Tuesday, February 27, 2007

HUNGER PANGS, MIXED BAG, BLACK FRIDAY AND EVAM

[Image from scienceclarified.com]

Last night’s hunger pangs troubles his mind. It takes him back, years back. Back to school, reminding him of how hunger was master. Food was nutritious but minimal – the kids at school are expected not to bloat up on excessive gorging. The Physical Education further eats into body reserves. As a child, he is not privy to pocket money. He can only watch the seniors indulging themselves at the coffee shop. He gets so hungry at times that he drinks liters of water, sometimes ties a piece of cloth tightly around his stomach to restrain the belly-demon.

Back to the present, he feels morsels are taken for granted. Food is an irresistible incentive. Hunger betrays conscience – leads to crime, loathed but forced to commit. He prays. He hopes to help, and change mindsets. He idealizes that a world without hunger would be one with far less anguish and crime.

Want not, waste not.

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The flat is a mixed bag of late. It has a Mexican, a Canadian, a European, a few South Indians and me (Karnataka/Jharkhand – fully Indian, minimally Chinese) as tenants. A Dutch guy and one from Dubai vacated a week ago

Initially, it was nigh difficult to get along. The huge cultural differences, the twisted accents, the way of living and differing perspectives – all these made fellowship somewhat of a hardship. But finally, things are falling into place. One learns to understand their accent, their point of view as well as learn to speak slower to be understood.

Yes. Things finally are falling into place. For one who thought he could never get along with foreigners, I’ve done a good job

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For those who are fanatically anti-Muslim, I suggest you watch Black Friday, and ruminate over it. It’s a big, unending mess and all of us are to blame, not Muslims alone. It began in the Mughal era, was exacerbated during-and-post partition, and is still being propagated and preached by vested political interests. Mark the words unending – that is what it is going to be unless steps can be taken in the right direction

We, who are ever so ready to point a finger, should remember we aren’t all pure ourselves. Stop blaming others. Attempt to do the good that you are capable of, and the satisfaction of a job well done is assured

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Evam completes more than 150 shows. I’m over the moon

I LOVE EVAM !!!!!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

SOJOURN - CHENNAI, PONDICHERRY AND THE REST


As part of my ongoing thirst-quest for travel, I set out to Chennai on 16th February. The bus timings between the 2 cities are unearthly, which is why I reach way too early in the morning. I’m welcomed by wily auto-fellas who rip me off. I get to Maddy’s place – beautifully decorated, almost like a mystifying & bedazzling museum. We are drowsy but it’s been ages since we’ve seen each other and we talk for quite some time. Chennai is quite a lot like Calcutta in terms of weather … hot, sticky, and sapping. There is definitely something that sucks the juice out of me and I find myself feeling drowsy & unfocused (and that’s sayin’ something coz’ I’m always hyper-active on trips) Not to mention the extremely noisy autos, probably one of the noisiest in all the places in India I’ve been to. But apart from a few initial misgivings, I find myself liking the city overall.

In those first few hours of the morning, I get to meet Maddy’s mad mom (“I see where the lunacy comes from”, I tell her). D picks me up later and we head straight for a movie (which is eaxctly what happened on my Pune trip too – straight from the station to the theatre ;) Post movie, we go to his house. Both Vaidehi aunty and D’s mom are extremely chilled out & sweet people. D is majorly into movies and visual arts, and therefore I get a liberal dose of interesting TV series and also a Tamil movie to boot!!!! (Pachai kili muthucharam - with D providing excellent translation). I ask D a lot of questions about his work, and emerge none the wiser. I meet Kapakka, someone whose voice I;m crazy about, and who is a very dear friend to D and Maddy

Unfortunately, most of the plans don’t fall into place and we have not much to do. A visit to the Broken Bridge and the beach has an expected calming effect. Many awesome coffee places are visited and lounged around in. The plan to leave for Pondicherry by bike the next day is thwarted by unexpected rains, and we take the bus. Doing this sadly ousters all the destinations we could’ve visited on a bike, and we land in Pondi early evening. We have a hard time finding accommodation at first, but once done, we set out for Pondi walks. Pondi is a small place with many, many lanes, and most of the town is accessible on foot. Being a Sunday, the crowd is overwhelming. A sitting on the rocks, watching the waves crash ashore puts the mind to rest. For it is places like these, where doing absolutely nothing at all feels like a job well done :) The trip is a culinary delight as we lunch at places with mouthwatering fare, and at one of these places I come across a group of chinks who speak chaste Hindi, just like me!!!!! Brothers & sisters, we are not alone !!! ;) It amuses me to no end.

