Tag Archives: Pune

Pune to Dapoli on a hot April weekend

She was just a week old in our family and we both – the missus and I – were dying to get to know her better. Yes, the car. Besides, we – the Assamese people – get overtly joyous around mid April, even  though we are not in Assam; thanks to the Bohag Bihu aka Rongali Bihu (rongali = joyous). We can’t help it, it’s in our blood. Incidentally, my birthday is around the same time as well. Until two years ago, it was a great occasion to tank up and be hung over the entire day. But the time has changed, and so have the priorities (from parties to diapers). So a weekend trip some place this time was what the missus opined. Cool.

Now, April is not particularly a great month to enjoy in Maharashtra. Unless you really enjoy sizzling at 40+ degree C. But hey, the resorts have ACs – pointed out the missus, while looking up Dapoli in TripAdvisor. Though I had presented some more elaborate plans, of  going to Alibaug, crossing over to Gateway of India, roaming around in Colaba, she refuted all by reminding me of our 1.5 year old daughter, Hiya, who will accompany us. Fair enough.

On Friday morning, I called up the second resort that came up in TripAdvisor search. It had a suite available that fulfilled all our requirements – AC, balcony, couch, TV, clean bathrooms, and food – at a relatively cheaper rate. Additionally, it even had a mini refrigerator and a little pantry area. Booked.

On Saturday morning, I quickly glanced at the route in Google map, made some notes in my mind, and we started pretty much in time. I opted for the Tamhini ghat route as I knew the route all the way till Mangao ST bus stand. (*ST= State Transport)

The route:

Chandni Chowk -> Paud -> Tamhini Ghat -> MIDC Road -> Mangaon ST bus stand (Mumbai – Goa road) -> Tol Phata -> Dapoli

Total distance was about 220 KMs that we covered in 5 hours (of which, we took 1 hour  just to cover 20 KMs in Pune until we reached Chandni Chowk.)

The road was mostly good, with a little rough patches here and there. But we really didn’t feel any bump. If you haven’t been on that route before, FYI – it’s quite a scenic route with good roads (as of April 11, 2016). The catch is to know when to take a left turn onto the MIDC Road. Till then, it is a pretty straight forward route. After the MIDC road, take left and go all the way to Mangao ST Stand on Mumbai-Goa highway. Take the highway for another couple of kilometers until you get Tol Phata (Not TOLL phata, there’s no toll booth. Instead you’ll see some “7-seater” autos) on your right. From there, I used GPS, but you’ll get signs after every kilometer.

The ride:

How can I miss that! It was a pleasant, smooth, planted drive throughout.

IMG_20160410_164910

My ride: Standing tall, with Konkani red soil all over her.

I exposed the car for the first time to all sorts of conditions – city, village, good roads, bad roads, highway, hilly road, narrow road, beach sand, everything! And to my delight, she was more than happy to take that all. She was only about 250 KMs old when we started, but she behaved like an old friend throughout that 500 KMs that we traveled in that trip. It was like an instant bond; and a man spent some really enjoyable hours with his machine.

 

Apparently, the missus enjoyed it pretty much, too. “Wow! I like the rear seat.” was her first (and only) feedback.

 The resort:

Well well well… it was a good place to say the least. Better than expected, in fact. When we reached there, we were not sure whether to stay for one night or two nights; but after doing a quick survey of the room, I affirmed that we’ll extend our stay to two nights.

To my delight, the room/suite had two ACs, and a comfortable sofa cum bed (that acts as a recliner too) in the seating area that was directly under an AC. So my plans for day 2 (Sunday) was made – I’ll fill the refrigerator with beer cans and drink all that the entire day seating on the recliner under the AC, munching on Surmai fry. Life was good again.

The resort is clean and the people are good. However, room service takes hours. And, well, avoid bread toasts. We hadn’t eaten a more burnt toast before. If you are not very picky, this is not a bad place. The Konkan region is not known for great hospitality anyway. This place served us some rather tasty Surmai fry, chicken curry, neer dosa, rice etc. The food was a little costly though.

All that is OK, but how is Dapoli?

