Category Archives: Pune 2006

My time in Pune during Summer 2006

Lines lost

We were supposed to have an oral presentation class today but since classes were cancelled, that won’t happen. For our oral presentation classes, we have to narrate in Sanskrit a story based on a summary synopsis. Last week my team mate and I deliberately interpreted the synopsis to give the whole story a romantic turn that was not originally intended. Our teacher hid her face in her hands when we got to a scene where the dove declares his desire to kiss the ant. (Yes, an ant and a dove.) The ant said that kissing should only happen after marriage.

Anyway, this week the synopses would have been harder to steer towards romance but I already had a line:

मां विचुंब। मां स्पृश। मां… मां… । परं वक्तुं न शक्नोमि…

Maybe I can use it for something else later…

Snow day!

Er… rain day actually. We took a rickshaw ride to Deccan College this morning only to find out upon arrival that classes are cancelled because of the rain. Rain rain, so much rain!

The water level in the river has also gotten really high. Oh, the joys of monsoon!

The country

Unfortunately, posting to my blog is pretty low on my list of priorities. Anyhow, I’ve taken some travel notes on my Treo that I’m now putting online. Enjoy!

Events of July 2nd 2006.

I got to see the Indian countryside. From Pune to Aurangabad to Ajanta there is a progression from city to county. Buildings become sparser, the land more open, more cows. Also, as we move towards smaller villages, usage of the Latin alphabet becomes less frequent and Devanagari soon takes over. Ditto for English/Hindi usage vs Marathi. One can survive pretty well with English and Hindi in Pune but in the country people speak mostly Marathi. Also, the level of technological sophistication decreases dramatically as you move away from the city: things are done manually or with animal power.

We stopped in a village to try to get food. Us whiteys wandering the streets and looking for a food store were a source of entertainment for the locals. As we were looking for a good store to buy food, we were soon surrounded by our “groupies”.

On the way out of the Ajanta park, there is a small shopping area. There I bought things for my wife. I must say it was quite harrowing. The sellers are rather aggressive. Thinking back about it I realize that being surrounded by a throng of people made me lose my situational awareness. It would have been easy for someone to steal my stuff or substitute and item for another.

Strange thing: during our nights in Aurangabad I heard what sounds like a pack of roaming stray dogs. There seem to be one leader howling powerfully and while the rest of the group laments. It’s very eerie… like some sort of dog voice recital.

On the road I’ve noticed a number of concrete buildings that had only their ground floor finished. The beams necessary to build the next floor had been started but left there unfinished. I have no clue why it is done that way. Did they run out of money during construction or is it planned ahead that way for future expansion? It is so common that the latter option seems more likely.


This summer I’m living in Pune, India in order to participate in the AIIS Summer Sanskrit program. I’ve arrived on June 8th and I am here until August 20th or so. I’m quite busy so it is unclear how much I will post on this blog but I will try.