The Climate In My Hometown.

l live in Pune, a city located to the East of Mumbai the more famous city, in the state of Maharashtra, which is located on the Western part of India. It is situated 560 metres (1,837 feet) above median sea level on the Deccan Plateau.

The climate here was balmy enough for the British to locate their largest Command Headquarters of the then British empire here.  It continues to be Free India’s too.

Pune has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh) bordering with tropical wet and dry (Aw) with average temperatures ranging between 20 to 28 °C (68 to 82 °F).

Pune experiences three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter.

Typical summer months are from March to May, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 38 °C (86 to 100 °F). The warmest month in Pune is April; although summer doesn’t end until May, the city often receives heavy thundershowers in May (and humidity remains high). Even during the hottest months, the nights are usually cool due to Pune’s high altitude. The highest temperature ever recorded was 42.3 °C (108.1 °F) on 30 April 1897.

The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from 22 to 28 °C (72 to 82 °F). Most of the 722 mm (28.43 in) of annual rainfall in the city falls between June and September, and July is the wettest month of the year. Hailstorms are also common in this region.

Winter begins in November; November in particular is referred to as the Rosy Cold (literal translation) (Marathi: गुलाबी थंडी). The daytime temperature hovers around 28 °C (82 °F) while night temperature is below 10 °C (50 °F) for most of December and January, often dropping to 5 to 6 °C (41 to 43 °F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was 1.7 °C (35 °F) on 17 January 1935.

I was born in what was then Bombay and  have many relatives and friends there. After marriage too, I was posted there on three separate occasions when living was much easier and less stressful than how it is now.

My late wife was from Hyderabad and we always drove to Hyderabad from Mumbai on holidays and had to pass through Pune and always admired the city and its laid back style besides its climate.  We wanted to retire to Pune as a compromise between Bombay and Hyderabad and that is exactly what we did eventually.

I have now lived in Pune for 25 years and would not like to live anywhere else and the single most important reason for it, is its climate.

This topic was also suggested by me, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin,  Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Courage And Conviction. A Book Review.

I have never reviewed a book in my blog but I suppose that there had to be a first at some point of time and what better book to review than this one.


A friend who is a retired Indian Air Force officer had reviewed this book for his select group of friends in his mailing list and I quote from that review. “……..the enigmatic smile, the charismatic face of VK, got to me again. I threw down xxxxxx and picked up VK. For two days I did not go to work and read the book in two straight sittings, till past midnight. After reading even the Index, till the back cover, I just put the book down. ‘Courage & Conviction’, is echoing in my mind, resonating between my ears. It is an ‘un-put-down-able’ book.”

This friend is a phlegmatic no nonsense kind of a practical businessman who is incapable of hyperbole. Coming from him this was like what is said in Tamil, வசிஷ்டர் வாயாலே ப்ரும்மரிஷி Vashishtar vaayaley Brihmarishi. Transliterated this means that it is like Sage Vashishta calling someone Brihmarishi. The background to that is that it was extremely difficult to get Vashishta to accept someone as Brihmarishi. Many tried but few succeeded. That little diversion is for another blog post in detail!

I was quite impressed by the review and rang up my friend and asked him whether the book will be as appealing to me, a civilian and his unequivocal response was that it would indeed be and he further added that every Indian must read it to understand what goes on behind the scenes in the Indian army.

I promptly bought the book and exactly as with my friend, I could not put the book down till I finished it.

It is an amazing story of a soldier starting from his childhood to becoming the Chief of the Army Staff and the trials and tribulations that he goes through in the process. There is every bit of human emotions that all of us go through playing throughout and added to that the shenanigans of interpersonal problems, bureaucratic apathy and/or skullduggery, politics, corruption etc, makes for a remarkable read.

Since he is much younger than I am, every incident that he writes about happened during my time, every problem India faced was made known to all of us, and the Indian army’s joys and sorrows were shared by all of us.  There are people who feature in the book that I have met and known and some of the things that the General writes about comes as a surprise, albeit pleasant.  I have been to almost all the places that he writes about except the border areas and the front lines.  I have known other services officers who have had similar problems with their families and particularly family accommodation and children’s education.  It was as though the General was articulating what many of my friends could not.

General V K Singh now retired, fought another battle a few months ago and got elected to the Indian parliament. He is currently the Minister of State of External Affairs and Minister of state (independent charge) for the North East Region. When that assignment was announced, I was quite puzzled as were all my friends but after reading the book, everything falls into place and the logic of that combination is impeccable.

The least I can do for such a book is to recommend it as being very readable. Kunal Verma’s presence is very palpable and the General readily acknowledges this.  I hope that all my Indian readers and those non Indians interested in reading about a soldiers’ soldier will read this book. I have no hesitation giving it a [rating=6] rating.