Yeah, I am coming to that. If you are going there just to get out of home, drive

Beach

Sunset at Karde beach.

and chill out, like we did, it is a good place. That is true for most of Konkani places I believe. Our resort was right at the middle of the small Dapoli town, behind ST bus stand. The beach was around 14 KMs from there. The road to the beach was initially not bad, but after a while it gets really narrow. Like, really really narrow. And buses run on that road. Good luck if you are driving and you get a bus in one of those narrow turns. And apart from the beach, we did not see anything interesting in Dapoli. There are some water sports facility available in the beach. We did not spot any eatery around. There was another beach nearby, but we decided to give it a miss.

 

The (Karde) beach is good to catch some breeze. Personally, I won’t swim there, thanks to the sands. The beach was pretty empty, and was like that of Diveagar. Hiya was enthralled to experience the sea for the first time.

Tip: If you are a pothead unlike me, it’ll be heavenly at the beach to say adios to such a hot day while looking at the sunset and feeling the breeze.

 

 

 

 

Maharashtra government plans restrictions on horn, attracts sharp criticism.

Pune, Satire News, September 28, 2015: The Maharashtra government yesterday revealed the possibilities of measuring the amount of sound that a car’s horn makes and to put a limit on it. After banning the writing of the iconic phrase “Horn OK Please” behind the trucks in Maharashtra last May, the state government seems to be in a serious mission to HORNbanminimize sound pollution in its cities.

While attending a press conference here in Pune, a state transport official said that the government is mulling over the possibility of measuring the amount of sound that a vehicle’s horn makes each day. If this exceeds the maximum permissible amount of sound, a fine will be imposed on the driver of the vehicle. Refusing to comment about how they are planning to implement this rule, the official said, “This is still an idea. We are researching on the various aspects of it, and as soon as we arrive at a conclusion, you shall come to know.”

This proposition has, however, attracted sharp criticism from the opposition and a section of the citizens. The leader of opposition, Raul Gandi said that it is yet another example of how the ruling party is exploiting the farmers. “This is a government of cars. We need a government of bullocks, of plows, of farms, of water, of RTI, of woman empowerment. We do not need this government of suits and boots.” Mr. Gandi added.

While attending a rally in protest of politicization of FTII, the political leader Yoga Yadav said that it is a sheer violation of personal liberty. “The government is again stepping on our toes. Meat ban, Horn OK Please ban, and now horn ban? This ban culture should not be encouraged at any cost. I am flabbergasted at this atrocious behavior of the government. It must be condemned in the strongest way possible.”

The All Arobindo Party chief Mr. Arobindo Paltuwal took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction over this issue – “Please let us honk; we are honking well. BTW, #KKPK is fun!” he tweeted.

We spoke to citizens from many areas of the city to know their reaction. While the senior citizens welcomed this move as a radical solution to the raising problem of noise pollution and impatient drivers, the younger generation is visibility upset with the news. “Why do you think I installed this 10 sound horn in my Activa? What the F***, bro!?” A youth yelled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a satirical post, and of course, a work of fiction. You are not that dumb, are you?

FM channel plays for 15 minutes without a break, takes the city by storm

Pune: On its inaugural day today, a Pune based FM radio channel, Radio Revolution, took the city by storm when it played back to back songs for 15 minutes. While the employees of the city’s IT companies, who travel each day by their office cabs, welcomed the move by the channel and vowed to provide all the support it needs, Pune owners of the radio stations (POTRS) threatened to take action against the channel for violating Radio Neutrality.

When we asked Mahesh Garg, an employee of one of City’s renowned IT company, he said, “As usual, I took the office cab today and stuffed my earphones to avoid the irritating radio. At first, I thought people were happy because it’s a Friday, but soon I realized the sensation- the FM channel is not playing any advert for 15 minutes! Can you believe it?! Whole 15 minutes! And the RJs didn’t speak an English-accented Marathi; they in fact spoke in the same language, instead of using 3 languages in one sentence. It is phenomenal. We all are planning to listen to Radio Revolution for the whole day to show our support. We’ll also take the complaint back, which we had submitted to the HR department to remove FM receivers from office cabs.”

Similar euphoria was seen among the cab drivers too. “They (the employees) shout at us to turn off the radio. Today they told us to even make it louder. I’m going to install two more woofers,” said Gangaram Dhotre, popularly known as Dada.

