Thursday, 8 March 2012


Before I bombard you with many photos from Pune, I will start with a few others from the days leading up to my journey there:
We went swimming!...
...With these awesome people... this awesome pool! We were celebrating a birthday, and the chosen venue was this refreshing pool at Hindustan Hotel! If you look closely, you can see a ripple in the water, and a blurred shadow to the right of it = a bat. There were about 5 of them, eating the bugs on the surface of the water. It wasn't so nice though, waiting by the side of the pool until the men playing sports stopped staring so I could strip down to my togs... or when we got out and a man jumped in, and continued to 'hoick' back phlegm and spit it into the water. Ugh.
Chicken burger at the hotel!
And this is the kitchen at Hindustan Hotel.
Okay, so now some photos in Pune!
I love this cow. It just chilled in the middle of the road for about 20minutes, chewing its cud, without a care in the world.
I also love the numerous motivational signs around Pune. You will see a few in my photos.
Behind this fence, and directly below the buildings, there lies a slum of corrugated-tin.
Holi is in the air! Tomorrow (Thursday) marks the beginning of the two day colour-festival.
Pure gold. I mean, 'performance'?
Check out this guy's awesome orange beard!
Only in India...
I have finally bought some authentic Indian clothes! And I have some fabric that I am going to have sewn into a garment.
I absolutely love the way that Hindi and Bengali looks written.
To justify the reason behind taking a photo of a random man's behind, is to show you that there are many men who wear jeans with be-jeweled pockets...
We went and visited Kasba Ganpati Temple in Pune - inside we could not take photographs, but I can tell you that it was like nothing I have seen before. Everything was coated in either silver or gold, and people were chanting and making offerings.
So there are still way more photographs, some more for my own use (i.e. to trigger certain memories). It was a great experience to be in another part of India - I flew there via Dehli, and returned through Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel airport in Gujurat. Try wrap your mouth around that.

My first impressions of Pune were the contrasts between it and Kolkata; smooth roads, open spaces, less horns and traffic, cooler temperature, and peacefulness. The first night I fell asleep to the sound of insect calls, and birds - but awoke up at least 7 times to the sound of a mosquito buzzing past my ear. The second night was just bliss - I slept solidly and awoke refreshed! But my final night was one of confusion as at about midnight, in the state between sleep and dreams, I heard fireworks in the distance, but it sounded like a round of ammunition being fired - the conscious half of my mind said, relax, it is just fireworks. The dream half told me, no, you are in danger, there are people out there with guns letting loose. I woke in the morning thinking I had managed to survive a war. Good times.

So I have seen a few things in the past couple of days, that I have not seen yet since my arrival in this country; a few mongeese rummaging through rubbish with cats, two boys riding hungry camels who only wanted to stop and eat the trees above them, and a family of 6 crammed on the back of a scooter. People here transport the most miscellaneous items around. Name it and I have probably seen it.

On the first day of Orientation, we visited the homes of a couple of families who lived in near-poverish homes. One home looked like it wouldn't survive the next monsoon. Yet still they invited us in, and offered us chai to drink.

Judy and I also visited a lady's house at Freeset on Saturday (just as a side note), which I will talk about another time, as I am still trying to take in the experience.

Afterwards we travelled to an air-conditioned cafe, to show how easy it is to contrast the way some people live to others. It really makes you wish you never took anything for granted.

A few more things happened while I was there, but there is too much to write about! If you want to know more, just ask :)


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