Thursday, September 06, 2012

Coffee and Conversations

"I can help the next person in line here" shouted the cashier. Erica walked up to the cashier, the cashier said - "Let me guess, you want a tall pike place roast coffee to go." Erica smiled and said "yes please". It was daily routine for her to visit the nearby coffee house, pick up her favorite coffee and walk to class. The baristas and the cashier at the coffee house knew her by now and expected her every morning on the weekdays at 8 am. She would be out with her coffee latest by 8.05 am. But today, she had to wait longer and she kept staring at the counter to see why she hadn't received her coffee yet. She did not see her usual barista handling the roasted coffee, but instead saw a new guy who seemed to be learning from the other experienced baristas.

Finally at 8.12 the new guy shouted - "tall pike place roast for Erica please." From behind the coffee roasting machines, the barista saw a young girl's beautiful face come closer to him. A few curls of her hair fell on her face, her beautiful green eyes were complimented by a radiant smile. It was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen that reflected in her eyes. She walked up to him and asked - "is this your first day today?". At a loss for words he replied - "No, I mean yes, is it your first day too?" She laughed and said "I come here every morning to get my coffee. Ok I got to run, late for my class". She picked her coffee and left. The barista kept looking at her till she walked outside the door and spent the whole day thinking about her. He eagerly kept waiting for the next morning.

"I can help the next person in line here" shouted the cashier. Erica ordered the usual and waited for her order. She glanced at the coffee roasting machine, the new barista was there. He was looking at her; their eyes met and Erica smiled. At 8.05, the barista shouted "tall pike place roast for Erica please." Erica walked up to him, tucked her curls behind her ear and said "Not bad, you seemed to have picked up really quick".
"Not really, I worked on your order first. I'm still picking up."
"Wouldn't your other customers be mad at you?"
"They might, but I didn't want you to be late to your class".
She smiled at him, picked her coffee and said "See you tomorrow."

"I can help the next person in line here" shouted the cashier. Erica ordered her usual and waited for her name to be called. At 8.01, the barista shouted "tall pike place roast for Erica please." Erica was surprised to hear her name so quick. She walked up to the counter, tucker her curls behind her ear and saw the barista smiling at her.
"I'm surprised that you made the coffee so quick today morning."
"Actually, I haven't made it yet. I wanted to ask you if you'd like some customizations to your regular order."
"Sure, what do you have."
"I wondered if you ever tried your coffee the Indian way."
"No I haven't, but tell me more."
"Roasted filter coffee, a little bit of cream, some sugar and milk."
"I think I could try that for today."
"If you don't like it, I'll make you your regular one"
Erica took a sip of the coffee and smiled. "This is really good. You should have this on the menu."
"I asked the manager to add it to the menu, but he did not like the idea. But if you want the same coffee tomorrow, ask for your usual coffee, but tell the cashier that you want Raj to make it for you."
Erica smiled and said "Thanks Raj, I will remember it."

"I can help the next person in line here" shouted the cashier. "A tall pike place roast ... made by Raj please." The cashier looked at her, then looked at Raj and saw the two of them looking at each other and smiling. Instead of waiting for her coffee as usual, she walked up to Raj.
"Good morning. How's your day?"
"A very good morning Erica. My day has just started."
Erica tucker her curls behind her ear and said "Oh, so you just came to work?"
"No I come to work at 6, but my day starts with your order."
For a moment, there was silence as the two looked into each others eyes. Erica broke the silence with her laugh and said "Will you be able to recreate yesterday's magic?"
"Certainly. I'm on it right now. I'm assuming you go to Cornell, since that's the only college in this college town. What do you study there?"
"You're right. I am in the Industrial and Labor Relations school and I'm in my junior year. What about you?"
"I am in my senior year in the College of Agriculture and Food Science. My classes start at 10.30, so I work here from 6 to 10."
"Wow that must be tough - waking up early, working here and making it to class."
"Not so much, if you're passionate about something. Here's your coffee. See you tomorrow?"
"Thanks Raj. Yes, I'll be here tomorrow."

