It’s been more than two years that I graduated and started working at a startup. I had the opportunity to work with a enthusiastic and fun loving team on boring, challenging and interesting projects alike. It had been over two years and I needed some change… Change from the monotonous bus rides to and from home, change from the snail paced traffic, change from my work, change in my surroundings, change in my routine… Basically, a change in everything. I had been trying to get a new job for quite sometime. Last month I resigned from my job at Bangalore and earlier this month I moved to Pune.
When I first set foot in Pune I had this huge grin plastered across my face. It remained that way throughout our ride to the hotel, punctuated with exclamations of amaze and surprise as I viewed the city’s movement and landscape. The huge-broad roads, minimal traffic with no honks, puzzling presence of multiple traffic lights at one signal (I still don’t get why), two way movement of traffic, mysterious sculptures at junctions, dilapidated buses, aged buildings, the huge government offices and their compounds, the heat (in the beginning of November), numerous billboards featuring ads of various housing projects and the sheer number of flats stationed on either side of the road. People here are accustomed to converse both in Hindi and Marathi, so no issues there. Even though November (a time when most states in the country shiver with cold) is about to end there are no hints of winter here.
We freshened up at the hotel. Mom, dad and I set out on a hunting spree for a PG (Paying Guest accommodation) near my office. We located the company after which we searched the surrounding places for a PG. I was shocked looking at the condition of PGs here. Most PGs were accommodations for ladies and gents. My parents and I had unanimously opted to look for and stay at an all ladies PG. I was aware of this fact prior to “the hunt”, however my parents weren’t. They were visibly disturbed by the existence of such accommodations. The condition of all ladies PG were not good either. Most care takers of PG refused to even show us rooms citing the PG was full. Some were kind enough to show us rooms, informing us the latest date at which a room might turn vacant. Some indirectly mentioned the presence of a waiting list for vacancy at a PG. It was a herculean task to find a decent PG near my office. I wasn’t looking far off as I didn’t want the hassle to travel on a daily basis. My brothers rented a car and we roamed around places to find a decent PG which had vacant beds. This was going to be my first stay away from home and I was disappointed at how things here were turning out to be. Some PGs had joined in three single beds and called it a three sharing room when there wasn’t even space for one to get down and walk to the room’s door. Some others had rats roaming around the kitchen. Some had dustbins outside rooms filled to brim with garbage. Some had cow webs at corners of walls, windows and along the ceiling. Some had six floors but no elevators. Some had vacant space left for building elevators which were for time being used as “pan-spitting zone”. Some had a room, a cupboard and a bed but no mess, washing machine or Wi-Fi. From what I have heard from my PG friends at Bangalore they didn’t struggle to find a decent PG. This was turning out to be a huge downer. After a lot of heartbreaks and disappointments we found a PG that suited my taste at a reasonable price.
I moved in the day my parents were about to leave and get back to their routine work at Bangalore. I must say, the PG and its caretakers have been kind and nice during my stay here. And the food is GREAT. I can’t stress enough on this… It.is.amazing. I am not a person who even drinks tea and I have become a fan of the tea they serve here. I wasn’t expecting the food to be even half as good as it is. My brothers and friends who had stayed at PGs/hostels before had warned me about the quality and hygiene of food I would receive at a PG. I had set my expectation bar far below the normal food that I received at small restaurants/colleges. I make it a point to announce this to every human I know but I have not verbally expressed this feeling of mine to any of the caretakers/cooks at my PG. I don’t even know why I don’t do it. My parents are pleased that after looking around 15-20 PGs this one turned out to be so good and so am I! There are flaws and there is always scope for improvement, but let’s focus on the positives for now.
Apart from the food, I love the fact that I am back home before the sun sets. I love the fact that I walk to work. I love the fact that my roommate is kind and adjusting to my daily misfortunes and activities. I also love the view from my room’s window at sunrise, sunset and midnight everyday! I have just started exploring the city. I love the way the street next to my office transforms from a silent, empty lane in the morning to a bustling street with food stalls/vendors and employees playing cricket.
It seems having your expectations low makes you appreciate life more. I have heard it the other way round too.. set expectations and reach them. It’s so confusing… I guess have low expectation from others but set high expectations for your future self? I don’t know… does it make sense?
I do miss Bangalore. Especially the weather, buses and Central Silk Board!
I don’t specifically celebrate thanksgiving, but this time I have got a lot to thank for. Thank you mom, dad and brothers for your patience while I dragged you from one PG to the next. Thank you friend from college who guided me in and around Pune. Thank you caretakers at PG for being so nice to a first time poor-away-from-home-soul. Thank you flatmates for allowing me to comfortably settle down. Thank you windows in my room for the fabulous view you deliver day-in and day-out. Thank you old friends for still keeping in touch and accepting my subtle hints that I won’t be attending your weddings now that I am in Pune * evil laugh *.
Note… Only for gal pals and sisters: The government here is planning to rename Pune to Jijapur. I guess I know where all my Jijas are gonna be living at… * wink wink *
On a serious note I hope they don’t change the name of the city. And yes, I know reasoning behind the name Jijapur. Please don’t police me on how I got the wrong meaning out of the renaming suggestion Jijapur in the previous para.