I live in a Co-operative Housing Society consisting of twelve flats (apartments, for my American friends). It is a nice cozy little society and all the residents are quite friendly with each other. All of us, except two have been here from the time the society was formed. Out of the two, one is a member who joined us just four years ago and one has been leased out by the member to someone who is not very sociable with the rest of us.
One member, recently has sold his flat and has relocated to Mumbai. He and his wife came to take leave of me yesterday and he tried to explain the reason for his move. To cut a long story short, he wanted to move back to Mumbai because most of his family was still there and in his old age, he simply wanted to be closer to them. It was a bit annoying though, as he was whining about how Pune has changed for the worse, and how he hoped that in his new Mumbai suburb he will be happier.
Pune was considered to be the pensioner’s paradise when we moved in here. We came via Bengaluru and Mumbai and many other postings before that, with Mumbai being the longest and the most stays. I was in a transferable job then and as a routine, we would relocate every thirty or thirty six months, sometimes at shorter durations too. For most other Pune residents, coming to settle down in Pune was purely for economic and health reasons. One could sell a flat in Mumbai for a ransom and buy a much bigger flat in Pune for much less than the sale price at Mumbai and this enabled many to live comfortable retired lives in Pune. Pune with its very moderate climate and laid back life style was a wonderful place to live in. It no longer is due to “Development and Progress”.It is still better than say Bengaluru though!
The normal topic of conversation when the older citizens get together in parks or social occasions is how Pune has changed and what can be done now that half the benefit of moving to Pune has disappeared. I call these “whining sessions”. I normally do not like to whine about this and voice my opinion that having made our beds, we must sleep on them.
My neighbour’s recent whine in the reverse direction and with the plea that I should also consider shifting back to Mumbai reminded me about Conrad’s whine bar. If he revives that, I can assure him of a lot of traffic from many Punekars (People from Pune), who I shall forward with great glee to his blog. Game Conrad?
I was recently in Bengaluru and was being driven around by my business associate there. As soon as I got into his passenger seat in the front, I put on the seat belt out of habit. In Pune it is mandatory and if one does not wear the seat belt, the driver and the passengers are fined. In Bengaluru it is still not mandatory and my associate was bemused. I of course, sermonized on the safety aspect and hopefully converted one blissfully ignorant man.
India, has suddenly become a nation of two wheelers and personal cars after many years of ‘socialism’. Our roads are inadequate, and people who need to be mobile, have to drive around as in most places, the public transport system simply is inadequate to cater to the demand of a vibrant economy in the towns and cities. An indication of the problem of traffic related accidents in my home town of Pune can be gathered from this article.
So, thanks to a post by ellybabes, a soft message with a hard hitting message came to my attention.
It is too good an advertisement not to be shared with my readers who do not wear seat belts and I too reproduce it here.
Most of you may not know that I took a week end trip to Bengaluru and used the opportunity to meet up with two blogger friends.
I had of course met Anu when I had visited Bengaluru in January, but could not meet Ashok as he was away at Chennai at that time. This time around, I met the new look Anu with her hair bobbed and when I saw her walking towards me, for a moment I thought that it was a film star of similar looks. You can see the change from the older photos in my earlier post of 1st February, 2010
This time around Ashok was very much in Bengaluru and I had the pleasure of meeting these two youngsters who do so much to liven up some of our blogs and also write some very interesting posts in their own blogs as well,
Here are two photographs of the two of them way up on the seventh floor coffee shop of a spanking brand new hotel. The photos are not of great clarity as they were taken with my mobile phone. I bet however that my readers get the picture of these two intrepid bloggers.
Having taken snaps of the two of them together, I thought that I should also take individual ones so that at any opportunity, I can use them in my blogs and here they are.
I was zapped. Ashok was everything that I had expected him to be, and came across as a young man with a mature head on his shoulder. If he was intimated by my size and voice, the advocate in him did not let it come through. I am impressed with these two people. They showed me how idealism can be tempered with a dose of modern reality. I wish both of them well as I am sure all of you will too.