Pune-Lonavala-Pune!

Hey there,

Finally I am starting the series once again! Same drill, same old me, same old journaling and same old dramaa.

Life feels so khushk, ni-ras, dry & lifeless in Hindi that is. Sometimes kuch baaton ka swaad jo hindi me aata hai, wo kisi aur bhaasha me aa hi nahi sakta. Its gawaarish as per society norms these days, call me old fashioned then, but jo jazbaat hindi me bayaan ho sakte hai, jo ehsaas hindi ke un shabdo me hai, wo kya hai duniya ki kisi bhi doosri bhaasha me? ‘I love you’ kisi ko bhi kaha ja sakta hai, par ‘humko pyaar hogaya hai tumse’, ye toh bas usi ko kaha ja sakta hai jis par sab haar chuka hai dil!

Okay, coming back to lifeless life, its weird. Has it ever happened to you, that you come from a holiday and you feel like ‘Shit! I should have stayed back there for the rest of my life?’ I went to Lonavala, Khandala and Pune early this month and I felt that I have never seen serenity like that before. I know, for people staying in Mumbai and Pune, it must be a weekly or monthly affair for you guys, but I have never been to a place more beautiful than that. It was like heaven, I was not close to clouds but was IN THE CLOUDS, literally! Tiger Point that is.

Our initial plan was to stay at Lonaval for 2 days, but soon after we reached the place, we came to know through the locals that the caves and the temples were closed and because of that we changed our plan and decided to cut down our stay at Lonavala and add a day in Pune. Thankfully we got a great deal at Novotel Pune and our bade hotel me rahenge wala thing got fulfilled because of the deal we got on the stay there.

As far as Lonavala is concerned, we reached there by road from Pune and trust me I haven’t seen better scenic beauty before. The hills, the nature, the hariyaali, the oxygen, the roads and the tunnels were all worth being recorded. I wish I could bring back a piece of it with me but unfortunately all I could bring were some chikkis and a lot of pictures, none of which are doing justice to what my eyes witnessed.

Pune was cool as well. I am a Kolkattan, staying in Hyderabad, so going to Pune was refreshing in the sense that Pune had street shopping for me. 4 years in Hyderabad and apart from Numaaish, I haven’t shopped from the streets of hyderabad, not because I wasn’t inclined to, but because this place doesn’t have good street shopping at all (or maybe I am still not aware where that is done). M G Road of Pune gave me New Market feels of Kolkata and I did not miss on the opportunity to buy some pocket friendly clothes and bags from the place.

Among the other things, these are some useless items I bought!

Most importantly, we brought a beautiful avatar of Ganpati ji with us from Pune, which was the star purchase that we made. I have never been to Mumbai’s Lalbaughcha Raja but that avatar of Ganeshji at a shop just opposite to Dugduseth Ganpati Temple at budhwar peth stole our hearts. I am quite dramatic in that way, I believe in signs and destiny and I firmly believe that what’s meant to be will happen and that happening will find it’s way somehow unexpectedly. It was just before Ganpati festival that we were in Maharashtra and so we thought that we will bring a chotu se ganpati for the festival and like every year, we will do the visarjan of that ganpati on the 9th day of the festival, but as soon as I entered that shop, that particular idol just stole my heart and he became family instantly. It was as if that particular Ganpati ji was waiting there for me and as soon as I saw him, it just clicked. You know how it is, sometimes, somethings and some people just clicks and you know in that very moment that its meant to be, its for life and that its good for you. The feeling was magical and as expected we brought him home for good, to be a part of us and not to do its visarjan or just for the festival. Let me know if you like our new little family member!

I also bought a denim shirt at throwaway price, a knee length nighty and a beautiful handbag cum backpack. For people new to Pune, there is an advice for people taking self drive cars- There is an area called the cantonment area for which there is a toll of Rs 50. On missing to pay this, you get penalised for Rs 250 and there are booths who target the black and yellow self drive cars and stop them because most of the people from outside the place wouldn’t know of it. The catch in this is that you will not see a toll booth unless and until you’re acquainted with the place. Same happened with us and even though we knew about this technicality, we could not find the toll where we could pay for the toll. They say it’s a small gumti, almost unnoticeable for unacquainted guests of Pune, but since we could not see it, we would like to concur. Since we had our Ganpati with us, we escaped the penalty leviers somehow (my husband drove fast and the people calling out for us and wanting us to sideline our car could not get hold of us). So anyone planning to go must take note of this little thing.

Its been 20 days almost since we went to Lonavala, but I am still in hang of the trip. My lungs are still dancing with the kind of oxygen they got there. It was beautiful and if you still haven’t been there, don’t wait, Go!

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