VALUE FOR MONEY LIVING in PUNE
I have just had a full glass of delicious refreshing invigorating sugar cane juice for five rupees. You don’t believe me? Okay, just head for Vrushali Rasvanti Gruha opposite Bibwewadi Village.
Well, Bibwewadi is very much a part of Pune City and no longer a village as are Aundh, Baner, Pashan, Sus, Kondhwa, Warje, Wakad and so many other erstwhile “villages” which were merged with Pune a few years ago.
Talking of Wakad, where I live now, I was astonished the other day to read in the property supplement of a leading newspaper that the property rates of Wakad are the same as Bibwewadi.
Of course, you will realise when you try to buy a house in Pune that these published property rates are to be taken with a pinch of salt. But just imagine comparing Bibwewadi, which in my opinion is, at present, probably the best place in Pune to live in, to Wakad, which has a zero quality of life.
It’s all hype. From first hand experience I can tell you that the quality of living in Bibwewadi is much better than the much hyped localities like Aundh, Baner, Kondhwa, Pashan, Kalyaninagar which may have snob appeal and pseudo elite status. In contrast, here in Bibwewadi you can enjoy true Value-For-Money living. You can take my word for it for I have lived in Bibwewadi for more than 25 years. Yes, I have lived in Aundh too in recent years, and I can say for sure that as on today the quality of life and standard of value-for-money living in Bibwewadi is much better than Aundh.
Today Bibwewadi has got everything you want for a decent life. You’ve got excellent malls, a multiplex, good hospitals, branches of all major banks, plenty of ATMs, all kinds of shops, automobile agencies and garages, all kinds of services you normally want, schools, colleges, a deemed university and professional educational institutions nearby, and most importantly, decent affordable restaurants and delicious street food.
Connectivity is good, with both Pune Camp and most parts of Pune City easily accessible. You have wide good quality roads, the traffic is much better than most parts of Pune, there is plenty of parking space. You’ve got the BRTS route on Satara Road (NH4), the bus service is much better than most parts of Pune and you can get a rickshaw very easily (also I have never found a rickshaw driver unwilling to come to Bibwewadi whereas getting a rickshaw for Aundh, Baner, Wakad etc is a Herculean task and you are fleeced most of the time. If you want to go to Mumbai, just take the wide Satara Road and meet up with the Katraj Dehu Bypass on the Banagalore Mumbai National Highway 4 and then onto the Expressway. And if you love animals, the Zoo and Katraj snake park are just a stone’s throw away.
The footpaths all over Bibwewadi are good, especially on the Bibwewadi Main Road (Swami Vivekananda Road) and the Bibwewadi Kondhwa Road and you can walk relatively easily compared to the rest of Pune as the encroachments are much less. After incorporation of the BRTS, the main Satara Road is a boon for walkers and cyclists, with dedicated tracks on both sides for pedestrians and cyclists. I can easily take my pet dog Sherry for a long walk right from City Pride to the Dhankavadi signal after which the tracks disappear.
Compared to most of Pune which is densely populated, Bibwewadi is comparatively less crowded comprising mostly bungalow and row house societies with just a few high rises. Here it is greener than the concrete jungles of Pune and the air is quite pure, especially early in the morning when you can enjoy your morning walk in spacious surroundings – the roads are clear, there are plenty of parks nearby, including the new one in Sahakarnagar, and, like I did earlier, you can always go up Taljai Hills into the verdant forest there. (Of course, the beautiful Bibwewadi hill with its Seminary where we used to go earlier is now covered with buildings). Another place in Pune I always liked was Salisbury Park which even today is green and relatively less crowded.
Are you are thinking of buying a home in Pune (a home for your family to live in and not a house to rent out or for investment). Then remember one thing – ONE LOOK IS BETTER THAN A THOUSAND REPORTS.
So don’t go by the hype and alluring advertisements and the seductive names of some of those new townships which may give you an impression that you are in some exotic foreign locale, an exclusive island in the pacific or the Caribbean, or a tourist destination high up in the hills or a beach resort – just go out there and see for yourself.
One more thing – beware of the word “ANNEXE” frequently used in housing advertisements, the word annexe is just used to exploit the snob appeal of the so called high-falutin localities. For example, Aundh annexe is nowhere near Aundh (places like Pimple Saudagar, Pimple Gurav, Pimple Nilakh and Navi Sangvi are touted as Aundh Annexe whereas they are across the river in PCMC and not PMC) and I saw a complex in Thergaon being touted as Wakad Annexe. (It seems Wakad is also acquiring status value!).
Well, I don’t know what’s so great about the name Aundh. In the 1960s, when we were small, Aundh was associated with the famous Chest Hospital and TB. Of course there was a genuinely elite Aundh, a princely state somewhere in the interiors of Maharashtra, but this princely state of Aundh was not the overcrowded suffocating concrete jungle called Aundh that you see in Pune today.
Hey, I have digressed. This piece was supposed to be about Sugar Cane Juice. Let me tell you one thing – you get the best sugarcane juice in Pune – no doubt about it. I have had sugarcane juice all over, but nothing can beat the sheer quality and lovely heavenly taste of the sugarcane juice that you get all over Pune in Rasvanti Gruhas. You know the secret? Maybe it’s got to do with the quality of sugarcane, maybe it’s those generous pieces of tangy ginger and juicy lemon they add to the sugarcane while crushing out the juice that do the trick. (My favourite raswanti gruha – well it is Murlidhar Rasvanti Gruha [Established 1947] near Shanipar in the heart of Pune.
Well the “smart” youngsters of today may consider it infra dig to drink fresh sugarcane juice and prefer artificial bottled colas, but for me – I love fresh tangy refreshing sugarcane juice anytime.
They say sugarcane juice is healthy, strengthens your organs like your brain, heart, stomach, kidneys, eyes and sex organs, has plenty of protein and iron, prevents sore throat, cold and flu, and is a panacea for many ills, but I don’t know all that – I just love a tall cool restorative glass of sugarcane juice on a hot dry afternoon to quench my thirst and beat the heat.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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About Vikram Karve
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Fiction Short Stories Book
Foodie Book: Appetite for a Stroll
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.