Thursday, May 10, 2012

An Hour Of Drive

I got up early, cooked, cleaned, got ready, and we left for office at 9.30 a.m. on the dot. In hopes of reaching early to office, we were to meet only with disappointment.

As usual, for apparently no reason, the signal at Khadki Bazaar was not working. That affected the traffic till almost a kilometer behind. I have just not understood the reason of shutting of traffic signals and manning the traffic manually.

Why can't the right authorities understand that it just does not make sense! With one signal off, there is so much of wastage of time, money, petrol, and an overall increase in the frustration of thousands of drivers. Not to count the extra work the traffic police have to do! It's sheer madness!

And because there is already a bottleneck, everyone just wants to go before the other. No one is ready to stop, allow others to move, or follow traffic rules. Two-wheelers encroach on the footpath, pedestrians cannot walk on the roads, trucks, buses, cars just race to move ahead. Pandemonium!

So today, even after starting at 9.30 a.m., we just did not reach early. It was an hour's drive! The futility of starting early!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Buba!

Dearest Buba,

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday! May you always have a lot, lot books to read!

This wonderful man, my dad, turned 70 today. He has been the kindest, calmest man I have met. He has been a scholar of English, Sanskrit, and Marathi. I am amazed at how many things he knows...philosophy, religious, political, language, happenings around him, people around him. His vast accumulation of knowledge is unbelievable.

Today on his birthday, I just want to let him know that I miss him and think of him everyday. His calm and quiet nature, support, wisdom, and humour is all that I miss.

I wish him good health in years to come. Good Luck Baba!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Visiting Vishrambaug Wada

Vishrambaug Wada, is a nice old style wada situated in the heart of the Pune city. For shoppers who are well-known with Tulshibaug won't find it difficult to find this place. It's just opposite the entrance to Tulshibaug on Bajirao Road. Lot of confusing names for the newcomer in Pune. But don't worry. Just hop into a rickshaw and ask the rickshaw-wallah to take you to Vishrambaug Wada. You'll be alighted right at its entrance.

Inside of Vishrambaug Wada
So...to start with the history, this palace or Wada as it is called in Marathi, was built in 1807 at a cost of Rs. 2,00,000, which was a whooping cost at that time. It was owned by Peshwa Bajirao II, who stayed there for around 11 years before he was imprisoned by the British.

In 1821, a Sanskrit school was started in Vishrambaug Wada. Government Engineering College (now called COEP), Deccan College, Pune University, and Agricultural University were all had their humble beginnings here in Vishrambaug Wada.

A well inside Vishrambaug Wada
An interesting placard in the Wada mentions that William Wordsworth had written to the Public Works Department (PWD) complaining of the unhygienic conditions of the Wada at that time. I am really not sure if this could be true. Need to verify that. Nevertheless, it does give a different charm to the Wada.

At this Wada are now some municipal offices such as the Birth and Death Registration Office, Post Office, and a few shops are also operative.

What is also of some interest is a very small showcase of old buildings and structures in Pune, right from Council Hall, Gokhale Hall, Kasba Ganpati, Mandai, and various other notable structures. Miniatures of all these noteworthy buildings are on display. But this showcase seriously needs a makeover. More information about these buildings, clean and bright environment, old photographs, and many more interesting facets of life in Pune in the 18th and 19th centuries will make this a veritable source of information. This display is for free now. But I wouldn't mind paying if they upgrade it.

Also. if they take some serious restoration work for the Wada, make a few more rooms open to the general public by providing them information and entertainment, I am sure it will work wonders for not just tourism, but also for our glorious history.

Wish someone does take some efforts!