Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Urban Explorer - Pune

How do we better know a guy who wears Converse slippers & Fossil aviators and walks for insane distances in the scorching summer heat ?

Ans : Aditya Narayanan

This story unfolds on the day of Gudi Padwa/Ugadi. He has a holiday at work. His house seems stifling on a bright morning. Aditya gets out of bed at 8, gets done with breakfast by 0830 & surfs through the paper in another 10 minutes.

If you were there, you might have noticed that he spends a little extra time on the movies section. Then he plugs in his radio earphones, says bye to his flatmates and marches off to the Nigdi bus stop. Once there, he spots a bus to Hinjewadi and immediately leaps in, settling into a window seat which is on the shady side.

The bus heads out, slowly across Wakad phata, and there is acres of open space and the silhouette of IT parks at the distance. The bus snakes its way into areas which were once villages and are now part of the ever expanding Pune city limits. For your information, even Nigdi is not in Pune, its on the outskirts.

An hour later he hops off at the Infosys circle and starts walking. He embarks on what he calls his favourite thing to do which comes a close second to travelling aimlessly - Horizon Chasing. After walking for about 45 minutes in the dry 37 degree heat, better sense prevails and he hops onto another bus headed for Pune station.

After alighting, he settles down near the vendor selling coconut water. He downs two of those coconuts while grumbling about their price. With renewed vigour, he starts walking again, with music in his ears, sunglasses on his eyes, a few beads of sweat on his forehead and a smile on his face. He now reaches the Camp Cantonment area. After walking around the ISKCON temple, he now goes to Landmark at SGS Mall. Here he hunts, for books that have been evading him for many weeks now. After a while, he resigns to his fate and walks away to place an order with the Clerks. But his eyes fall upon a book called "Roads to Mussoorie" by Ruskin Bond. Immediately, he reminisces of the days he spent loitering on Mall Road & at Kasmanda Palace in Mussoorie. Promptly he gets it billed.

Aditya then meets Abhijit for lunch and a movie. Right ya Wrong. Sunny Deol is not one of his favourites, but he comes out of the theatre satisfied after having watched a well thought out movie. Now he has Abhijit's bike at his disposal, so they decide to head to Barista on Law College Road. En route he sees two places that he worships, one is the birthplace of many a Movie Messiah (notice how he thinks of them as Messiahs & not Gods) - FTII & the other - The National Film Archive of India, the resting place of almost every celluloid masterpiece both foreign and domestic.

He sips on his Iced Mocha, a happy man. For he had covered a large amount of the city in a few hours. He then takes a bus back home. He reaches his dwelling, Famished yet Thrilled.


NG said...

It's amazing how every one of your posts brings a renewed sense of passion & adventure in me...Reminds me of how much I love traveling & exploring too!

Akshata said...

Walking aimlessly... one of the simple pleasures of life, which we have sadly forgotten in this maddening pace...