Pune memoirs, 2003
The first few days were spent in Pune, scanning ToI advert for house hunting and after a tiring day, found a PG that seems decent and affordable. I called the owner and he invited me for a meeting over tea in Aundh. A tall fellow with a protruding belly, wearing a thin moustache on bald head, he would easily make for a villain in Hindi movies. A nice guy, I thought.
Finally, he asked his driver to take me back to the place I was staying to get my luggage in his green gypsy van. We came back with the driver, Ballu a talkative fella to Goodwill Housing Society, a peaceful place, surrounded by trees and lush green, at the long alley surrounded by row houses and bungalows. It serves for long strolls after sumptious meals served at the landlord, Mr Oak, bungalow, that was inhabited by working bachelors, spinsters and students like me. What a lovely place! I fell in love with the place instantly. The only hitch was converging to college at FC Road which often cost me a bomb and at times, would take the six seater where one would shed some six bucks.
It was lovely staying at Goodwill Housing Society in Aundh. I’d take long strolls from the bungalow to Parihar Chowk, savoring mithai (sweet) and found a heavenly place to chill at Ozone, sitting at the small CCD munching pastry and coffee. I love buying stuffs in the supermarket. Hoping that my memory has not gone for a toss, it was six storeyed building, housing supermarket, bookshop and good living department store. I enjoyed whining my time visiting every space at Ozone and doing time pass by checking the price of beds and mattresses. Couldn’t stop dreaming of having it all, some day. Well, I didn’t! Ozone was one of the favorite hang out for college students and love the sight of the cool, hip and happening crowd swerving there in the evening.
The PG was too good for its 1,600 bucks, sharing of course. For a couple of weeks, I enjoyed having the room for myself since the dudes went home for holiday and man, it was such a huge room. Visited my new flat mates in the adjacent room and super cool dudes who welcomed me with open arms. They made me read a review one of them wrote on Boom and I was blown away with such ace detailing . We broke the ice.
Just imagine my surprise when my roomie, Santulan came back from holiday and he was someone I met in the plane. During our trip, he gave me his Pune address and shared how R Madhavan studied with him in the same college. It was quite a surprise. What I love with my PG is the lunch and dinner served at our landlord’s place. Sumptious, yummy and healthy Maharashtrian food. I looked forward to the food every single day. Totally homely! And, Nani (Grand mother), Mr Oak’s Mom showered love and affection to everyone.
I didn’t stay long there but cherished the visit with Mr Oak to his field, faraway from the PG where we sat on the tractor, stumbling on the mud to see his cultivation. It was a totally awesome feeling. One Sunday, he took me to visit a management college in Pune where I met another guy, Kshitij, who would become my roomie when I shifted to another flat of the owner at Model Colony, Deep Bangla Chowk.
As I hark back to the past, I couldn’t believe that my first few days in Pune was blissful while staying in one of the best PGs and place that Aundh is. Peaceful, soothing and filled with love. Certainly, it was the best place I stayed and that too in the start. It’s been 13 years from now. How I wish I had a rewind button to go back in time!
Note: I plan to come with few more posts on Aundh which is a lovely place to live and filled my heart with beautiful memories. At that time, it was an upcoming place.