The next day as Erica walked up to the coffee house, she saw Raj standing outside with two cups of coffee. She was surprised to see him there.
"I was wondering if I could walk with you to your school and we can enjoy some coffee and conversations."
Erica smiled at Raj, tucked her curls behind her ear and said "only if it is made the Raj way!"

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The importance of Rupee 1 in my life

Incident 1:
It was a Saturday. I had visited the nearby temple in the evening and after seeking His blessings, I was getting into my car. That is when a beggar came along and said - "मालिक. भगवान् तुम्हारा भला करेगा. खाने के लिए कुछ दे दे!" I checked my wallet to find some change. And all i could find was Re 1. I gave him the Rupee. He looked at the coin, then looked at me derisively and said - "एक रुपये में क्या आता है? चाय पानी तोह दे दो!" I looked at him and said - "जितना दिया उतना रख, वरना यह भी वापिस कर दे. और अगर चाय पानी चाहिए तोह काम कर. भीख मत मांग!" The thankless and shameless beggar snarled at me in his local language and walked away slipping away the rupee in his pocket.

Many times, I feel sorry at the plight of beggars and I feel that we as a society should do something for them. But after meeting this one, I actually felt - "Bloody Mo-Fo, you deserve to be a beggar all your life."

Incident 2:
Petrol cost Rs 54.50 per liter. I asked the petrol pump attendant to fill 2 liters in my Kinetic. He set the electronic machine to fill 2 liters and after the job was done, the machine read that I owed Rs 109. I gave the attendant Rs 110. He put the money in his bag and said - "Sir I dont have 1 Rupee. Sorry." He then looked away and directed the bike behind to come ahead. I said - "What. You don't have a rupee. No problems." I opened the petrol tank and said - "Fill my tank with Re 1 petrol. Set your machine this time price wise instead of quantity wise and fill it up." The bike guy behind started laughing. The petrol pump guy condescendingly looked at me and said - "Sir, why you doing like this. It's just a question of 1 Rupee!" I said - "It's not a question of 1 Rupee, it's a question of work ethics. I should get what I pay for. Fill it up or give me my rupee!"
Believe it or not, he actually set the electronic machine for 1 Rupee and filled my tank with drops of fuel worth Re 1. My bike surely felt heavier than before.

Incident 3

The cashier at my office canteen is over smart. Whenever he had to return Re 1, he would give people 1 Eclair confectionery sweet each costing Re 1. To return Rs 2, he would give people 2 of those. People were visibly agitated by his 'forceful selling' tactics. I was also a victim of that a couple of times. Despite repeated haggling with him, he continued this practice of his.
One day, I went to buy a cup of tea and the cashier demanded "Rs 3 sir." I handed out 3 Eclairs and gave him. He looked at me bewildered and said "Change please sir. This is not accepted." I was waiting for him to say this. I snapped back saying "You can use this as a substitute for Re 1 and we can't. Bull shit. Better take this or we'll complain to the location manager." The cashier said "This time I am taking, next time, give me change." Sarcastically I replied "Same to you bhai."

Aah! The power of Rupee 1!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Spark Theory

"And you still look as gorgeous as before!"

Mansi turned to the left to see which guy was giving her this unexpected compliment. Mansi and Vikram's eyes met, she looked down and smiled. A couple of her curly tresses fell gently on her face. Tucking them back behind her ears, she looked up again said "Ahaan. I know that. Thanks for the compliment though!"

"I see, it's been so many years but modesty is still one of your virtues. Quite as expected."

Vikram and Mansi broke into a courteous laughter. They studied together at an engineering college in Pune University for four years. After that Vikram headed off to Bangalore for his job and Mansi continued to work in Pune. After five long years, they met at their college friend's wedding reception. It was quite strange that both of them did not stay in touch since college despite living in the social networking era. Their past history made it a bit awkward for them to stay in touch.