The next day is spent in abject misery as I catch a terrible cold. All the prizes of the world may be a difficult catch, but a cold is easily & unwillingly caught. I find it difficult to even walk around, and it takes away the joy of walking in Pondi. In spite of the tough time I give myself and D, we still manage to go places – the Ashram, Churches, beach front and the Auroville handmade paper making factory (we gorge on many of the products on sale and get a tour of the factory by a phirang with a condescending attitude – bleady!). It was a disappointment though, not to be able to make it to Auroville even on this 2nd trip to Pondi. The weekend being over, and a trip enjoyed, I catch my bus back to Bangalore and finally regain color after more than a week…

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Ruminations were abundant in an earlier blog regarding how we can be better human beings by just being nicer to people around us, give compliments where they are due and learn to say “thank you”. But have I ever thought of what I can give to the world after death? No sir! How many of us consciously think of the contributions we would like to make to the world even after our deaths?

A flat mate, Prasanna opens his heart out one evening. He comes from a family of doctors, where all known relatives are in the medical field. Years ago, when the time for a decision came forth, he took another path – he chose to be an engineer. Today, he earns a decent pay packet and is happy with his job. But happiness is a relative term. It stings him that in person, he cannot give to the society what he could have as a doctor. He rues that he cannot relieve the afflicted of their maladies. Of course, the lack of a definite identity and respect as an engineer are minor niggling factors, but this man struck me as genuinely repenting not having become a doctor. Instead of empty talk, smoke & mirrors, this man has attempted to make amends (that’s what he calls it) – he has pledged his eyes and his body for a post-death scenario, so that some unfortunate person can see again, and that others may learn of the human body & progress to become good doctors. It touched my heart to know his noble intentions, and made me think … what we want to give in life, and in death…..

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

- Horace Mann

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One book that I would enthusiastically recommend to everyone at this moment is How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. Yeah, I can see the look on your faces. A self-help book???? But this one strikes me as different. I believe it a book with the potential to change your life significantly. Unlike other self-help books, this one does not have a single boring moment. It is replete with jokes, anecdotes, stories, quotes and interesting slices of history, and of course, it is a step forward to be a better, successful person.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

From courtship to engagement to marriage…


It’s been one long ride for Feb and Zimmy, and no one could be happier than me

Feb and Zimmy got married on February 11th, 2007. It was a very, very joyous occasion for all of us. Dips, Punit, Shweta, Nitu and me reached Mangalore, unfortunately just missing the nuptial vows (big letdown!!!) But we were witness to the rest of the proceedings, which brought laughter and fond memories. This moment of intense joy also brought with it a tinge of sorrow as marriage always brings distances in friendship. I’ve known Febla for so many years, and no matter what has happened, she’s always been there for me. I shudder to think if that should change now, as priorities do differ post-marriage.

But then, I think over, and am glad that I know she will be very happy with Zimmy, who loves her a lot and will take good care of her. My love and prayers will always be with them, and here, with all my heart, I wish them an extremely HAPPY MARRIED LIFE!!!

HERE'S TO FEB AND ZIMMY. CHEERS!!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

THOUGHTS AFTER A CLASSIC

[Image courtesy : Giagia, Flickr.com - Catching the sunshine]


The entire beauty of reading a literary classic is that although you’ve never seen those places, never lived in those times, never come across those mannerisms and the like, such rich imagery is painted by the words of the author’s brush that even the blind can see the vivid colors of the narrative. There seems to be a beast on the prowl, teasing your senses. Yet, there is an invisible leash restraining it, letting you savor the suspense of the moment a little longer

Of late, I’ve come off reviews of any kind, and this isn’t a review for this book I’ve been reading (Wuthering heights – Emily Bronte). It’s just that reading a classic after long years had filled me with a sense of déjà vu. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was the first classic I ever read as part of my syllabus. It had left an indelible impression on my psyche. The description of the moors and the misery of those post-war times made for a depressing picture, which stayed with me for quite some time. Wuthering heights brought back quite a few of those repressed memories of times when love was still a very tender emotion, often more foolish than the brand of “love” we have today. Life was so different back then, when killing time meant reading a lot, going for a ride over the hills, listening to stories with wide-eyed wonder. But what I also realized after the book was that some things remained with us – malice, hatred, jealousy and ego. These carry on to our lives even today.

