The musings of a (not-so) single chick in the city. (Don't think that the term chick is derogoratory. We refer to boys by a number of terms). The travails in the life of an ex-miss-goody-two-shoes, ex-journalist, ex-small time model, ex-television actress, of being female in Chennai/ Pune/Bangalore, of ideas old and ideas new....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Life in Pune

Well, life here is not all that different from life in Chennai in the most basic of senses. The kids here have the same angst, possesive bf/gf issues, transparent bra straps for low cut tops and halters (since - "oh! how can you not wear one?????" Doesnt matter even if you are a size 30 or 32 and it doesnt really matter. Or if you switch to strapless bras - then - "Oh! I hope that is your bra's top line, I mean, you obviously can't be not wearing one," accompanied by a sickly sweet smile), PGs are usually dirty, hardly maintainenced and dilapilated flats/bungalows breathing their last, etc etc
So, all in all, situation for youngsters from outside is pretty much the same as in any cosmopolitan city.

Of course there are differences : While Chennai has a decent immigrant student population, Pune overflows with it. read somewhere that urban Pune population is more than 60% students. Dark, pale and all shades in between, hunky guys and very consciously preening girls strut down streets. This city is what guys/girls from small towns would report to their homies in a gushy tone, 'Dude, so many fucking hot chicks,' or, 'machan....oorellam orae super figurudaa' . You get my point. You can replace this with its hindi or feminine version.

For me, the good difference is that alcohol is cheaper, not that Ive had much time to experiment with it. I guess now that ragging ( what 'they' refer to euphemistically as the informal induction 'process') is finally over, with its attendant assignment writing and hunting for bizzaire accesories and clothes -for the dress code, we will have some time to explore the pubs and clubs in and around Pune.

Went to Papa Johns a coupla days ago. My first time since coming back to India, umm, the cheese really does melt, and in copious amounts. Then we went to a hookah bar. In the spirit of properly trying things, I learnt how to inhale the smoke. There was a nice Paan flavour in one, and the experts in our group also picked an orange mint thingy, which wasnt as good.

Needless to add, the tobacco went straight to my head. Since, Ive had no previous exposure to tobacco, I understand it gets to one quick. Left the place feeling sick and happy. (I've heard thats what tobacco does, but never really understood it.) Now I know better. The happy is the slight intoxication due to the tobacco content in the hookah, and the sick is a kind of vague nausea underneath the happy. I also read somewhere that when an addict goes cold turkey on ciggies, the sick and happy turns to sick and unhappy very quickly. Don't think I'm going to be a big fan of hookahs. The nausea was not a good feeling. Give me alcohol any day!

The language is a problem for those who dont know Marathi, but imagine my plight, not even being able to converse in Hindi! Atleast I can understand the language, thanks to umpteen bollywood movies, and cousins raised in the north. I am trying to learn the hindi script now. Unlike Tamil nadu, road and shop signs do not include the English version. Even buses proudly proclaim their numbers and routes only in Hindi and Marathi. Hence the urgent need to learn Hindi.

More later.

Pondering in Pune

I wrote this a month and a half ago - just getting around to posting it.

We mostly don’t recognise when we have a good thing going. We realise what a good deal we had only in retrospect. But if we had realised that sooner, would we ever have new experiences, and adventures? Where do you draw the line at appreciating what you have and what you need to go in search of?

For example, I recently moved away from my family home to live in a strange new city, Pune, alone. While I was chaffing at the bit to get away, when faced with all the restrictions at my parent’s house, I did know what I would be giving up. Rules, curfews, innumerable calls in case of every ten minutes after the long needle hit the hour, anxiety if daughter is out after the sun goes down that no parent ever manages to completely quell in spite of respectable escorts of both gender accompanying said daughter. It goes on and on. I also knew the perks I’d be giving up. A higher middle class lifestyle, air conditioning in the room, clothes washed by servant or machine, dried, folded and or ironed and left on my beautifully thick mattress, or better, in my closet for me to pull out whenever. Food that easily aces inspection on nutrition, hygiene and taste.

Now, in a strange room, finally with the privacy and freedom that I’m yet to experience, I feel a pang of homesickness. Just for the three plug points for stove, fridge and laptop. Water that does not require waiting for the bucket to fill up, or a pump that needs switching on after trekking in your sleep wear through wet shrubs, weeds , ferns and the muck left behind by last night’s rain and residual croaking frogs that think that a cloudy morning is disguised dusk. (Which you know is a sure sign that snakes are nearby.)

P.S : there are snakes nearby - the girl who has the room next to me got a nasty surprise hissing at her when she entered her room last night and switched on the light.