As I type this, I’m still furious about the most irritating Sunday spent in Pune. It’s not been even a month since I’ve landed in Pune, and my, the drama I’ve faced every other day! Agreed, it’s difficult to commute in the city if you don’t have your own vehicle, but, buying one also is a pain. I decided to buy a second hand vehicle as I’d require it for to and fro commuting between office and home. Travelling by auto has burnt many holes in my pocket and reduction in phone credit already. My mother had been yelling at me for not arranging for my own vehicle sooner. Little does she know that it’s not a piece of cake landing a second hand scooty seller altogether! I had been browsing through online advertisements, making numerous calls to sellers, deciding on having a look at the vehicles they want to sell.
It was 29th July, a Sunday, and I had made a list of sellers and dealers I’d be meeting, in my little diary. After taking a shower, I informed them that I’d be leaving my house for the agreed place of meeting. My first stop was Phoenix mall, Viman Nagar, where I’d be meeting a student who wanted to sell her scooty. The deal from the first phone call seemed certain, as her price and model of the vehicle fit my preference. She asked me to wait at home for an hour before leaving for our meeting place as she was “caught up with some work”. I knew beforehand that the auto fare to Viman Nagar would cost me a bomb. After her response to leave for my house for Phoenix mall, I was feeling elated that I’d be finalizing on a vehicle possession. Five minutes from the mall, the girl sends a text message that said her scooty had already been sold! I was a little perplexed. She then sent another text saying she was extremely sorry about making me travel so far. And a third text that said, “Bt since ur comin here v cn atleast meet up”! My blood was boiling. I ignored the text, asked the auto driver to pull over, while I called others in my list of vehicles to check out. To my dismay, most of them had either been sold, the dealer showrooms had shut down for the day or they refused to take my calls! In an hours’ time these vehicles had been sold! I asked the auto driver to go back to where I caught the auto from. While he kept driving, I continued making calls. And the climate was cold! I was shivering while making the calls.
After nearly an hour of relentless phone calls, I got hold of another number of a lady who had kept her scooty up for sale. As per the phone call, I asked the auto driver to take me to Katraj! I had to travel to the other end of the city from where we were heading! I could sense irritation from him. I was disappointed myself, and ended up taking it out on my mother and sister who tried calming me down over the phone. In addition, there were no ATMs enroute to Katraj apparently. So we had to go Jangli Maharaj road for me to withdraw money and then head to Katraj!
I reached Katraj, cold till my bone marrow. Five hundred bucks at least I had to shell out. It was a depressing sight, handing over my money to the grinning auto driver. I waited for ten minutes for the lady to arrive. I looked around. That part of Pune seemed so very different from what I had seen. It looked like a small town with people who liked ogling at women like they’ve never come across any! “Next time, I’ll dress up like a boy, with sneakers, biker jacket, baggy pants and a cropped hair cut”, I chided myself.
I finally met my prospective seller. She picked me up from where I was and took me to her house, where she showed me her scooty. I was satisfied with its functioning and its look. Or maybe I was in a hurry to finalize on a vehicle. After some negotiation, we settled the deal. I told her to transfer the vehicle in my name and get all the documentation done. Once the vehicle is handed over with the documents, I’d pay her the consolidated amount. We shook hands, and she dropped me off to a bus stop.
I had to cross the road to stand at the bus stop where I’d get a direct bus to Shivajinagar. I was nearly run over by a bus that was going in the opposite direction on the one way road! My heart nearly fell out of my mouth! After getting myself together, I got my bus. But the dramatic day did not plan to end for me. The bus ended up with a puncture and we had to get off at Swargate to catch yet another bus. I was demented at the sight of cattle of people pushing each other to get into the bus! And most of them being men, I decided to catch an auto and reach home peacefully and safe. Again, I had to let go of my last hundred bucks in my wallet. And the auto wala played loud, not-heard-of disgusting Hindi songs. I yelled at him to turn it off!
I finally reached home, my home in a new city, Pune. I was relieved. I was safe. I was peaceful. After a long day of travelling almost the entire city with a bagful of disappointments, I was happy that I had a safe place to come home to, in the end. “Thank you God for giving me this wonderful day. Help me to remember all the things I learnt today”, I muttered, before slumber embraced.