Among all the hysteria about Radio Revolution, Mr. Bhagwan Jain, president of POTRS told us that the association is going to submit a memorandum to the central I&B minister. “This is a violation of Radio Neutrality. They must broadcast at least 30 ads in 15 minutes, and speak 3 languages- Marathi, Hindi, and English- all in the same sentence. They must keep these standards. If they continue this practice, we’ll start a massive protest against this channel. We’ve already started an online petition in change.org to ban this channel. Once we have enough signatures, we’ll submit the same to the central minister of I&B. This is no joke. Nobody can just come and steal our business.”

Radio Revolution has not yet provided any official statement. Going by their punchline- entertainment unlimited- this whole issue is sure to provide some good entertainment in the coming days.

Life in a metro

Since the past year and a half (yes, since I got married), my otherwise worthless/mundane/lazy life has suddenly turned into a very “worthy”/exciting/active one. After going through a sea of changes and adjustments, here I am, still confused like Shahrukh Khan – have I made it large? Seriously, since then I have been assuming a lot of roles in my day to day life in this metro. From career counselor to driver, from trainer to ‘dish washer’ (occasional), from motivational speaker to cook (occasional) and so forth. Not to mention being the host to the hundreds of house parties. (The wife is a dear! ) And yes- I have been giving a lot of advice too, on any matter under the sun/moon/cloud. These are conscious  ones, not the ones given in inebriation. Out of all, I think, I can really consider being a motivational speaker as an alternate career choice, just in case if I kill someone on the road someday and end up unemployed. Though I had struck off “Kill someone” from my to do list towards the end of my graduation (precisely after I cleared the Microprocessor exam), people still keep trying my patience a lot! Now I just smile at them and move on with my life. Just not to offend those people, you know. Besides, people are very sensitive these days, and they can be offended by a lot of things. For example, the other day I updated on Facebook that I find it ridiculous to declare it a dry day on the occasion of Ekadashi. (By the way, though I cannot read the Hanuman Chalisa and a word of Sanskrit, I am a Hindu too. Don’t vandalize my house, please.) I was thinking logically, for all the citizens of a “democratic” and “secular” nation, where caste or religion based discrimination is a crime. Well, ideally. But I forgot that we are Indians. We are a bunch of hypocrites. We LOL at logic. Following the tradition, two of my friends instantly warned me- that it has been a “culture” in Pune and I should learn to respect the culture of the state where I am living. Though I still could not fathom when did I not respect or made fun of their culture in that Facebook post, I instantly blocked them from my Facebook timeline. Sorry, I cannot handle that much of intelligence with the tiniest of the brains that I posses (if I possess anything called a “brain” at all). And I am not saying this for the fear of my life, but I really like this place (Pune). I have even bought a house here! Besides, after this 2-months-and-still-counting days of continuous rain and the condition of roads after that, I am feeling more at home. Just because of the potholes, you know. Literally there is no concrete road available any more, at many stretches of most of the roads. I have not been to the  western Pune for quite some time, but the eastern Pune (Hadapsar etc.) has become a huge paddy field with buildings and shit load of traffic. No roads, just mud and water. I am repenting that I bought a hatchback; a tractor would have been more appropriate!

OK, where was I? Yes- the things that I have been doing in my personal life since a year and half- as I said, it’s been quite an active life. Very busy. Now I wake up at 7, which seemed next to impossible to me. Then I drive 50-70 KMs daily in this crazy traffic, attend office without a leave even when I am sick and I can hear every inch of my body crying for some rest and a break. Ah! Many things. However, I still could not learn one thing- to give a sh!t to what others think of me. That’s one lesson I never intend to learn.

More about Pune in this site :

A note to the motorists of Pune

(This is originally a Facebook note that I had written 4 months ago. )

My dear motorists of Pune:

While riding this 6 KMs from office to home today, I felt an urge to remind you some driving tips, in case if you have forgotten those. Here you go:

  1. The red light in a signal means you are supposed to stop there.
  2. Honking does not turn that red light into green. I’ll move ONLY when it turns green.
  3. The “One way” sign on the side of the road means only one directional traffic is allowed on that road.
  4. I understand that it’s your right to drive on the road, so is mine!
  5. If you want to enjoy that fight, get OFF the road and stop. Not in the middle of the freaking road!
  6. While crossing a signal, I do NOT expect you to enter to the road, which clearly reads “No Entry.” So don’t give me that stare.

Related read: You know you are in Pune when…

Agony of errors!

