In my head Pune has always occupied a circular, white, buttery, Shroosberry biscuit shaped spot. On this visit I decided to give the magnificent Keyani bakery a miss and look at other places of interest in the city.
I started with the Raja Kelkar museum. The museum is fairly empty, giving you lots of time to browse.
|This is how windows looked back in the day|
This is the only photo I could sneak in before they cut me off.
The museum carries with it that heartbreaking air of neglect and decay that most Indian museums do. But it is a fun way to spend a couple of hours and the museum houses some interesting displays, including the display of Erotic Nut-Cutters (I kid you not).
Walk straight across a busy, bustling market street to ShaniwarWada (it's a huge landmark so people will be able to direct you). This erstwhile palace was briefly the seat of the Peshwa dynasty. While nothing of the actual palace remains, the gardens it now houses are beautiful. The perfect place to have a little picnic, a lover's tryst or just read a book. I definitely recommend going here.
The wonderful gardens
|Ah! To be young|
Most importantly, the service was one of the best I have ever had. The waiters were warm, sweet and insisted that I eat all of their specialities. They even cajoled me into having some amarakhand (after that extravagant meal). This sweet was all about creamy, mango-ey goodness. I stuffed every last gooey-spoonful down my throat and tottering periliously made my way out.
Deciding that I couldn't leave without paying a visit to Big-B's old hangout, I headed to the Goodluck Cafe.
This dingy, dirty, noisy, crowded little cafe was my favourite place in Pune. It had so much character, it was so alive. I sat there reading my book and just soaking in the atmosphere of the place. Oh! if only more restaurants had a quarter of the life that his place had. I polished off three cups of tea and reluctantly bid it adieu.
|Iranian Tea at Goodluck Cafe|
I spent very little time in Pune, but whatever I saw of it I really liked. It reminded me of a younger, more innocent Bangalore in many ways. There is lots more I want to do there (including visiting the uber-famous Joshi Vada Pav) but that will have to wait for some time.
Huge congratulations to one of my favourite couples. Much love. And a big shout out to Shan and KK's family for being so so warm and wonderful.
|Ek thi Rani|
|Ek tha Raja|