Vikram put his arm around a beautiful lady standing next to him. "Mansi, meet Shaina - my fiancé. Shaina meet Mansi, my friend from college."

"Hey, congrats Vikram! That's a pleasant surprise. Congrats to you as well Shaina!"

"Thank you. How have you been?"

"I've been good Vikram. It's been so long since we met. And it's so good to see so many of our batch mates finding their special someones and getting settled. Now you too are added in the list."

"So Mansi, have you found your special someone? I remember Vikram telling me that you were one of the prettiest girls in his batch. I am sure you would have many gentlemen vying for your attention."

Mansi looked at Vikram who was also looking at her. She immediately turned to Shaina and said - "Unfortunately not yet. But I am not in a hurry right now. I need to do a lot of exciting things in my career before I get settled. I have achieved a personal target for myself before getting married. I am going to the US for my MBA course which is for two years. Only after that is when I'll think of settling down."

"That's impressive. Vikram and I are also heading to the US after marriage. While Vikram will be working in California, I plan to pursue my MBA from one of the good schools there. I too wanted to marry after my studies, but my parents insisted that I meet Vikram. When I met him, he just felt like the right guy and I had to tweak my plans a little bit. I still will be doing my MBA, but my options will be limited only to schools in California. Can't try for any of the schools on the East Coast. But I guess, that's a very small price to pay!"

"Yes Shaina, that's absolutely right. I think you've taken the right decision. And yes, Vikram is very lucky to have you as his life partner, I am not sure if you are equally lucky."

The three of them were interrupted in their cheerful conversation when Vikram and Shaina were dragged by Vikram's friend to the reception stage for a group photo. Mansi walked towards the buffet counter with her friends. While walking, she couldn't help but remember the last day of college. She and Vikram were waiting inside the canteen for the rest of their gang to join them.

Vikram looked at Mansi and said - "So this is it. Four years of college have been some of the best moments of my life."

"Absolutely, mine too! You've been a special friend Vikram. I'll miss you if you decide to take the Bangalore job. But I know we'll always be in touch!"

"Yeah, I'll miss you too. Frankly, I like you and I'd like to know you more to evaluate the possibility of a beautiful relationship between you and me."

"What are you saying Vikram? I have never thought of anything like that between the two of us. I don't see you that way. I really cherish your friendship. To be upfront, I don't think anything can happen between the two of us, cause I don't see that spark in you. I don't know how to explain, but that's just how I feel!"

"What spark are you talking about Mansi? I thought we were almost dating what with our movie trips, dinners, long drives, phone calls at odd hours. I thought we are really comfortable with each other. In fact you also know that people in our group think we are seeing each other. I don't care what others think but this is the perception we've given others. I don't mind that at all because as I said I'd like to develop our relationship further."

"I am really sorry to say that. You are a great guy Vikram and I wish you the best. I loved hanging around with you and sharing so many of my thoughts and life incidents with you, but somehow, this just doesn't seem right because I don't see the spark in you. I wish I could explain, but I don't know how as this is too awkward."

"Ok. I won't make this too awkward for you. Let's end this conversation here."

"Thanks for understanding Vikram. You know ... "
Mansi was interrupted in between when her friends Pallavi and Amit joined them. Their whole gang had a blast that evening to celebrate their last day of college and no more exams for a few more years to come! Two weeks later Vikram left for Bangalore and since then Vikram and Mansi did not make a serious attempt to stay in touch. Vikram was hurt by Mansi's response towards his feelings and he felt that he would be more hurt if he continued to be in touch with her. He had feelings for Mansi and didn't want to be just one of her 'good' friends. Mansi too did not make an attempt to stay in touch because was expecting Vikram to write her mails, ping her on chat or call her which he never did.

"Madam - roti ya poori?" Mansi was woken up from her thoughts by one of the serving guys at the buffet counter. "I'll have a roti please. Thanks."