I think I didn’t even have a mobile phone at that time when Idea used to show this nice ad. The girl leaves in a bus, the guy is asking her number, she does the “Dumb Charades”,  and the guy keeps on writing different combination of digits on his jeans to make out her number. The jingle was also kinda attractive. I do not remember what was the USP of that ad though, but I do remember that jingle and that scene. Very vaguely. Yes, even Idea ads were good once upon a time!

So when I landed in Pune for the first time, I asked my friend what mobile connection should I take. He said “Idea”! Nothing else. “It’s a bit  expensive compared to other service providers in terms of value added services, but it is THE best network!”, he added. So I had few choices. By then I had seen how pathetic the Airtel network in Pune was is! (I was a fan of Airtel, until I came to Pune. I still use Airtel when I go home. None can be compared to Airtel in Assam.) So I walked up to a retailer and purchased a prepaid SIM. All he took was a photocopy of my driving license and I got a pre-activated SIM card! I was impressed!

Since then, for the past a-little-more-than-three years now, I have been using that very number. I was too reluctant to change it. And my usage history was also not very much in favor of a Postpaid scheme. So I decided to stay with the Prepaid one. Anyways, that’s a different matter altogether. So a couple of days before, after the number portability thing happened, I was one day looking at a postpaid plan rolled out by Idea recently. I liked the plan. And that triggered the bug inside me. I knew, I won’t stop till I migrate to that plan! So I called up the Idea guys and dropped at one of the “My Iddea” outlet. But then again, I am an “outsider”! After going two or three days to the outlet, I finally submitted  at least 10 documents and got the SIM, which in turn got activated without any hassle.

Little I knew that trouble was laughing at me!

After a couple of days, my outgoing got barred for negative verification of my address. And what can be a better day for this to happen then my birthday! So I took another appointment for a re-verification. I gave a time between 10 AM -12 PM. But the verification guy did not turn up till 4. So, apparently my whole day was wasted. I could not even go to the office. Then, totally pissed, I went to the Idea office and registered a complaint. The executive helped me by calling a verification deppt person and sent a personal request to solve my issue. The verification executive came at 7 PM! But OK, better late than never! Awesome was the feeling!

However, the more amusing thing was that I still did not get the outgoing even after 21 hours of my verification. I was getting restless and totally mad! So I called up the verification executive and asked what was the matter. The problem was, despite of me signing in the sheet and answering a lotta questions of him, my verification was still negative BECAUSE the person filling up my details on the “system” did a typo. Instead of “Flat No. 43”, he wrote “Flat No. 4”. Time to facepalm!

I was so furious, I didn’t know when I went out of office until the speedometer kissed 75. I went straight to the outlet and showed my annoyance. Reluctantly, the boy edited my details (he was pissed for being pushed to do some clicks of the mouse!) and put a “3” to make the “Flat No. 43”! I rode back to office, still furious at the carelessness of the employee who had entered the details, the address verification deptt. that has no sense of time and the whole shallow system of work being done at Idea. Also, I wonder why they don’t shut their call centers down! It’s of no good anyway! Maybe because of social responsibility. The employment thing! WHAT AN IDEA SIRJEE!

You know you are in Pune when…

  1. You are awakened by brutal rape of your ears from peppy bollywoody songs remixed with Marathi beat playing in insanely loud volume in gigantic speakers across the road in any random day to celebrate some jayanti.
  2. The main road is blocked by a procession of the enthusiasts of some group dancing like maniacs on any random day.
  3. (You find that) Any day can be a dry day.
  4. People leave all the driving sense back home before leaving.
  5. It rains continuously for a week without a single minute break (and roads clog, obviously!).
  6. You meet the most rude shopkeeper.
  7. Whole city takes an after-lunch nap.
  8. You cannot find a single shop opened till 11 am (well, almost).
  9. The whole city comes to a stop at 11 pm.
  10. “Vada pau” becomes your staple food (if you already got tired of Maggi).
  11. That bottle costs more than that in any place in India.
  12. You find a layer of dust on you after a bike ride in the city.
  13. You see road construction going on around the year (they build, they break, and then rebuild).
  14. The conductor of the bus tells you to get down if you ask for change.
  15. In summer, every Thursday means day-long power cut (no rain = no water = no electricity).

Related post: A note to the motorists of Pune.