Fun n frolic at 'the Queen of Deccan'...
It was all decided in few hours and with utmost adhoc that myself, Raghu and Ranajoy will travel to Pune to spend the weekend with our friends Arvind, JP and Pavithra there on official trip. We took the Raj National Express bus (the Raj travels ppl think that they are operating an airways with just a small difference that their 'flights' cannot fly... but otherwise they give online reservation, PNR numbers, boarding pass, cabin baggage- checkin baggage fundae, personalized headphones and what not.. :) ) . It was a comfortable journey ending with a sweet surprise of the terminus being just opposite to Taj Blue Diamond where we were supposed to get to. Went in to the luxurious hotel and woke our friends up to get ready to start the weekend.
Went walking to the Osho Teertha park in Koregaon Park area. It was open for entry only upto 9 and 3 of us ( the late comers) didn't get a chance to explore the interiors. After that energizing walk we headed to Shaniwaar wada fort. It was a rustic structure and history dates back it the period of Peshwas. Even when there was nothing interesting as such inside the place, we made it interesting with our orkut-photo-shoot session. There was a summer camp kinda thing going on for small kids there and it was so sweet to watch little kids listening agape to the story-teller-girl.
Next we went to the close by Ganesh Temple, even when Raghu was whining to come there as he felt temple visits predominatly take time off the schedule for other interesting activities. But yet that place was calm and we had a good dharshan of 'swambhu' Ganesha there.
It was scorching heat by this time and watching movie at INOX was the best option to while away the afternoon. So went to INOX multiplesx and reserved tickets for the matinee show 'Ice Age 2' movie. Had lunch at 'Only Parathas' - where there were more 100 varieties of Parathas (btw, the restaurant is pure veg one). Had tough time shortlisting and deciding the paratha and had nice, filling parathas and shakes.
We had 30 min time for the movie and went inside Pantaloon to while that time away. We got really nice and cheap T-shirts here and I got a chudidhar for my sis. It was show time by then and we reclined to our seats at the cinema hall. The movie was nice and enjoyable one much to my expectation and the 'Ice Age'-INOX Combo was fantastic.
FC Road (Fegusson College Road)... The heart of the city which no normal person would ever afford to miss visiting... was the next place we went to from INOX. We had amazing Dosas at Vaishaali... The place is claimed to be famous for its unique sambhar.. but in my opinion the authentic South Indian sambar we have at Saravana Bhavan Chennai easily wins over it in taste. The place was crowded upto every inch and we could feel the buzz around the College road. After the nice tiffin time we climbed Parvati Hills, a 100 step high hilltop temple. One more friend of us Amod joined us after the temple visit and we got back again to FC road for Cafe time at Cafe Coffe Day. Baristas and Cafe Days at FC Road are phenomenal happening spots of the city. Time jus flees past if you are jus around this place. Here is where you get to see the best of 'Pune Factor' ;) .
Even after all this roaming about, me and Raghu weren't tired and were in the mood of wanting more to see more of Pune. So here we start at 9:30 in the night from Taj hotel to E-Square multiplex. Roamed for abt 1 hr in this place without any serious intention and direction and had dinner at the food court. The interesting part was when we tried to gain entry to the discotheque here (yeah.. it had stag entry)... but jus when we decided to try it, the gatekeeper there refused to admit us thanks to the sandals on Raghu's feet :-( . So we had no other option to ditch that place, calling it sour grape. Got back to hotel calling it a day and slept in the comfortable bed.
The next day (sunday) started with we taking a Skoda and Ford for cab service and heading to Mathura Restaurant at JM Road. It was an authentic Maharastrian restaurant and all of us ordered Thali as suggested by the bearer there. Amazing lunch it was with different kinds of Rotis, Aaam Ras, Matki ki dahi, Onion sprouts, Kadi etc... Enjoyed the time here. We were full that we thought of spending a lazy afternoon at a nice shopping place doing window shopping. So Pune Central was a good choice for this and here we go.. entering Pune Central with NO intentions to shop (atleast me). It was around 1:30 in the afternoon. We felt that Raghu has not done any significant shopping of late and wanted to push him to spend for something there. He went on to buy a 'typical Raghu kinda' T-Shirt and we were happy abt it. Within this time our Sharma tried a Sherwani, thought a lotttt abt it and much to our expectation rejected it (or in his own way, postponed the decision of buying one). I never knew what was in store for me until I saw an attractive Cargo. Punted the option of buying it, but when I saw a nice black casual shirt coudn't resist my temptation to try the shirt with the cargo and bingo, I decided to buy them. (Remember I had no intention to shop and in fact wanted to desperately avoid spending.. but yeah it never works out for me ;) ) ... It was not all over... We felt that our friend Ranajoy still didn't get anything there and since he had interest in sunglasses we went there before exiting the place. I started trying a few glasses there and since I already had sunglasses in my wishlist for long went on daringly to buy the costliest piece there from Ray ban.
So... here I go.. with all the new attire I got from Central...
Destination next was the Marzorin ice cream parlour at MG Road. This road was full of shopping and lots of ppl happily walking over the road as it is closed for traffic during the weekends. From here we went to Chathurshringi temple again a smal hill top Durga temple. The panaromic view of the City from here was too cool in the night. The one high-priority things which remained uncovered till now was Chaat items, for which this part of the world is famous for. So went to Mannmeet chaat centre (yeah. again to FC Road :-) ).. had some good chaat stuff and Pani puri before we got back to Taj for packing our stuff for the return.
Here comes the end of an awesome weekend we had at Pune... Boarded the Raj express bus at MangalDas road.. had Taj biryani (packed) on board and we were back in Hyd right on time in the morning.