Poona in a word, is lovely. Poona in three words is hot and dusty, but word 1 more than compensates for the other three. Lovely food, charming old-worldlines, lots of space, a fairly pleasant nightlife, and plenty of sights to see. The cousin watered, fed and whisked me around town with characteristic cousinly efficiency. The friend stuffed me silly with amti, srikhand puri, and every other imaginable maratha viand until I screamed for mercy . Ok I didn't. I just ate and ate until he ran out of supplies, and then he screamed for mercy.
The non-eating moments in Poona (and they really were only moments), were spent reading a book by the nullah-side, walking through the charming lanes of Tulshibag and Sadashivpet, gawking at the enormous mansions in Koregaon Park, trekking up and down the wooded tekdis in the centre of town, and making plans for the next meal. All in all, a wonderful time. Thanks muchly, o sainted cousin and long-suffering friend.
Back in Bangalore, I took one look at the traffic outside the airport, and almost caught the next flight back to lovely dusty amchi Pune. My dismay was short-lived thankfully, as my auto driver managed to slither through the traffic bottleneck like an oiled cobra.
A blast of cool air hit me as as the auto turned into airport road. I looked out and noticed it was drizzling. Gentle winds were blowing everywhere. The people in the jam were smiling. I was puzzled. What happened to the uncomfortably warm city that I had left barely a week ago?
And then I remembered: The Mango Showers had arrived.
"Ahh", I sighed. Right on time. My favourite season in Bangalore. When the skies explode, wash the streets clean, turn trees green overnight, inspire poetry and make everyone smirk about how lucky they are to live here.
And now, while the rest of the subcontinent slowly begins to bake, all you "vods so great aboud this waather yaar" types can call your relatives in your sizzling hometowns, and tell them what they're missing: Cool, moist evening breezes blowing up your.. err street. Boiled peanuts at Lalbagh on a wet March evening. A half masale sweet after an April shower. Shetty's nippat masala followed by a drizzly open air concert at the Palace Grounds in May.
Do not encourage them to move here. It is enough if they know.
And if the voice on the other end of the line says "Yes da raja, I knnnowww maa. Its reeeelly luvleee, no?", please hang up instantly. I want you to contact your relatives, not mine.