My trip to Pune

I grew up with my cousin, Tanvi and Manan, in Noida. Together, we had lots of fun. Bade Papa later shifted to Mumbai. We miss each other and are always looking forward to meet. In 2009, we had planned a trip to Mumbai and Matheran. But, I got chicken-pox and we had to cancel the trip. So the owner of the hotel, where we planned to stay in Matheran, gave us a voucher. We had to use it in one year. In the meantime, my Bade Papa shifted to Pune. So in winter vacation of 2010, we planned a trip to Pune and Matheran.

27th Dec 2010, we boarded Duronto Express, at 10:15 am from Nizamuddin Railway station. It is a non-stop train from Nizamuddin to Pune and was colorful from outside. We took our seats in the train. On the side berth, there was a boy just one class younger to me. I thought that the long journey would not be boring with him. Even before the train moved, both of us were friends. Initially I and Tanmay looked out of the window. After some time it was boring, so Chikki, the boy on side berth, and I started to play with mobile on upper berth.

We played almost for an hour. By that time everyone had slept, and only Papa was awake. I came down and sat with him. When I came down Chikki also slept. I started looking out of the train window and saw a big river. Papa guessed that perhaps it was Chambal River. But he was not sure. He told me that if it was Chambal, we would soon see many hillocks and ravines that are home of the dacoits. In the mean time, we passed a station named Morena. As I read that name and told it to Papa. Papa confirmed that indeed that area was the home of the dacoits and the river was the Chambal River. I was thinking that if it is the home of dacoits they would stop the train and enter inside. But they didn’t!

After that I saw only farms and greenery. Travelling in Duronto was fun because we got lots of junk food to eat – biscuits, chips, cold-drinks. Late in the evening, there was an announcement that the train had been diverted. So instead of reaching Pune Junction at 7:00 am we would reach there at 1:00pm and the dinner would be served at 10:00 pm. I slept after eating paranthas that Mummy brought with her.

Next day morning, when I woke up, only mummy was awake. I went down and sat by the window. After brushing my teeth, I started my day reading a book by “Ruskin Bond” with a cup of coffee. Good thing about the train was that its toilets were always dry and neat and clean. We finally reached Pune by 1:00 pm. My Bade Papa was there to receive us.

Manan is elder to me. Last time when we met in Noida he was shorter than me. I was curious, how tall he has become. I want to be taller than him. I even promised Mummy that from now onwards I would eat all green vegetables. And Yup, he was still smaller than me. It was fun meeting Manan, Tanvi, Bade Papa and Badee Mummy.

The Aga-Khan Palace

Next day we all got ready soon. We were going to Aga Khan’s Palace. In Aga Khan’s Palace we saw the room where Mahatma Gandhi was kept like a prisoner. In that room there was his Charkha, books and glass. I asked Papa,”Is this really the Charkha used by Mahatma Gandhi?” Papa confirmed, “Yes, it is”. In all the rooms of Aga Khan’s Palace there were paintings and statues. I even saw the bathroom used by Mahatma Gandhi. The bathroom was better than ours. It was amazing to see a bathroom better than future ones.

Then we visited the samadhis of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, secretary of Mahatma Gandhi. It was very green. Manan and I climbed and sat on a tree. It was a great time there.

From Aga Khan’s Palace we went to Tribal Museum. It had many utensils, tools, ornaments, dresses, masks, paintings (mainly from Worli tribes), and musical instruments on display. In the small open area there were huts and statues showing the life and culture of different tribes. There were different types of different tribes like Madia etc. On one side of Madia hut there was a statue of huge man. He appeared as if he came straight from Guliver’s world.

The tribal museum

Then we went to Shinde Chhatri. It was not much interesting to us kids. The more interesting thing was that in this time we had finished a big packet of “Hide & Seek” biscuits, my favorite. From there we went to a restaurant, had our lunch with ice-cream.

Shinde Chhatri

When we were crossing the road to go to lifestyle shop, Manan stepped on Tanvi’s chappal and Tanvi’s chappal broke. Then we went into life style shop. Even after spending lot of time in the shop we only bought a chappal for Tanvi and a T-shirt for Manan. Manan and I were searching for the restrooms. We were told that it is on the 3rd floor, attached to the furniture section. We quickly went to the third floor and instead of going to the rest room, we sat on all sofas and thought of bouncing on them. There were no bouncy sofas. Then we tried the beds. Only one of them was bouncy. There we also saw a swing that is found in houses. We did the swinging for five minutes and went into the bathrooms only when we could not stop ourselves.

From there we went to our flat and spent rest of the day watching TV and playing down in the society.

Next day we went to Raja Dinanath Kelkar Museum. At the entrance Mummy told me that Dinanath founded this museum in memory of his son Raja. This museum has only 12% of his collection. All other collections would be kept in the museum that would soon be starting at the highway joining Pune with Bangalore. We bought ticket for our still camera as well. They told us that flash is not allowed in the museum.

