Summer Thirst Quencher…Fresh Sugarcane Juice off the Mill

We ‘JUST DID IT.’ Procrastinations, excuses, work constraints, visiting children…. played hooky with our moving to a place we bought thirteen years back. We took the decision, hired packers and movers to wheel our stuff to another state in India and followed on train.

‘Why not by air’. I had a ready answer. Train journey is my  weakness and any viable long distance travel (within country) I rather streel on metal rails than sit through a tense flight. New Delhi to Pune on fully air-conditioned Duronto Express* is not in the list of great train journeys (USA, Europe, Canada, China) but the lush monsoon landscape, the noiseless stone quarries, villages along the tracks now vastly improved compensate for minor irritants. We crisscross five states Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra thanks to mobile service providers who immediately welcome us to their territories.

It was convincing extended family and friends about our intended move that required resourcefulness. They could not fathom our sudden change of loyalty, my husband was born and brought up in Delhi and I had married here so how could we turn away from our roots. But, we needed to break loose from the cycle of pollution, politics and dependence.

Pune is not new. We have been visiting Pune and watched this ‘Oxford of the East’ limp from a culturally rich provincial city into a Xerox copy of Indian cities…. over populated, congested, pockets of squalor hiding the legendary Banyan trees. I can go on about the city’s historical, military, industrial significance in todays India but the sad part is that it was meant to be a cushion for Mumbai’s hectic life and not its clone. A relief is that our society is away from the city center, the market life of citizens vying for that extra space of tarmac and cement.

“….. leaving home means loss of innocence, encountering uncertainty’ (FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE by Paul Theroux) and here we were merrily changing tracks discarding thoughts of safety and continuity. There were doubts….. ‘We should have done this earlier’ or ‘have come for a month and not uproot ourselves completely’.

Whatever the outcome only time will tell. For the present I revel in the ambience, the blue skies and quiet of my surroundings.

  • This fully air-conditioned fastest train on the Delhi – Pune sector averages 76.96 km/hr covering 1520 km within 20 hrs.


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