The next day Mansi met her best friend Pallavi in whom she confided everything.
"You know Pallavi, it was great to meet Vikram after such a long time. I was really happy to see him. But I hate to admit that I was a little disturbed when I met his fiancé Shaina. They looked so happy with each other. Shaina seems to be a great girl, but when I saw them together, I felt the void in my life which I don't even admit to myself."

"But I thought you never really were interested in Vikram. Why the sudden impulse?"

"I don't know. Somehow I am all messed up in my head when it comes to relationships. Again, I don't know how to explain - just the same way I wasn't able to explain it to Vikram on the last day of college. Maybe, I am not sure what I want. I've had two relationships after Vikram, but sadly neither of them worked. I am doing great with my career, but when it comes to my personal life, I am all screwed ... "

"I think I probably know what this is. You are probably repenting over the whole 'I don't see the spark in you' theory of yours. I remember you telling me that you saw a spark in Karan and that you are heading towards something exciting in your relationship. You said something similar when you were dating Vivek. But look at what happened, both your so called exciting relationships failed. Perhaps, Vikram was the right guy for you and you always sought Vikram in both Karan and Vivek. Though you saw the spark in them, you didn't see the qualities that your life partner should have in either of them. So really, sparks just fly in Mills & Boons romance or Paul Coelho philosophy. Too difficult to implement in real life. But just cheer up now, what's done is done, you need to ... "

While talking, Pallavi lifted the curls of hair falling on Mansi's face to tuck them behind her ears so she can see her face and she saw a quiet tear trickling down her cheek ....

Friday, June 04, 2010

Dev is typing ...

Dev: The party last night was so boring. I wish you were here. At least I would have had some interesting conversations like how we had in the last party.
Rhea is typing...
Rhea: Really? Didn't u meet an angel this time? Last time u met a devil - this time I thot u'd meet a nice angel who wud sweep u off yer feet.
Dev is typing...
Dev: No actually, I don't like angels. I am pretty devilish too. lol ;)
Rhea is typing...
Rhea: ahahaha.. OK I think I mite just fall asleep as it's quite late now. And I got a long day at work 2mrw. Bfn
Rhea is offline.

Dev closed his GTalk window and got back to his work. Dev and Rhea studied engineering from the same college in Mumbai, Rhea being two years his junior. Though they were in the same college, they never really met there. When Rhea came to Delhi for her cousin's engagement, she bumped into Dev at a party. They were introduced through common friends and during their conversations, they found out about their college connection! The world's a small place, isn't it?

Since both of them were in different locations, they added each other on GTalk to stay in touch. What started with occasional hi and hello, soon became conversations that both of them looked forward to. They found that they shared quite a few common interests like books, music, food, etc. They had this very interesting thing going on where each would share a song with the other one that would convey the mood that they have been in that day. Their conversations would range from the lyrics to the music to the artist to the mood and they totally enjoyed doing so. The penchant for music that they shared brought them quite close. It so happened that they looked forward to speak to each other every single day.

Dev and Rhea spent close to four months speaking to each other via phone, email and chat. One fine day, Dev's company decided to send him for a day to Mumbai for a conference. Dev was quite thrilled at this idea as he would get a chance to meet Rhea. He was even considering staying back in Mumbai for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the trip to Mumbai fell in the middle of a week and he had important meetings the following days in Delhi. So he couldn't extend his stay in Mumbai. Still, he was quite excited to be in Mumbai and decided to give a surprise to Rhea once he reached.

Dev managed really well to keep his Mumbai trip under wraps. His conference was from 11 am to 4 pm and his flight for Delhi on the same day was at 8.30 pm. He thought that after the conference he would call up Rhea and meet her for a cup of coffee or something. But things don't work out as we want them to, do they? Unfortunately, after the conference, some delegates showed keen interest in knowing about his company's new product and he had to give them a few presentations which went on till 6.30. Finally he didn't have the time to meet her, but he thought he should at least give her a call and say hello. He knew she would be mad at him for not meeting her up despite being in Mumbai, but still, to be polite he decided to. But then again, things don't work out as we want them to! He took out his phone to find out that the battery had drained off. He kept it back in his pocket and headed to the airport.

