Dhi Only One is still alive.
Back from a trip to Pune.
Day 1: Started for Pune at night 8 from Bangalore. Second class travel in train after a very long time. And it was good fun indeed!! Now, Vivek and I had tickets for different compartments.
So we started scouring the reservation lists in both the compartments, to try to get some good company during the journey. From the two lists (one of S4 and one of S2) we decided to go to S2.
Tip: Names of travellers on a reservation chart do not convey anything. Not even remotely.
With that tip, further description is not necessary.
Then there was the tomato soup, loved it and it burnt our tongues (Love life and it does the same to you).
After dinner, the next day was spent conversing with this guy who had a lot of knowledge on almost anything Indian. (Including the VAT, the geographical resources of different areas etc.). I realised that by reading the Economist or NGM doesn’t really guarantee you relevant knowledge!
His view on McDonald’s and KFC was amusing and noteworthy.
Anyway, the train halted at Pune at about 4:00 in the evening.
After standing at the reservation counter for over an hour (to cancel a ticket), we finally arrived at our place of stay – The Ritz.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we stayed at The Ritz hotel (of The Ritz hotel fame).
Dinner was a full-fledged Gujrathi Thali. Oh so awesome! I loved it. Unlimited fulka, bajra roti, 3 types of sabzis, dhokla, aam ras (mango juice) and buttermilk. Not to mention the side dishes, around 10-20 of them.
We guys couldn’t do justice to it, since we weren’t all that hungry. Still, we managed to stuff ourselves as much as possible. This was lovely food; unlike the falsely proclaimed Gujrathi thali that you get in Bangalore, which is no where near to Gujrathi food.
Early morning breakfast and coffee, again at the Ritz
Working and reworking on the presentations. Deciding what to say and what not to say.
Then the all important meeting! Good fun, great energy and a lot conveyed.
Lot of interest shown! 2 hours of meeting and presentation. Followed by nimbu paani.
Pune is very similar to Mumbai, and probably thats why I liked it so much.
After that I was off to a family friends’ place. Their home was located in a very posh area of Pune.
Aunt had prepared an amazing finger-lickin’ good dinner with similarly attributed chicken.
Then we and this friend of mine got out on his bullet at around 11:30 in the night. 350 cc of sheer power. I drove it around at full throttle, zipped past Pune’s wide roads and little flyovers.
Went to a health centric dessert joint, then we went past Osho’s ashram (it was a bit too late for us to enter) and the ashram was guarded by a very pretty looking foreigner in a red robe. Looked quite out of a Victorian royal relaxation room.
Drove around till about 1:00 am.
Got to Pune station, caught my train at 2:45 am (it was 15 mins late), bid a goodbye to my friend and his brother.
Then there was this huge gang of people from a software company travelling along with me. Bunch of very enthusiastic people. Lot of pretty girls in their company I must say.
Anyway, so they start playing DC and I get involved in it when I guess Shawshank Redemption.
It was too tempting for me to blurt out the answer and no one was getting it.
After that, I too got into the game and we had a lot of fun.
One of them got into a conversation with me, and she turned out to be a kathak dancer as well. This entire bunch of people was quite talented as well. One guy played the guitar very well, and one of the girls sang very well. It was good fun.
Then they all got off at some obscure station and I was all alone!
No point writing anything after that since it is of no interest to anyone
I actually loved being alone, sitting there and looking out of the window. 5 cups of tea within a span of 1 hour made the tea vendor’s day.
I dozed off and one of the cleaners woke me up when Bangalore station arrived.
In a dazed state I managed to carry my bag, get out of the railway station, catch an auto and reach home.
Train journeys can be good fun. Train journeys can be boring. Train journeys can teach a lot.
Back in Bangalore, Dhi only one wishes to find his track.
Indian Railways is simply an amazing organisation.