At the entrance we saw many statues, many carved doors, a diya stand in the shape of a flowery tree, in which every flower was a diya, made of wood. In the next room, I liked the animal shaped nut cutters and a decorated wheel. Next, the most interesting things were an armor, swords and guns which were very long. In the next room, I found the most interesting thing of museum, a model of Taj Mahal. And then I saw the replica of Mastani Mahal. Mastani was Baji Rao I’s wife. It was lovely. Then there were musical instruments on display, but after that the museum was a bit boring and we came out.

Mastani Mahal

Then we stopped at a famous shop in Pune and Mummy bought some snacks for us.

From there we went to the Lane-2 of Koregaon to visit Nalla Park. It was wonderful and there were trees all around. It is known as Nalla Park as it is made over a nala that used to carry the waste of Pune. We saw that nala too and the water in it looked like a fresh water. We went very close to it as well but there was no bad smell or the black color. At a place, I announced, “It is raining”. I could see water droplets falling in the water. Mummy said, it is not droplet, but are fishes.” I went to the bridge to have a closer look and indeed it was fish. Later, Tanmay and me took some dry leaves and threw them in the water, watching them float like boats. It was really worth a visit. I was not aware that a dirty nallah could be converted into such a nice place to be around :-)

Green and Clean Koregaon area

We also visited Chokhi Dhani in Pune. At the entrance with entrance ticket we were given many tickets for the rides inside. Inside we saw a big bell with a striker. The striker was very heavy. Papa strike it once and it sounded like a big monster was coming and running behind us. We all then climbed on a watch tower and ate Bhel-puri there. As we came down we saw a person making tattoos. Tanvi and Tanmay made tattoos on their hand.

Chokhi Dhani in Pune

Manan and I then were the first one to take the camel ride. It was dangerous. Both of us kept our eyes closed. I felt that the camel was jumping. We lied to Tanvi and told her, “Ha ha ha, it was great fun”. When Tanvi returned we saw that she was scared.

Camel ride

After that we took the baghi ride. We were watching the ride for some time. We knew that the two white horses were lazy. They were running very slow. We chose the black horse as it was running really very fast.

From there we went to take ride on the train “Chokhi Dhani Express”. It was like a real train. Its whistle sounded like a real train. The best part was that it in this train we could take our heads out of the window.

From there we went to a woman’s house. She was preparing Bajre ki roti. But I enjoyed Bhel-Puri more. So Manan and I again went to eat Bhel-Puri. After eating Bhel-Puri we came back to the Giant wheel. In the Giant wheel when we reached at the top, we all felt something unusual in our stomachs.

From Giant wheel, we moved forward. There we saw a man walking on a rope. The rope was tied to the logs and it was around fifteen feet above the ground. We all sat there to watch. After some time the show started. A young man climbed the logs. A man who was standing on the ground told him,

“खिलाड़ी महान बड़े बड़े साहब बैठें हैं कुछ ऐसा कर के दिखाइए की आपकी महानता पता चले| आपकी तारीफ हो| आप हमें इस रस्सी पर चल कर दिखाएँ|”
उपर जो लड़का था उसने रस्सी पर चल कर दिखाया|
नीचे वाले आदमी ने कहा, “खिलाड़ी महाराज, हमें यह खेल समझ नही आया”|
खिलाड़ी ने कहा “कैसे?”

“खिलाड़ी महान बड़े बड़े साहब बैठें हैं कुछ ऐसा कर के दिखाइए की आपकी महानता पता चले| आपकी तारीफ हो| खिलाड़ी महाराज आप इस रस्सी पर खड़े हो कर झुलें|”
फिर खिलाड़ी ने झूल कर दिखाया|
“खिलाड़ी महाराज, हमें तो यह खेल ही समझ नही आया”|

“खिलाड़ी महान बड़े बड़े साहब बैठें हैं कुछ ऐसा कर के दिखाइए की आपकी महानता पता चले| आपकी तारीफ हो| खिलाड़ी महाराज आप इस रस्सी पर लेट कर दिखायें|”
खिलाड़ी ने रस्सी पेर लेट कर दिखाया|
“खिलाड़ी महाराज, हमें तो यह खेल ही समझ नही आया”|

“खिलाड़ी महान बड़े बड़े साहब बैठें हैं कुछ ऐसा कर के दिखाइए की आपकी महानता पता चले| आपकी तारीफ हो| खिलाड़ी महाराज आप इस रस्सी पर लेट कर झूल कर दिखायें|”
खिलाड़ी ने लेट कर झूल कर दिखाया|
“खिलाड़ी महाराज, हमें तो यह खेल ही समझ नही आया”|