Once he was back in Delhi, he thought it would be best not to mention about this incident to Rhea, just so that she doesn't get upset. But things don't work out the way we want them to. One day Rhea gets an update on Facebook saying "Dev Mehta has been tagged in an album 'LTC, Mumbai 2010'". She checked the date and she realized that Dev was in Mumbai just 2 days ago and he didn't inform her. That night she met him online and when Dev was talking casually, this is how the conversation went:
Rhea: The weather in Mumbai is terrible... its so hot .. didnt u think so when u were here a few days ago? is delhi as bad as mumbai now?
Dev is typing...
Dev has entered text.
Dev is typing...
Dev has entered text.
Dev is typing..
Dev: I really wanted to give you a surprise. But it was so crazy. I was there just for a day, the phone was conked off, I had to rush for the flight, some clients clung on to me ... you know how it is. I am sorry. I really wanted to meet you.
Rhea is typing...
Rhea: k. gd nite
Rhea is offline

Dev felt really terrible for what he did. He cursed himself for not telling her. More than that he cursed Facebook. That very instant he went on to his FB privacy settings and disallowed anybody else to tag him. But still the damage couldn't be undone. He dropped her a few mails, no reply. SMSes, no reply. He would ping her on GTalk, no reply. This went on for a few days and he was also tired of 'stalking' her as she would say. But he would always feel that his day wasn't complete if he wouldn't speak to her.

One day while listening to Howie Day's collide, he felt that the song really suited his situation right now. He missed sharing the song with Rhea. So he thought let's use the wretched Facebook that ruined his life to some use. He posted one stanza from the song as his status message and he wished she read it.
"Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide"

That night when he logged on to his FB account to see if anyone left any comments on his status - he found random people leaving juvenile comments like - 'Who's the YOU dude' ... 'Mr Mehta - whom do you wanna collide with' and one dope even left a comment that said - 'ummn, ya. whatever'. But the one whose comment he wanted to see did not leave any. Suddenly he saw his GTalk window flashing - Rhea says... He opened the window and saw a message from Rhea. She was online
Rhea: I like it - your FB status message.
Dev is typing...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


“Excuse me…”, said Aditi to a tall guy standing next to her.

“Yes”, he replied.

“Could you please get me the bottle of coffee on the top shelf? My hand does not reach there and there’s no store attendant around.”

“Sure. No problems”

Karan reached out for the coffee bottle and while giving it to Aditi, had a look at the brand and said – “Is this a new brand of coffee? I have never seen this brand before.”

“Yeah. I too am buying this for the first time. This is strong Colombian Coffee and I had it a friend’s place last night. Got really hooked onto it and decided to buy it today. Anyways, thanks for helping. See ya around”, said Aditi.

“Looks interesting. Maybe I’ll give it a try too since I like coffee. And you’re welcome”, said Karan with a smile.

Half an hour later, Aditi joined the serpentine queue at the billing counter waiting for her turn to come. A couple of minutes later, Karan too joined the queue. He was fretting at the thought of waiting long for his turn to come. Karan was standing right behind Aditi but neither of them realized that they were standing next to each other. While checking the items in her cart for the nth time, she saw another cart nearby and she started glancing in that cart to while away time. While glancing at the items in the other cart, she found the same brand of coffee that she had bought. She thought that this coffee brand seems to have become quite popular. She was curious to know who else shares the same taste as hers and cast a look in the upward direction from the corner of her eye. Little was she aware that Karan on this side too was indulging in the same activity to while away his time. While checking out each other, their eyes met, they both broke into an awkward laughter and Karan said, “Hey there. Wassup?”

“All good. Finally finished buying groceries for this week and now waiting in this looooong queue which doesn’t seem to move!”