It seems easy to blame it all on the mythical Pandora’s box, which had contained all the maladies of the world, until one foolish, curious girl opened it and unleashed miseries of all kinds on this world we live in. What we never seem to consider is that even if it were true, what can we do to make things better. Why should we sit and blame others? As someone stated, how much does it take to be nice to others? Does it cost a bomb? Does it require a lot of energy? NO IT DOES NOT! Then why should we scowl and curse and swear and plot and bitch about things, people, events - practically everything under the sun? We don’t like our jobs. We don’t like the people around us. We don’t like the food. We don’t like the place. What IS it that we do like? We harbor a mild revulsion to so many things that we forget the things we like, the things that we love. And we realize that in the quest to be nasty to self and make others’ lives miserable, we’ve forgotten how to live…

Stop complaining – Think of how fortunate you are that things are not worse

Stop fretting – it builds up negative energy within you

Stop being a jerk! – do unto others as you would have them do to you, so if you’re an inconsiderate jerk, don’t blame people when they pull the same on you

Smile – it’s the BEST AND CHEAPEST makeover you can get

Start being good, as much as you can be – everyone out there is, knowingly or subconsciously, craving for appreciation, and it doesn’t hurt to be good to others and give honest compliments. Think before you speak, and phrase your words carefully to make more friends than enemies & disgruntled acquaintances.

You might feel stupid at first, but goodness is contagious, and you can be the initiating catalyst. So maybe you can’t turn the world over, but you can start your humble contributions right away. Be nice. What goes around, comes around


“Measuring life by what OTHERS do for you may disappoint you.
But measuring life by what YOU do for others will add more meaning to your life”

- Unknown

Friday, February 09, 2007

WHEN THE SKIES ROARED


The urge to see and imbibe all that is characteristic of your city is the strongest when you are counting your last days there. Over the years, I’ve given a lot of events unique to Bangalore, a miss. Probably because of the tendency to take it for granted that it is all well within easy reach & accessible any day, anytime… With those thoughts, years go by and then one fine day you realize, you haven’t got much time left!

First in the list of attendance was Chitra Santhe. It was unfortunate to have missed out on the Republic Day Flower exhibition at Lalbagh as well as the Bangalore habba. Fortunately though, I get to visit The Aero-India show 2007 due to the persistence of a fellow enthusiast. Passes are hard to get by (sold out two weeks supposedly) and we ride off in the eternal hope of getting them at the venue.

The ride is long, and the bike unresponsive to the strains of high speed. We finally make it by 10:30 AM and secure tickets too J As I have always believed, Indian security check procedures leave a lot to be desired. The pamphlet, pass and the banner at the entry point clearly state no cameras or cell-phones are permitted. Yet, all they do is minimal frisking, some unsatisfactory checking and let you in. I do not complain of being let in with a camera (prohibited item), but I wish they’d be a little more diligent in their duties.

By the time we get in, a few parachuting maneuvers are all that we have missed. What follows is truly delighting ….. Choppers and Fighter jets whizzing around the display arena at high speeds, performing dangerous and high “aaaaaah” quotient maneuvers. Throughout the event, there is a running informative commentary about the Aircrafts, the pilots having these beauties at their command and the skills required to make possible their majestic flight. It is another matter altogether that with the Jets crossing the sound barrier repeatedly and creating ear-splitting noise, it becomes virtually impossible to hear most of it. Apt music (part military style, part rock) adds to the overall ‘feel’ of the event.

The prominent aircrafts on display are the C-17 Boeing, the MIG 29, Sukhoi, LTA, BEL 407, F-16 Viper, Tejas LCA, IJT, Saras heli-team, among others. The most supple and mercurial, in my opinion, would be the Sukhoi, an aircraft that played a major role in India’s victory in the Kargil war. The Saras heli-team performs dangerous maneuvers at close quarters (a week ago, they lost a team-member in a crash – hats off to them for a brilliant performance). MIG and F16 are mighty impressive too, but the craft that takes the cake and my breath away is the C-17 Boeing from the US Navy – majestic, and massive. Weighing well over a thousand kgs, with a wing-span of half a football field and a tail height of over 20 meters. Phew! Beat that! To top it all, the C-17 is extremely agile and capable of deft maneuvers and short landing in spite of its gargantuan husk. Truly impressive!

