Everyone seemed to take time off for a holiday. Ishita and Neha happened to be off to hills to get off from simmering heat.I think they went for the same hill station. I headed to Pune to catch up with friends, who did everything possible (Saam Daam dand bhed) to call me over so that we can unwind like we did in the times not so long ago. It used to be fun. 13-15 guys singing, joking, laughing enjoying life as it should be done. Tears and roars of laughter all rolled into one.
After missing out a bus (got late) and shelling out extra Rs 100 (only) for a sleeper I started my journey. The upper berth in those sleeper bus reminds me of upper birth in trains. I have an eerie feeling for those. As I headed into my journey I realised my cell-phone had no balance and the battery was in its last strand. I prayed; by God’s grace I messaged a friend who replied back questioning me whether I have really hit the road of not. I realised I have hit the road as soon as the bus hit the pothole on the road. It rained all the way to Pune. I managed to get before dawn and was miffed to say the least when I read a sign post claiming “Dombilivi, MIDC Phase-1 ”. A was struck in a traffic jam and I thought it would take some hours before wheels would roll again. I went to sleep. I got up when the bus shrieked to a stop before the start of the famous “Mumbai-Pune” express highway.
The scenery and the delight.
It was raining continuously. Then the climb of ghats Lonavala-Khandala. It is really very scenic. I managed to take a few snaps but could not get a proper “shot” at the scenery. As the bus ascended on the Ghats a biting cold hit me and knocked me out of wits. I managed to find some solace by closing the windows and enjoying the shear delight of clouds beneath and the roads ahead.
The bus kept ,moving ahead as I keenly looked on each passing milestone claiming that the destination was getting nearer by each passing second. I was now nearly 12 hours in the bus. I think I did a smart move by opting for a sleeper. The bus meanwhile entered the city of Pune. The potholes seemed to be disguised by pools of water due to incessant rains that splashed over the city.
Confusion and PCO calls.
I got down somewhere (don’t know where I did) and called up my friend who asked me to reach FC road. I managed to be there in 20 minutes time. I called him up again but the rained had picked up a gear. He after couple of calls asked me to reach another place which was close to his place. I reached there, then I called my friend again. He then came to pick me up and I went to his house and rested and freshen up for day of long catching up with old pals.
Superman, the movie.
I managed to go to “City Pride”. The movie “Superman” was the obvious choice. The tickets were taken and two friends more joined in. In the mean time I found a net connection. I checked my mails and scrapped as many friends as I could announcing my arrivial in their city. I also scrapped Sudeep, who gladly called me up and we decided to meet at some place after I was done with the movie. Before the movie started as usual some snaps were taken, one of them was the following one.
The movie was ok, I mean good for one time sake.
Then me moved to JM road where couple of friends joined in and meeting point with Sudeep was settled at the nearest McDonald’s (MacD’s for us). After a few missed calls SMS’s and calling I managed to meet Sudeep at MacD’s.
It was a happy feeling to the whole point of meeting someone whom u now but have never met. The Mac D was choco block full. We had a cold drink and talked for around half and hour. Sudeep had to watch the football match and I was looking for to meeting some more friends.
Then there was again a series of SMS’s missed calls, calls and then I managed to recognize a childhood friend of mine who had grown a touch stout. I was so glad to meet him after almost 5 years. We played when we were toddlers. He still remains a good friend. He insisted that I come with him, as much as I wanted to and I could not coz I had fixed up plans with batch-mates of mine. It was around 9:30 in the night when someone suggest a place where we could sit and talk about the year that went by over a round of beer. We chatted about almost everything. There were jokes and arguments over the “usual” topics of “if’s” and “not’s” something made me happy that I am not into I.T. I am afraid of sitting in one place. These discussions often throw up a few moments somber moments which bring everything in place. I seem to enjoy these moments always.
There was some confusion over the bill which was quickly settled. Then the friends parted and I along with two others went “tripling” to my friends. The downpour which followed us all the way reminded me of a similar night almost two years ago.
Flashback: Two years ago.
It was a monsoon Saturday night and “we” were having a “Buckar Session” which ended around quarter to midnight where I miffed if we could go to “Aamri-faatah” a.k.a “Aamri ” of simply “Fatah”. “Fatah” was the place where we used to regularly go to have food. I was dismissed. Then a another friend came in after the session was over wanting to have Parathas. I asked my friend again. The money was an issue. After dusting a few clothes we managed enough money so that we could go comeback and have the Parthas we wanted to have. Armed with cash and wind-chittters we set out to “Fatah” as soon as we came on main road, I realized all heavy vehicles were going on strike at the stroke of midnight. We waited for next one and half hours and walked couple of kilometres before a brick carrying tempo halted and we hitch hiked for Rs 5 per head.
We got down at the first dhaba which was visited when we wanted to have “Aaloo Paratha”. The rain dampened our spirits but the the aroma of friend papad, a lip smacking chutney, masoor dal, parathas and butter changed the somber mood as I watched the clock on one of the walls which told me it was 2:15 in the night before me could break the first morsel. I think it was one of the most “delicious” meal I have ever headed. We walked couple of kilometre again and waited patiently before a milk van offered us to leave us the desired destination.
The rain started as soon as we started to take the approach road back to college. The rain was slow and easy and fell down in a spray. I wished I had a camera then. I still remember the yellow light of the street light and mist which formed the halo of the bulb. Amazing sight. We managed to slip into the campus without much fuss.
We were welcome by a cheer by our friends who were still awake at 4 in the morning. I slept dreaming of parathas. I got up on a Sunday when mess offered aaloo “flavoured” parathas for breakfast.
Back to the present.
I wanted to have a meetha paan so we found one and three of us had a meetha paan and one paan was packed for the friend waiting at home. The towel was the first thing I caught hold off. I drend and chaged to have a few round of snaps and X-Men 3 was showing now. I was tired and slept soon.
I got up early and switched on the computer monitor cum TV set and saw India had taked a lead of 97 runs. Sreesanth rocked Gayle and Lara. Harbhajan then steam rolled West Indies all out claiming 5 for 13. I said wow, match is on. Then following the Sunday morning news I also came to know that Brazil was knocked out along with England. I never though England would make it. I felt good about Portugal though. Zizou and Henry managed to knock out Brazil.
The second day started lazily with people calling in and then near noon, Me and my friend caught up with another group of friends. Me had a delightful lunch there. It was around 4 when there was another round of SMS, missed calls and calls. Then I came back home where I caught up with two more friends. We chatted for a couple of hours and packed soon as it was time to leave. My friend dropped me at the point at which the bus was supposed to leave. He had a filter coffee me had a cold drink. The bus took around 90 minutes to get out of city and halt at highway where it halted for dinner. I opted for a Pav-Bhaji. It was followed by Diary Milk bar as I sooned passed out waking up occassionly as the potholes hit the bus and I tossed up only to gain control of myself. The bus reached surat at dawn and I have been relaxing ever since. I think the trip was worthile. I think I will go there again.
There was some problems while uploading snaps from Pune.If you wish to do so you are invited to see My Flickr Album