“Exactly!! It takes half an hour to buy and 1 hour to pay. It’s terrible! They should really have self check out retail counters. Things would have been much faster. Hopefully international players can bring in customer friendly retail technology”

“Yes, all we can do is just hope. So I can see you too have bought this Colombian coffee.”

“You’re right. I love coffee. I’ve tried quite a few varieties of coffee – American Roast, Italian Roast, Starbucks’ Pike Roast, Freeze-dried coffee, et al. This Colombian coffee sounds interesting and worth a try. And I thought since you are buying it, it surely would be tasting good.”

Aditi smiled and said, “Yeah right. We don’t even know each other and you thought I have good taste in coffee.”

“You don’t have to know each other to make a judgment on someone’s taste. In my opinion, the appearance gives it away.”Flirting came naturally to Karan.

Aditi smiled and replied – “So according to that logic, you too should be having a good taste.”

“If you say so. And about not knowing each other”, Karan put his hand forward and said, “Hi, this is Karan.”

“And Hey, this is Aditi”.

“So now we know each other. How easy was that.”

They still had quite a few customers ahead of them before the main billing counter. So they continued talking. Aditi was a store designer and Karan was a software consultant. So they had a lot of interesting things to talk about their professions and they shared a common passion for food. So they were totally enjoying each other’s company. Finally it was Aditi’s turn at the billing counter. She finished her billing and waited at the gate. Karan too finished his billing and came out of the Exit door. Karan was pleasantly surprised to see Aditi waiting for him.

She said “It was great talking to you. I guess I would have been bored to death waiting in that long queue, but in your company I didn’t even realize how long we were standing there.”

“Same here. It was good fun to talk to you. Hopefully next time, I’ll help you again to bring off that bottle of coffee from the shelf.” They both laughed. Then Aditi said, “Why can’t I see any taxis or rickshaws right now. This is supposed to be a taxi stand and I don’t see a single taxi here. That’s strange!”

Karan said, “Don’t you know that public transport officials are on strike today. How did you come?”

“What! I remembered about that strike till yesterday night and I forgot about that today morning! My friend dropped me to the store as the store was on her way to work.”

“Which side of the city do you stay. Maybe I could give you a lift.”

“Hey! No problem. I just stay about 2 to 3 kms from here. I’ll walk it through. I won’t hit the gym today in the evening.”

“It’s not a big deal. Which side do you stay? I have a car. I can drop you till some distance. And besides you got two heavy bags. Walking with these bags in this sun isn’t good. So if you don’t mind me dropping you somewhere, I could give you a lift.”

At first she was hesitant about going with someone whom she had met just half an hour before. But her instinct told her to trust him since he looked like a good guy and said, “I live in Andheri West, near Alpha”

“Great. I too stay in Andheri West. But I live near Shopper’s Stop. So I could drop you till your society. Just wait here till I get my car from the parking.”

She waited with the bags till he came out of the parking. She kept her stuff in the backseat and sat in the car. After just driving for 200 meters, they stopped at the red signal. Karan said, “And hey, Andheri West is not just 2 to 3 kms from here. It would easily be around double that distance. Looks like you aren’t good at approximating distances.”

“No I know my distances well. I didn’t want you to go out of your way to drop me. And FYI, I am quite good at approximating distances!”

“Oh is it? So let’s play a game of approximating distances. So from here to that Subway at the corner, how much do you think would be the distance.”

“Not more than 600 metres.”

“That was quick. Let me set my digital distance meter to 0. Let’s see how good Ms Aditi is at distance approximation….. Err, Ms Aditi or Mrs Aditi?”

She smiled and said “Ms Aditi! And my distance approximation would also be right.”

And it was right. The distance meter read 580 meters. They continued playing this game for quite some time and they were having a good time.

Finally they reached Aditi’s apartment. Just to be polite, she asked Karan “Coffee…?”

