The weekend, after a particularly futile long week. Struggling over things which were of no use. Exasperations and tribulations. A late night to wind up ridiculous work. And an early morning journey to Poona. Took forever to get there. That it takes just 3 hours is such a myth. No, wait. It’s a blatant lie. Anyways. The journey was largely spent in sleeping, except for a halt at the food court on the express way for a nice maharashtrian breakfast of missal paav. Divine.So I reach the little town of Poona (no it is not a city… you see, I have a theory, it goes ‘there is Bombay and there is India. The only ‘city’ city, if you know what I mean. Delhi? It’s a very big ‘small town’. Yes, I know people hate me for this theory, but, do I look like I care? *wicked grin*). So where was i? ah, Poona.
Met G mid way in the town and headed off for some work that needed to be taken care of (it was work come pleasure trip na). got done only mid-afternoon. A simple lunch at her place and we were ready to head out again. She had a class to teach and me had time to kill. So while she went off to alliance francaise de Poona, I gladly went to Manney’s. this quaint old bookstore on MG road. Awesome collection of books. Not very different from Higgin Botham (the Chennai bookstore I talked of in the last post?). so I spent some distracted time here (a mean client kept sending messages all this while, and infuriating ones at that… my mistake was that I kept replying *rolls eyes*) and then I couldn’t just think of books, so I walked out. Keeping me company was the new Kundera I picked up the previous day at the Bombay Crossword. ‘Laughable Loves’ a collection of his short stories. The title somehow seemed apt *chuckles*. Already done with 3 of the stories, but I think he is much better with his novels. Just finished ‘Identity’ and loved it to bits. Takes you to a different level all together. And only Kundera can do that to you in so simple a way.
So I head off to Marzorin with my Kundera. Marzorin is this beautiful irani sweet-meat / coffee shop on MG road. For the uninitiated, it is bang opposite the Bombay Stores. Spent a good 2 hours there. Reading, sipping guava juice (my favorite place for guava juice, Samovar only comes second) and munching on chutney sandwiches. The tables on the upper floor are all by the windows of the long balcony and one can look down at the passers by on MG. some nice hot coffee to go with the cloudy evening sky.
Meet G at the class and headed to the Max Mueller Bhavan on the beautiful Boat Club Road (this plush tree lines precinct of Poona with low rise buildings and old bungalows). The German institute was a huge old bungalow with an even more beautiful lawn at the back. We had come here for a concert for ‘fete de la musique’ (for my nice ‘non-foreign- language-speaking’ readers, the international music day is celebrated all over Europe on the 21st of june every year).
The program consisted of German, French, Marathi and Hindi songs. Some of the songs were fun. The lyrics ofcourse went all above my head, hehe, but nevertheless, it was fun. The few English songs they sang were really good. This nice song from the musical ‘Oliver’ was rocking. The Pocket Choir (pocket sized as the singers were as young as 8 ) was charming and the renditions of Beethoven and Mozzart (combined celebrations of the genius’ birthday) were much appreciated and reminded me of my brief encounter with Western Classical Music *devilish grin*. P sang two songs in French and was duly recorded on the video cam. We skipped the hindi and marathi numbers ( I was the only one who wanted to stay back for them….) and headed out to dinner. After numerous arguments and painful dialogues (will not bore the reader with the trauma that I suffered) we landed up at All Stir Fry at the Poona Gordon House. An awesome meal of dimsums and chicken noodles in a wok with chilly plum sauce all with a chilled beer (to unwind, you see). Reached home very very late. Lesson of the day: I hate 18 year olds. They are STUPID. May I also add INSUFFERABLE.
Restful sleep and some nice simple breakfast, discussing photography and tripod. Post shower, about 2 hours of work. And then off to Koregaon Park for a hearty lunch. Central Park for a big buffet. Pigged out on the food. Some great salad, some mousse, some nice fish some good chicken and some time with G, one on one. Discussing future plans. nice.
Writing this post on the way back, while they play a horrid ‘Haseena Maan Jaayegi’ in the bus. Did I forget to mention that I saw an equally juvenile ‘Kyunki Main Jhooth Nahin Bolta’. The bus winds madly on the western ghats. The view outside is fabulous. The green green hills and the skies heavily laden with dark clouds. I think its about to rain. Yay! Just dying to get home now. Make me some nice tea, ponder over the weekend, plan my week and catch up on some sleep.
Is there more to life than time well spent talking to close friends, eating good food and making plans for the future? I think it makes all the weekday drama-trauma worthwhile. I think I can keep telling myself all this week, ‘This too shall pass, this too’.
The first trip to Poona was many years ago. During school days, I think over 12 years was a completely different experience. But then so were the numerous trips that followed. Another memorable one was during college, me exploring the osho commune. Was a lazy and interesting 3 days in Poona. The study tour was another memorable one. We walked the length of Jangli Maharaj and MG road so many times, and explored all the bakeries that came our way. Partied like mad and generally had a great college-mad kinda trip. The various trips that followed once G moved to Poona have essentially been very good. I’d rest, I’d eat and read, we talk, some good restaurants and coffees, some walks in the verdant bylanes of koregaon, some bottles of good wine, and so much conversation.
Is there another way to live this life? I hope not!