Just when Going… going… gone…was out of sight, it is time to go again… This time it is Munich. Standing still in constant movement is a ‘character building’ exercise. Well, that seems to be my favourite phrase in the whole humdrum of things. Everything is character building these days. Especially in Pune.
While still in Pune for a few days, I’m tempted to talk about how I’ve grown attached to this place where I’ve spent last few months. There is this amazing area that has sprung up pushing aside a village, especially for IT nomads who think belonging to any city is no big deal as long as there is work and they pay you enough for it.
This area is strangely called Pimple Saudagar. A friend of mine fondly and in villainous way calls it Middle Class, but who exactly is not Middle Class in India unless you pretend to be otherwise at socialite parties…
Any way, I would go a step ahead and call this area Working Class, after all, all these youngsters, educated in different parts of India, are practically shipped here to toil and figure out some recreational activities. Mind you, all these concerts, plays, marathons, exhibitions, workshops and whatever else happens in Pune doesn’t fit the time frame of most of them.
If they’re single, their primary activity after work is walking around parking lots, talking on phone with their families and girlfriends, buying Maggie and Read to Eats in bulk, and be seen around small time eateries with their I-cards around their necks. They are off to their homes on weekends or end up playing cricket in groups…
And if they’re married, most of them are working couples and the only recreational activity that the area offers is house-hunting and decorating after you’ve bought a home on weekends. The locals (read baais and baniyas) tell me ‘medam yeh to kheda hai, yahan pe do saal pehle kuch nahi thaa‘, I take it as, this was all farmer’s land and there was nothing here before two years.
People much much older than me call me ‘didi‘ here so I’ve a choice to feel older or feel like Lata Mangeshkar.
Then who smartly called this area Pimple Saudagar? But as it is already known by this oddity of a name, the area opens up to you after you are done expressing the shock at the name. I’ve not happened to interact with it earlier as much as I have in past few days. And I feel like anyone who is living here at the moment is witnessing how villages in India are getting converted into half hazard urban areas.
Apparently all it takes is a few apartments, a few pizza and burger joints, a few restaurants, a few grocery shops, more shopping centers, malls, a multiplex and that’s it! Did I mention they don’t make roads or provide regular electricity in the area though.
If you are a student, a tourist, a mere visitor, you may never venture in this part of Pune. But if work brings you to Pune, you might end up in Pimple Saudagar. Do bring a face wash.