Bombay has been fun but I got a chance to get away from Bombay. This chance came when Radhika invited me to her aunt’s place in Pune where she was going to stay for the weekend. I had never been to Pune before and knowing the kind of inquisitor that I am, I wanted to see that place. We had to leave on Sunday morning and get back on Monday morning. The journey was a comfortable one and the Mumbai-Pune highway is one exception to the otherwise badly maintained Maharashtra highways.
Radhika’s aunt lives on the outskirts of Pune with her farmhouse somewhere in the hills. As we left the highway and started climbing the hills, a sudden silence caught us and the roads were almost barren. It was more like a private inhabitation for the select few. With amazingly beautiful farmhouses that I saw on our way up, I started to wonder what was in store for me. We finally reached Radhika’s aunt’s farmhouse and believe me, the first thing that really caught my eye was the view of the entire city and the hills. It was breath taking. Just incredible.The silence was astounding.
The wind was guzzling through the trees and even a crack of a twig could be heard. And then the house. It was like one of those homes we see on NDTV Good Times which talk of interiors and furnishing. Those guys should come and see this place too. Everything was so tastefully done. The children’s room, master bedroom and the hall. The use of glass made the house look even more spacious and it let the light come in all times of the day. The best part about this house was that everything was done up by Radhika’s aunt herself. I mean it takes a personal interest to transform a house into a home and aunty did it really nicely.
When we reached there, it was time for lunch and for the next 12 hours, we kept eating something or the other. It was after 5 long months that I had such good food. Please note, that I am a Punjabi at heart and tongue. For me, food is religion. Bad food means heart break. When I say that the food was amazing, I mean every syllable of the word. I had proper south Indian lunch, cheese sandwiches, fries, amazing ice creams and a tear inducing, heart rendering Punjabi dinner. For a fat Punjabi girl who was living off half cooked or semi cooked or just disgusting food for the past five months, that dinner was divine. I kept thanking aunty for the food and she kept doling generous amounts of food on my plate. I ate more than I was supposed to and loved it. At that moment, nothing else mattered. It was just me and the food. Simply loved it.
Radhika’s aunt, other than being a mother to two very cute and smart kids, is a business woman, a film maker and a producer who keeps trying her hand at new things. In her mid 40’s, she still wants to do a lot more in her life than she is doing right now. With two small kids to take care of, she has the vigor of a teen and has a great perspective about life. She is an inspiration to so many of us who are afraid to do something that is different from the regular in terms of personal and professional life. She lives her life to be happy and does what she likes best. Many of us are scared to lead a life like that. At least I have a lot to learn from her. It was a weekend worth spending and remembering.