A lunch break ensues at 1pm, and the display would resume only at 3pm. I have to meet some friends, and reluctantly leave the display sooner than expected. We have our fill, browse through some exhibition stalls showcasing memorabilia of the Indian Air Force, and depart.

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My reputation supersedes me. At a recently married friend’s place the same day, my past catches up on me. She is relating he adventures with making ghee out of thick milk (full cream). I enquire with genuine interest about thick milk since I knew not what it was.

Given my past reputation for cracking vulgar jokes (I still do that often ;), all I get as an answer are dirty looks from all the female presence in the room. C’mon girls …. I’ve reformed, or I think I have J


“Lead me not into temptation
I can find the way myself!!!”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

OH OH ! THE SNOWMAN IS MELTING !

[Image courtesy= www. picturegrill.com]


Like, why do I get this horrid feeling that by the time the world actually DOES wake up to the imminent threat of global warming, the water would’ve already gone way over our heads? An article stated that it is unfortunate that our lifestyle today is such that we cannot do without it. And this is this lifestyle that is contributing to the widening hole in the ozone layer, the degree by degree increase in temperature, the shrinking glaciers and the increasing water levels all over the globe. Some claim that the recent increase in the occurrences of hurricanes, unseasonal rainfall, droughts, snowfall and tsunamis are a direct consequence of this phenomenon. Whether it be true or not, there is no denying that Anthropogenic (human-induced) warming of the climate system is widespread in the atmosphere, and the oceans. We are literally, swinging the axe on our own feet

This would not only mean the end of Christmas, but the end of civilization as we know it – water shortage, land degradation, dropping crop yields, floods etc. If the previous civilizations were wiped out by the Ice Age or Meteor impacts, then ours might very much be the victim of some hard-core roasting and water-dunking. The fate depicted by Hollywood blockbusters could very well be a reality soon. There will be no running away. No hill stations to escape the brunt of the heat. No high ground to escape the swelling oceans. This means that countering steps have to be taken NOW! We may not be capable of making a huge impact, but there are definitely small steps we can take to make our lives safer.

Plant more trees - We all know the multiple benefits of these, don’t we?

{Image courtesy = Alan Burfitt, www.pbase.com}

Conserve energy - When not in use, or not required, switch off all electronic items or power-run gadgets/appliances/mechanisms. This INCLUDES even those outside your house – be it in galleries, other’s houses, new places or a place where you are put up temporarily. Often the thought that perverts us is that it isn’t my place. It isn’t my home. Why should I bother? Look around and you’ll realize, this world is your home, and everything in it is something you can take care of. The conservation will insure that fossil fuel use is brought down, as well as give time to think over new biocompatible and feasible sources of energy. This brings down emissions. Tim Flannery states that every time we switch on a light or drive a car or cook a meal, we release some CO2 into the atmosphere which stays there for almost a century!!!! It’s not possible to give up our way of life today. We’ve come too far for that, but saving energy and reaping its benefits is still in our hands. Till the Government and the Research teams come up with alternates to the existing modes of energy production and put in stringent measures for conservation & emission control, we can do our part as ordinary citizens. Small actions on our part can make the world a better place to live in. It’s not only going to help your country, it’s gonna save the world…

{Image courtesy = www.conserve.uci.edu}

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Breast augmentation surgeries have united many broken marriages, getting rid of the sag in the women’s assets as well as in their relationships

So says one Venkatesh, plastic surgeon and cosmetologist. It was disheartening to read this blasphemous statement which effectively erodes the very fabric of a successful and happy marriage – which I hope is still faith, love and respect for your partner. If the completeness of a marriage is really being gauged by a woman’s “ampleness”, then it’s a shameful age upon us…

Friday, February 02, 2007

SOJOURN - PUNE


Five years after the wish was first fostered, it finally materialized last weekend. Someone has said that the most fun trips are those which are planned on the spur of the moment – impromptu. And I wholeheartedly support that someone’s view. The trip to Pune was conceptualized in such a situation.