“खिलाड़ी महान बड़े बड़े साहब बैठें हैं कुछ ऐसा कर के दिखाइए की आपकी महानता पता चले| आपकी तारीफ हो| खिलाड़ी महान आप इस रस्सी पर लंगड़ी टाँग करके दिखायें|”
खिलाड़ी ने एक टाँग पर रस्सी पर झूल कर दिखाया|
“खिलाड़ी महाराज, हमें तो यह खेल ही समझ नही आया”|

“खिलाड़ी महान बड़े बड़े साहब बैठें हैं कुछ ऐसा कर के दिखाइए की आपकी महानता पता चले| आपकी तारीफ हो| खिलाड़ी महान आप इस रस्सी पर साइकल चला कर दिखायें|”
खिलाड़ी ने एक पहिए पर बॅलेन्स करके रस्सी पर चलने लगा | और रस्सी के बिल्कुल बीच में पहुँच कर वो झूलने लगा|
अभी भी मैं कभी-कभी उस आदमी की तरह “कैसेSSS” बोलता हूँ, और तन्मय हँसने लगता है|

All these performances were amazing. Then we went to see a Rajasthani Folk dance performance. I did not like it much. It was getting late and we were hungry. So we moved forward to eat the food. We all sat down and were given food in banana leaves plate. In the mean time, lights started going on-off and it happened many a times. The food was delicious. I liked it especially because of my favorite dish Daal-baati and Maal-pua.

After dinner we went to see juggling performances. The juggler was first juggling balls, and then he started juggling three big knives. Then we went to see the puppet show. It was funny. After that it was the turn of watching a Magician. He did wonderful tricks. He found a lost ring inside a tomato and in the end made our hands smell like the flowers of our likings. WoW!

After that we headed back towards the exit and instead of going out we went to make pottery. It was a learning experience. All of us tried our hands at the pottery wheel. There were many designs to choose. When it was my turn, the potter took my hand and pushed it gently through the moving clay. It was surprising to see that how that gentle touch brought such an exciting designs from the lump of clay. After we all did it once, we waited eagerly for it to dry. When it was dried, we took them in our carry bag and moved out.

While coming out, Badee Mummy and Tanvi wore the horse dress and danced wearing it.

Everytime we visited a place in Pune, we were always having a race between our auto, (having me, Manan, Tanmay and Papa), and one that carried Mummy, badee Mummy and Tanvi. We always won.

We used to sleep together. But none of us was really interested in sleeping, as soon as the elders left the rooms we started playing again. My stay in Pune was short but it was a great fun. I miss my cousin. I wish they were here.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    We are glad to see your post after so long. As usual very well narrated , informative post equally supported with beautiful pictures.

    You were suppose to visit Matheran , have you been to Matheran too ?

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Dear Rachit,
    Lots of love to you and a sweet kissi on the chick of this wonderful little traveler & writer. So finally after a long stretch, you again appeared on Ghumakkar its good, Well the post was beautifully narrated and the pictures were too beautiful. I always encourage my daughter to write a travelogue like you giving your example.


  • Dear Rachit ,

    You seemed to have enjoyed a lot…………
    very good post and good pics………

    Keep travelling , Keep posting………………

  • Sundar Shastry says:

    Dear Rachit,

    You have a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts and experiences. I felt as though I was with you on your journey. Great job. Keep it up.

  • Nandan says:

    Long time Rachit.

    I think the dacoits were not keen on looting Duranto , it being a fast train. You were lucky to find dry/clean toilets. May be because of non-stop nature of train, it doesn’t attract a lot of fleeting passengers.

    So there is a ‘Chokhi Dhani’ in Pune as well. Is it from the same guys as of Jaipur ?

    Wishing you more height and greater creativity. With love.

    Also, respond to comments when you find time.

    • Rachit Khamesra says:


      I did not reply because my first Term Exams were going on and I was busy.

      Well if you are thinking its a non-stop train you are wrong because next day when we were reaching Pune, the train stopped at many small stations and it was stopping at every station because the signal would be Red.

      I do not know about Jaipur’s Chokhi Dhani as I did not go there.

      Thanks for your good wishes.

      • Manish Khamesra says:


        I think it was of the same group of Jaipur. Activities were so similar that I wished for some novelty. I wish that we could have Chokhi dhani or similar names in different states with peculiarity of those states. It will be more fun.

        The toilets of Duronto were clean as there was a person employed to keep them dry and clean. Of course, in the end he requested for tip and got a feedback form filled as well. However, it was all worth.

  • vandana paranjape,nashik says:

    dear Rachit,mai nashikse hai,pune,matheran hamare karib hai.kaise laga hamara maharashtra?kabhi nashikbhi aana mere ghar aana nashikmebhi bahutkuchh hai dekhanelayak,trekingkeliye trimbakeshwar,saptshrungimatakagadh ex.

    • Rachit Khamesra says:


      Maharashtra to bahut sundar or maze karne wali jugeh he. Agar Nashik itni sundar jugeh he to me to agli bar nashik aunga kyoki mujhe treking kerne me bahut mazaa aata he.

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