Chaitanya and Vaishali are good friends of mine. I have known them for quite some time now and have always called them by their full names.
Both had come to visit us for Diwali and while chatting about various things, Chaitanya’s nickname came up as being Chaai. Chaai in India is of course the well brewed favourite beverage Tea. I was quite amused and we cracked a few jokes about the nickname before they took their leave. I bid them farewell but this time addressed the former as Chai much to his and his wife’s amusement.
It was after they had left that it occurred to me that Vaishali too could get a similar nickname – Vaai. That sounds like Wai which is actually a historically important temple town about 120 Kms from Pune.
I can’t wait for them to return to Pune from their Diwali vacation to throw this one at them to see their reaction.
My friends Ramesh, Amar and I very capably escorted by our chauffeur Arun went to Sangameshwar and Alandi this morning and this is a post on that.
This is the junction of three rivers which is called the Sangam and is considered to be very holy. You can see a cremation ground on the bank where believers still cremate and immrese the ashes in the confluence of the three rivers.
Chatrapathi Sambhaji Maharaj built a temple around a Swaymbu Lingam on the request of a Sadhu who had cured him of an incurable disease at this location. You can see the entrance to the temple below.
Ramesh and Amar went inside the temple for darshan while I waited and watched the rivers flow! It was all new for Amar but Ramesh and I had gone there primarily for an absolutely out of the world experience of a mid morning snack of Kanda bhajji and chai.
Yes, that is a fly that you see on the rim. Part of the scene here!
After that very satisfying mid morning repast we moved on to Alandi. Ramesh and Amar went inside the temple here too while I waited outside as I did not fancy getting crushed in the crowds waiting in a serpentine queue. After that bit of formality was done with, we moved on to the next point of interest another out of the world experience of Maharashtrian rural cuisine served by a team of enthusiastic waitresses who kept replenishing our plates with refills, and particularly generous with jalebis for dessert!
A real Pet (pronounced pate meaning stomach) Pilgrimage.
We were back in Pune in time for a well earned siesta.