Owing to Republic day, a long weekend lays ahead. Initially, I do not have any concrete plans. Then on Wednesday, my good friend Pooja, from Allen mails me about possible plans to trip it out in Pune. We were at school together & its been years since we met or spoke. A golden opportunity to re-kindle old memories? You bet! The problem, of course, is the availability of any form of transport to Pune. Considering the much awaited 3-day break, almost everybody was moving in and out of Bangalore, which meant all buses, flights and trains were already overflowing beyond capacity (and this is probably the only disadvantage of planning late). I try some sources but to no avail. A tout at the Govt. bus service claims he can manage to get me a ticket if I pay him a bit extra. He never calls back (he didn’t take the money either). I call a travel agent and he assures me that he can use his sources to get me a train ticket. This all happens on Thursday, a day before the intended travel. Frantic calls follow over the next 24 hours as I see no signs of an assured travel ticket. The time to depart closes in & there is still no sign of me getting onto that train. I’m desperate enough to attempt a bike ride of 835 kms (!!!!) if this doesn’t work out. Pooja is freaking out at the other end from Ahmedabad because we were supposed to take the trip together. I am already having palpitations!!!!


And then, half an hour before my departure, the agent mysteriously re-appears (after the verbal lashings we had between each other over the phone) – the ticket delivered, the money received, we depart with smiles (and relief). The hours fly by. I entertain myself with this paranoid Marathi family who are trying to shield their daughter from what they suppose are my prying eyes(!!!) So everytime I look in their direction and speak, they keep telling her to move out of my sight or cover herself up. So amusing! Pity I couldn’t laugh out loud. There were also cheap thrills of checking out girls my age on the reservation chart (Now don’t get me wrong – I am not a chick-freak. This is just something me & my pals used to do a long time ago when we’d travel home together by train. It was more for the sake of nostalgia than for thrills). I finally get that call from Pooja I’m waiting for, and I store a few numbers.


I reach Pune by early evening the next day. The initial impression of Pune is sorta depressing. Crowded, hot, dry, and very, very dusty. The first people who I talk to aren’t very friendly and I wonder if the sense of Mumbai has somehow perverted Pune too. A call later, I am a bit disoriented. Pooja’s friend’s mum has offered both of us accommodation in her house, instead of looking all over for guest houses/hotels. The only problem is, the house at that time has 5females, (which is very, very awkward for me, no matter how brave I might try to sound ;) 4 of them are going for a movie, so I meet them at the theatre, straight from the station, luggage and all. A gap of many years does tend to put initial barriers and some strain, and Pooja & me find it difficult to get a decent conversation going in spite of us having been good pals in school and she having been in Bangalore for a few years as well.
To get rid of the cobwebs, we call up Gaurav, another Allenite residing currently in Pune. 3 heads are better than one, and the conversation flowed a bit more smoothly, if not without minor bumps. That same evening, we also meet up with Pushkar and Rahul, our juniors in school. It is a heartwarming re-union, most of us meeting after 6 long years!

Rahul & Pushkar offer to take us around to Panchet and Khadakwasla the next day. It is a long bike ride to a picturesque lake, replete with paddle boats and power boats (Rahul and me let Poo & Pushkar be the bakra and paddle the boat (trust me, it’s a lot of effort) The motor boat ride is fun – the manner in which the boat swerved and swung, I was so certain we were gonna go overboard (and I have Hydrophobia since the Goa incident a year ago). Some pakodas and bajjis later, we head back. But of course, why come so far when you can’t get into the water? On our way to Panchet, we had seen a good enough spot. It being running water, we assume it to be clean and dive in! Hydrophobia set in again, and it is not until I have gauged the depth of the stream with a loooooong stick that I venture in without fear. The coolness of the water refreshes mind and soul, and gives respite to weary bodies. That evening takes us to Lush, one of the supposedly happening places in Pune. Some friends from Dhanbad, my home town, currently residing in Pune join us. It being a weekend, the crowd is overwhelming, and the capacity – buckles under its own weight. By 11pm the place is so packed that one cannot dance anymore, only shuffle, get pushed and shoved around. I still have my fun, coz I refuse to let this get me down. We dance the night away and get home pretty late – aunty is already asleep and it seemed a shame to wake her up, but we have no choice.

Sunday takes us to Infosys, Gaurav’s work campus, miles away from the city. We hire a bike and boy, did it come handy! The Infy campus was huge, lush, with all amenities and incentives present on campus. The main office area looks like a massive space ship, or a techno-formulated egg. The food courts resembles those found at International airports – massive and all gleaming metal (too artificial for my taste). But overall, the amenities available at the place were impressive. Back in Pune, I meet up with friends from Mumbai. Winna travels all the way to see me which was very sweet of her. However, time constraint assures that we are unable to spend much time together and in a few hours it’s time for them to leave. We are still on MG road when this cute li’l kid comes up to Pooja and relates an amazingly elaborate story about himself & goads her into buying, or at least partly funding a shoe box so that he can generate better earnings. This “little squirt”, as she called him looked to me like another one of those kids with stories to fool people. And although Pooja doesn’t fall for it, she gives him a handsome amount nevertheless – just for trying and being so darned cute!

