Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The view from my ninth floor balcony is awesome.

Early in the morning, at dawn, I look towards my left, towards the eastern horizon, in the distance, I can behold the breaking of the sun’s upper crest over thick layer of grey-white smog that envelops the city of Pune, and soon the silhouettes of the tall buildings in the concrete jungles of Aundh and Baner become visible.

The air in Pune City may be quite polluted, but here, high up on the south facing terrace of my top floor apartment in Rohan Tarang, in the southern part of Wakad, the air is pure, fresh and so refreshing that I can cleanse my lungs with it, almost like the pristine morning air in the hills of Girinagar, in the foothills of Sinhagad Fort, which lies beyond the range of hills I can see in the distance.

I stand in my open-to-the-skies spacious terrace-like balcony, at the edge, look around in front of me, have a panoramic view. The scene is picturesque and the mood is uplifting. The placid waters Mula River meandering down from the verdant hills in the distance, bisecting its lush green scenic valley, renders an air sublime stillness to the environment.

On this side of the river lies the well laid out, clean and tranquil Wakad village, and at this early morning hour, everyone is in their homes, except Chavrya, the redoubtable white guard dog, who moves around like a sentinel at the entrance of the village. Wafts of pleasing devotional music emanating from the famous and beautiful Mhatoba Temple gently uplift my spirits and enhance the sublime ambience.

On that side of the river, across the valley, there is large tract of greenery, fields and farms, being gradually swallowed up by the expanding concrete jungle spreading out from Baner in the distance. Soon it will be all dust and grime, as the construction work of buildings starts, but then all this is quite far away, and will not disturb the glorious view or equanimity, which I enjoy from my balcony.

Sunset from my terrace is a special event. First the orange sun plays hide and seek with the peaks and troughs of the range of hills far away from where the Mula River emanates and then it suddenly goes below and the sky gets lit up like a painting, first a crimson red, then the interplay of colours starts, both in the sky and on the waters of the Mula River, yellow, gold, silver, grey and then it is dark, and to your right you can see the fast moving lights of the vehicles on the Mumbai – Bangalore Bypass Highway, a distance away right ahead are the floodlights of the Balewadi Stadium and colourful neon signs of the numerous hotels and inns like Holiday Inn, VITS, Orchid and Sadanand Residency, and towards the left, to the east, just a few lights in the high-rise apartments at Baner and Aundh, most of which are empty as they have been bought for investment and not to live in.

Though progressive and in the midst of modernity, with clean well-lit roads and neatly laid out, the beauty of Wakad is that it is a quaint, serene, picturesque village which still retains a delightful old-world charm. On normal days, sleeps early, and the nights are quiet, but tonight is special.

Shri Mhatoba Dev Utsav is being celebrated and the entire Wakad village has been brightly illuminated. Shri Mhatoba Devasthan Temple (Mandir) has been beautifully decorated and brilliantly illuminated and looks superb. In fact, the illumination of the temple dome is truly exquisite. There is a jatra, carnival, music, and people have come from distant places to the Shri Mhatoba Devasthan Mandir in Wakad to have darshan, seek blessings and pray to the God Mhatoba, the village Deity of Wakad and Hinjewadi and participate in the utsav or festival. It is celebration time, the entire place, even the Mula Riverside Park and Garden, is brimming with people, of all ages, dressed at their best, the atmosphere is festive, the place is resonating with positive energy and happy vibes, and from my balcony I enjoy a grandstand view which is truly breathtaking.

Actually the huge windows of all rooms in my spacious and airy house afford a wonderful view, but I love standing in my roomy open terrace balcony, especially at night under the starlight open sky, and enjoying the magnificent view. And as I write this spectacular fireworks illuminate the sky and fill my heart with joy.

PS – I am lucky that I live in South Wakad, towards the river side of the Aundh – Hinjewadi Road. If you live on the other side of the road – well, then that is a different story! 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Friday, April 1, 2011



Fracas for a TUM TUM at Wakad in Pune
Every morning I go for a long walk, with my pet dog Sherry, towards the vast open spaces, off the Mumbai Bangalore Highway, near Wakad in Pune.

When we return, it is sometimes past eight, and there is a huge rush of traffic transporting the “techies” (as the IT Nerds like to call themselves) to their offices in the Infotech Park at Hinjewadi in Pune.

Most of these overly paid and pampered techie types travel in comfortable company buses (or in their own cars) but a few prefer to ride in the six-seater rickshaws (called Tum-Tum) which carry are always cramped and overloaded with much more than the stipulated six passengers.

Why these IT Nerds prefer the Tum-Tum I do not know – maybe they are from the smaller companies, who do not provide buses, or maybe they have missed their bus and are late to work, or maybe some do not want to avail of the bus facility and they cannot drive a car either, or maybe some crazy ones think travelling in a Tum-Tum is a substitute for a vigorous work-out.

That is beside the point. Let me tell what I saw this morning.

There were around twelve of these IT Techies (maybe seven boys and five girls) at the Wakad Chowk waiting for a Tum-Tum.

The moment a Tum-Tum arrived, everyone rushed towards the Tum-Tum and it was a chaotic situation, a free-for-all mêlée, a total fracas with each one trying to get inside and elbowing out the “opponents” irrespective of gender.

Two of the tougher girls managed to get in, elbowing out some of the “weaker” boys, while the three slightly fragile girls were not strong enough or agile enough to get the better of their male competitors. While two of these girls readied themselves up for the next encounter and looked eagerly for a Tum-Tum to arrive, one particularly dainty and delicate girl was on the verge of tears and seemed to have given up the fight, wondering whether she should go home or wait for a long time till the crowd became less.

I realised, that in today’s world, chivalry has disappeared. Maybe it is because men and women work shoulder to shoulder in the workplace and even compete with each other. Maybe modern women themselves have killed the concept of chivalry as they prefer equality with their male counterparts and do not want double standards. Can you expect a man, who has a tough woman boss who scares the hell out of him, to be chivalrous towards her? Can you be chivalrous towards a woman you are afraid of, or who dominates you? Well, I think that fear and chivalry are two different things. Chivalry implies that a man is supposed to be a “Knight in Shining Armour” always ready to rescue a “damsel in distress”.

Long back, when we joined the navy, we were expected to follow code of chivalrous conduct and to show respect, courtesy, honour and gallantry towards women. It was always “Ladies First”. We opened doors for women, stood up when a woman entered a room, never failed to greet or wish them, were protective and attended to their needs, and even saluted the Ladies. Chivalry meant graciousness, gallantry, courtesy, politeness and good conduct, especially from men towards women. Of course, with the arrival of Lady Officers in the Navy, things did become a bit quite confusing, with ambiguity as to whether woman officers ought to be treated as equally tough colleagues or dainty members of the fairer sex, but still, when in doubt we adopted the chivalrous approach.

I think this must be the same dilemma in most workplaces, and as women start equalling or even outnumbering men in the workplaces, especially in professions like IT, the concept of chivalry may become passé, a thing of the past.

So, dear young ladies of today, there are no gallant “Knights in Shining Armour” anymore. You will have to fight it out on your own.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

I have recently written a book of short stories called COCKTAIL comprising twenty seven short stories about relationships. To know more please click the links below:

VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. His delicious foodie blogs have been compiled in a book "Appetite for a Stroll". A collection of his short stories about relationships titled COCKTAIL has been published and Vikram is currently busy writing his first novel and with his teaching and training assignments. Vikram lives in Pune with his family and his muse – his pet DobermanX girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

COCKTAIL - Stories about Relationships by Vikram Karve

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.