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Monday, September 16, 2002

Weekend treats

I'm getting really sick of saying every Monday that I've had a good weekend. This has become more of a given statement than a variable one. It prompts me to consider re-evaluating the parameters on which I base my assessment of the quality of the weekend that I've just spent. Maybe I'm setting my sights too low... maybe I'm satisfied (or even overjoyed!) over little pleasures... maybe I don't do much on weekends which really precludes the qualitative assessment of things I did during the weekend!

I strongly suspect that the last line of reasoning holds good in my case!

But the bottomline is that I really did have a great weekend! (that turns the previous few lines into nothing more than a meaningless rant!)

Early morning drive to Pune on Saturday was, as usual, wonderful. The only thing that interrupted the incessant music and chatter on the FM radio on the car stereo, was my mother's occasional shriek when I did some high speed cornering in the ghat section of the expressway. Honestly, I took some of the curves on the road at some pretty hellish speeds!! *LOL*

This time, however, on reaching Pune, we did not have to relive the excitement of discovering a robbed apartment. How boring!! In fact, we found that the builder had, very politely, bought for us, the items that we had lost to the burglars last time around. He said that it was his duty (sic!) to compensate us for our loss! My mother was having none of it as she refused to touch those items and had them sent back to the builder's office, immediately!

After a lunch that consisted of mutter paneer (that I helped my mom prepare!), I dozed off... grateful to catch up on the sleep that I had lost when I had to wake up early in the morning to leave for Pune. Later, we left the house to go do some serious Ganpati hopping throughout the city. It was as if the entire Pune had taken to the streets to get the darshan of their favourite elephant-headed deity. All the roads were packed with throngs of people, out with their families and friends literally Ganpati-hopping all over the city. The streets and the narrow by-lanes of Pune wore a festive look... a welcome change from the dark, medieval look that descends on the city streets once it is past 8:00 PM (well, I'm speaking about Pune in general... the hip, up-market areas of Pune party late into the night, nowadays... much like Mumbai does!).

Well, anyways, we saw lots many Ganpatis, including the famed Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati. But it was too crowded to even walk, let alone drive... so we had to forego visiting some Ganesh mandals. But some others that we saw were simply amazing. At one place, they had put up a dancing fountain. The colourfully lit water fountain danced to the beats of a man playing live music on a tabla. It was wonderfully creative!!

After dinner, I took everybody to Portico to have ice-cream (they have some wonderful flavours there!. There was also an ulterior motive in taking everybody to Portico. They have a TV in the parlour, on which I wanted to see the final overs of the match between India and Zimbabwe. The ice-cream that we ate (I had double scoop of Mocha Almond) tasted doubly sweet because we had it while seeing India defeat Zimbabwe in a cliff-hanger of a match. Mohammad Kaif played wonderfully well (yet again!) and scored his first one-day century. Here's a bit of interesting coincidence... The last time we were in Pune on a Saturday, Indians played England in the Headingley Test Match. India won that Test Match with a historic margin of an innings and some runs. The time before that we were Pune on a Saturday, India played England in the NatWest Trophy one-day final, in which India scored another historic win by chasing 329 runs. Kaif had played the innings of his life with 87 not out. Kaif again played a fantastic innings of 111 not out this time on Saturday when we were in Pune! There's something about my being in Pune on a Saturday that inspires the Indian cricket team (and especially, Kaif)!! ;-)

Well then, Sunday passed pretty well and I could be found sitting stretched out in the balcony of our 6th floor apartment in Pune, either looking at the vehicles speeding on the distant highway, or seeing the sunlight shimmering on the placid waters of Pashan lake, or watching the shepherd herd his flock of sheep across the undulating patch of grassy land that lay just across the street from where I stay. All the while, the stiff breeze blowing over the gently rolling hills beyond the highway played havoc with my unruly hair!

In short... I spent the Sunday in a wonderfully laid-back manner, recharging my batteries for the gruelling monotony (oxymoron?!!) of the weeks that lay ahead!

In the evening on Sunday, we drove back to Mumbai... again, driving at a pace that had my mom giving me a piece of her mind. I really should take it easy!! But I find the drive back to Mumbai more exciting that the one to Pune... even though the route is the same! I guess its because usually while returning to Mumbai, its evening and the sun is about to set. So, I feel like driving into the sun on a looong stretch of road... like those classic Hollywood movies! *LOL*

All in all, a weekend well spent!

That's all for now, see you all again tomorrow... Take care!



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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.