Dinner time and we are at Soul, ABC farms with Gaurav & Ankita. The place is overflowing with foreigners and smooth, mellifluous music by a live band pervades the atmosphere (too bad they don’t have them much in Bangalore anymore). A quick trip to the station is followed by desperate attempts to find our way home – there are hardly any auto drivers, let alone common populace to help us out at 1 in the morning. We finally get home, wake up aunty yet again, and if aunty's looks were daggers, I think I died that night ;)


A fitful sleep of 4 hours is what clouds my mind next morning – we are going to Lonavala, and early mornings are the best time to leave via local train. The fatigue & daze of last night makes it impossible to catch the local on time and we are forced to take the express general bogie. The experience is hellish for my companions, but I’ve had much worse in the Mumbai local, so this is chickenfeed, to say the least. An hour’s journey puts us in the awesome weather of Lonavala. The short trek to Lonavala caves is invigorating.
The caves were built by Asoka after he embraced Buddhism. The caves are segregated into many small chambers which look like mini-bedrooms (for the sages perhaps?) and is said to have been carved out of a single stone. On the face of it, the caves looked incomplete, as if the construction had ceased for some reason and never taken up again. They have been branded as a protected monument by the Archeological Society of India, but unfortunately no information was provided regarding the monument. What I have related so far was told by a local.


There is a long stretch of Fort wall on the adjoining hill, said to be one of Shivaji’s many forts. Lack of time & estimated long distance prevents our sojourn to these majestic heights. Next up is the Tata Dam. As in Panchet, we are expecting a place to take a dip but we are utterly disappointed with the lack of a common place, and the utter lack of manners on the part of the dam guards. We leave in a huff, chaffed and unsatisfied. A much emptier local train carries us back to Pune, where we spend the evening relaxing and preparing for the last day of our trip.


The morning is to be spent at the Osho resort, which offers a video viewing of the resort’s facilities, and a 15minute “silent” walk through the compounds of the resort. It having given refuge to so many foreigners, they are adamant on following strict time-tables, very much like western countries, and a delay of 5 minutes costs us our silent walk. Walk we do, and silently, but away from the resort.
The video session, however, is impressive. It provides a virtual tour of the resort & the facilities available inside. The resort is mainly known for its lush green gardens & parks, and for its world renowned meditation centre, with a difference. You see, this place is unlike traditional meditation centres – it inculcates all forms of enjoyment & self-indulgence as well. Parties and the like are held often and the resort boasts of food courts & a discotheque as well! No wonder its called Osho park and not Osho Ashram, because that it isn’t. But then Osho was loved by some & critiqued by many for his brand of spirituality – his belief that spirituality & materialistic pleasures can well be bedfellows, if channeled in the right manner. Commercialisation? Could be.

We have breakfast at the famous German Bakery, close to the resort – this place too, is flooded with foreigners and serves a lot of mouth watering bakery products. Greed is bad, and I stuff myself beyond my capacity!


Having over 5 hours to kill, we roam around aimlessly on the bike till we enter the old city. The Old City is akin to all old cities over the world – dirty, crowded, unplanned and haphazard roads, plenty of one-ways and shops offering amazing discounts. Shopping is definitely not on the agenda, and we visit Dr. Kelkar’s museum on the culture of Maharashtra,
and also the Fort at Shaniwarpet. An amusing fact about the old city is that it has seven distinct areas designated by the days of the week. So you have Somwarpet, Ravivarpet, Budhwarpet and so on. Lunch is relished at Marjorin, a restaurant with colonial overtones on its architecture. Throughout the entire bike trip, I have unconsciously broken a 1000 traffic rules, jumped traffic signals one too many. It catches up with me when I inadvertently venture into a one-way and end up paying a fine for it.


Time to leave, and just when Pooja and me are finally warming
up to each other… Goodbyes are always depressing, and I hate long goodbyes. I get back home with Osho chappals and a heavy heart. The flesh is back in Bangalore but the mind lingers on in Pune.


I am such a sentimental fool…