When we reached the gates of a building which I later realized was the historic Nana Wada, the man whom you see in the featured photo offered to give me a guided tour through it. I asked him whether I could try to take a look without his help. He smiled pityingly and held the… Continue reading A shotgun marriage
Walking around Shaniwar Wada in Pune, I was impressed by this juicer. I’ve earlier seen this kind of a machine being used to extract juice from sugar cane. Here it has been put to use to extract juice from pineapples too. The man in the checked shirt got a large mug of pineapple juice. I… Continue reading Pressing matters
Shaniwar Wada in Pune was the seat of the Peshwas in the declining years of the Maratha empire. The palace complex was built in the first third of the 18th century CE, and burnt down in 1828. A Peshwa was originally the prime minister of the Maratha king, but during these years became effectively the… Continue reading Commoners take over the Court
On the best of days, the rest of Maharashtra thinks of the residents of Pune as thrifty. Stories abound of how a Puneri will buy a litre packet of milk, empty the packet, wash it, and sell it to the neighbourhood junk dealer. Walking around Shaniwar Wada, the seat of power in India until exactly… Continue reading A doorway is just a place to wait in
We looked at a freezerful of interestingly labelled popsicles on sticks. Guava chili and Jamun seemed to be the most popular flavours here, judging by the emptiness of the containers. Madagascar chocolate and Meetha paan were almost as popular, though. I had gone out for dinner with a bunch of colleagues, and on the twenty… Continue reading Gourmet Popsicles!
The Shaniwar Wada of Pune was briefly the center of political power in India: from its construction in the 1730s to the end of the Maratha empire in 1818. Strangely, only the northern wall of palace complex is built of stone; the other three walls are of brick. Walking along the walls I was stopped… Continue reading Bricked-up doors
We drove to Pune in the weekend, over a road blasted through the heart of the geological bomb which killed off the dinosaurs. The Mumbai-Pune expressway is probably the busiest road in India. Still, there are times when you can take your eyes off the road to stare at the incredible mountains around you. During… Continue reading Deccan traps
It became necessary to travel to Pune on one of the rainiest days in the year. The night before I was to travel, the floodgates in a dam over one of the rivers which run through Pune had to be opened. The resulting surge of water apparently washed away ten cars parked inside the city.… Continue reading Correa with rain