Sunday, December 31, 2006

MARATHI MAVERICK

During every visit that I make, Pune increasingly gives to me the impression of being emblematic of modern India in general; a giant, enthusiastic and aspiring elephant, sprouting wings and trying to launch himself from the ground into space at warp speed. The air is thick as ever with every kind of gaseous combination- a chemist's dream. The two wheelers which comprise the city's soul keep on vying for the road's attention, while spiritedly making attempts to sometimes compete with each other in a grudgingly friendly manner. The rise of multiplexes, giant megamarts, and coporate buildings is increasingly astonishing, as is the sight of the utter contrast they have with the roads that they straddle; the one commodity (and commodity it is) that refuses to actually expand and grow. I have to admit that the contradictions raise more questions than impress. How will the city house such a bourgeoning empire of people, corporate monuments, and purchasing power-induced urban expansion without simultaneously also having space to expand the basic infrastructure such as roads, water supply, and electric lines that support these symbols of the city's 'growth'? Does it really make sense to build a spiffy
multiplex and shopping mall, and have the road in front of it in perpetual tatters so that people need an hour to neotiate the potholes and other similar species on the road simply to get to it? Potholes, people, and two wheelers in Pune; some combination of these surely must have broken some records.
Otherwise, the people are chirpy as ever, engaging in arguments on the road with alacrity, the endearing Puneite road quality of saying much and doing little continually getting rehuvenated. The food that the city offers remains variegated and sumptuous.
And, as Hirak
testified
earlier, nothing still beats the utter joy of negotiating the traffic on a two wheeler, horn blaring, friend sitting behind arguing and joking loudly, your own head turned by roughly ninety degrees, in the fond hope that you will somehow receive the divyadrushti (miraculous vision) of understanding everything that the traffic says to you during that small, enjoyable sojourn.
More later! Happy New year!

5 Comments:

Blogger Chetan said...

How I miss Pune and yearn to drive my bike while cutting in front of those driving their Hondas and Toyotas!

One thing that I missed though is the title for the post. Is there any specific reason why you named the post as Marathi Maverick? It was lost on me given the context of the post. Or was it refering to Pune city as the Marathi Maverick?

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

havent been to the lovely tulsibaug as yet?! :P

4:38 PM  
Blogger Kapilmuni said...

Public goods X Private goods conumdrum rears its ugly head again?

And Re your title - is Pune a 'Marathi' city anymore?

9:02 PM  
Blogger Kapilmuni said...

BTW, the entry you desired is posted - here as well as on bloop.

Given the recent disaster on bloop, I think parallel posting is prudent.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

Yes, Pune was being called the Marathi Maverick. No longer really is Marathi, but at least originally was.

7:12 AM  

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