I hope it rains over Pune

If you ever have an opportunity to reconnect with your old school friends, make sure you take it up. This weekend at Flags (an international restaurant) I blew some serious money getting in touch with school-mates from Loyola high school for boys (Pune). Such meetings offer simple moments of epiphany – I am still single 🙂 and a member of the minority now. More than anything – I like to believe that I am patient, patiently waiting.

By serious money I meant at least USD 20. For a couple of drinks and delicious food – I do not regret splurging. Just think about it, Des has to have come a long way to make you part with so much money in one night over just drinks and food for just me. I am sure my friends will rejoin commenting that I am just out of touch. As if they blow away Re 800 in one night just over food ;-).

The best part of the night was definitely Gautam and Vaibhavi's invitation to all of the Loyolites for drinks over at their house. We went over to their place for Scotch and Bacardi and late night conversation. We grudgingly halted only around 4 am. Thankfully the moral police cannot tell you what you can do in your own home. The rest of Pune shuts at around midnight or before 2 am.

This week has been the hottest week I can remember ever. The other hot enough week was when our landlord pulled the plug on our air conditioner at the house in Issaquah. I had guests over then (Nimish?), the heat trapped in the house made it hard to even go to sleep. Seattle had been edging 100 F in that month. Pune on the other hand spent most of its time in the 100's. As if that was not enough, local taps have been switched off today and so has the electricity. I guess we are all doing our bit for the environment – save water and electricity.

At such times, when I sit with my laptop in the sweltering heat with no power, or running water, my mind tends to wander and fixate on the stereotypical municipal employee, chewing his tobacco and replying in a heavy maharashtrian accent that the water or electricity is about to be switched off. As he turns around and flips the switch to the "on" position. I admire him for the tremendous impact he has on the lives of so many others in the city. From the high and mighty to the low and common. All in praise of the power this man holds.

As a rejoinder to my mobile office post a few weeks ago I want to urge the top thinkers in my company to move our office to either Mumbai – where the electricity supposedly is never switched off, or nearer to a Swimming pool – where I can justify multiple showers a day. Jokes aside – I don't think anyone can afford to simply run away from the problems.
The other area my thoughts inevitably keep gravitating towards is how popular John Abraham has become in the Pune and Mumbai area. The model turned Bollywood superstar has mesmerised everyone I know! I am sure I must have missed the mass hypnosis event – everyone I have met so far, especially those from the fairer side, have mentioned him at least once in casual conversation. The very fact that my blog should mention John should indicate what a serious threat this guy has become. He has set the standard wayy to high.

The frequency of my blog posts is certainly on the downswing. I don't want this to be perceived as a lack of material to write about. Pune offers so many topics – dangerous motorists, reducing tree cover, enthusiastic geek community, constant threat of receding into the stone age, the most amazing food, and a cosmopolitan culture, to mention a few.

Honestly, I have been overwhelmed of late and am trying hard to catch up to life. The range of emotions I have felt is something I want to capture forever. My family and friends here have made me feel so at home – I want to be able to return that. Friends abroad have made me feel missed – I sincerely miss you guys too.

Life here in India is a huge exercise in abstraction and relativity. I am sincerely grateful that nothing is hidden from me and that my problems are only trivial. As debt-burdened farmers commit suicide in the fertile regions of my state, I am concerned that we don't question enough what it takes to bring food to our plates. As students find that even more seats in the best colleges and universities of the country are going to be reserved, my more informed friends nationwide debate about under representation of minorities and dilution of the education that the institutions provide. I have to constantly remind myself that I am here for a very specific reason and that I need to work hard to fix the small problems first.

This week promises some excellent live music – Jazz perhaps? Pune also offers a number of rock groups – you can see them live all week at the Inox, over at camp. Or so I have heard from the grapevine. See you there!

My own Zeitgeist: