the first taste of Pune, the city known for its greenery and traffic was not as crazy as it is know. The perfect place for students and it’s not without an iota of logic that it is called, ‘Oxford of the East.’