Thursday, April 01, 2010

'Maid'en Resume

One of my friends who's doing his MS at Georgia Tech Univ, USA, shared a hilarious episode about an Indian student in his university looking for a domestic help. This is what the student posted on the Indians' mailing group:
Hey all,
i recently moved into atlanta... i am having a really hard time managing my household chores and juggling them with the ridiculously high course load.... i would appreciate it if someone (preferably a girl) could help me out with cooking, cleaning and few other chores. I am offering $12 per hour for the above help (for approximately 15 hours a week). For those who don't find the above offer lucrative can kindly consider the following situation,
Unless the girl has a TA/RA, normally a girl earns around $6-9 working part time on campus. This is an offer you wouldn't like to refuse. Serious applicants may send their resume to the above address within a week (mid sems coming up..!!:-))

Thanking you,
myself (xxx)

As expected, in response to his mailer, people humiliated him. Some people sent out resumes like the one below. Girls almost came out of the screen and bashed him.
To secure a challenging and motivating work opportunity in domestic services and other household chores.... See More

Technologies: Microwave Oven, Gas Oven, Gas Stove, Electric Stove, Toaster, Mixer, Rice Cooker and Refrigerator
Platforms: Granite, Marble and Formaica (I generally use a chopping (board)
Tools: Knives, Spoons, Forks, Pans, 'Kadai', etc.


1. Chhole
-Canned Publix Garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes, onions (chopped),
Badshah chhole Masala, other ingredients as per taste
-Employed self made recipe on uncountable occassions and beta tested
the results on sample set of varying sex, background, nationality and

2. Dal
-Capable of preparing moong, tuwar, black and also the Maharaj Special
Dal Palak, Dal Mutter

3. Rice
-Biryani, Pulao, Plain and Jeera
-Prepared using rice cooker, gas stove and electric stove
- If employed, will be able to carry my own rice cooker to work

One of the best resumes I've read!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What I love about Pune in the monsoons!

I am very fortunate to live in a city like Pune where the weather is pleasant all the year round as compared to other cities in India (except Bangalore probably). The weather in Pune becomes all the more awesome during the rains - moderate rainfall that lasts for a few hours, the trees around look greener, canopy of dark clouds that blocks the harsh sunlight, cool breeze throughout the day. It's great fun to be in the city during this time.

But apart from the weather, there are certain things in / around Pune that makes me wait for the monsoons to arrive. I have tried to recollect and write down some of them:

Misal Pav:
It is a traditional Indian dish sold in the streets of Mumbai, Pune and parts of Maharastra, India. It consists of spicy curry usually made of chick peas and chilly powder gravy. The final dish is topped with Punjabi mix or sev (Indian noodles), onions, lemon and coriander (cilantro). It is usually served with bread. Sitting on Bedekar's wooden benches eating the d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. and spicy missal paav that makes your eyes as well as your mouth water for more is an experience to cherish!

Kanda Bhaji:
Onion fritters, one of the more popularly consumed Maharastrian dish. It commonly sold by vendors on every street in Mumbai / Pune. Sitting in your car that is parked near the kanda bhaji vendor with the sound of rain on your car roof, rain water on your wind-screen and eating piping hot kanda bhaji with green chillies and tea is a typical Puneri style of welcoming the rains

Wada Pav:
This is a popular veg fast food dish native to the Indian state of Maharashtra. It consists of a deep fried potato-onion-ginger-garlic-coriander cutlet sandwiched between two slices of a bread. This is the poor Indian man's McDonald's burger. Standing under the makeshift roof of a wada-pav vendor to shield from the rains and savoring a bite of the spicy hot wada pav makes the reveller sing - ta da da ta da - I'm lovin' it!

Khadakwasla dam:
Khadakwasla is a small calm and quiet place which is situated 20 km from Pune. This dam is one of the main sources of water for the city of Pune. Synonymous with rains, a trip to Khadakwasla is a must during every monsoon. Eating the bhutta (corn), sipping tea, walking barefoot on the mud, playing in the water - is a perfect way to spend an evening during the monsoons.

Drive on the Mumbai-Pune expressway:
The expressway is India's first six-lane concrete, high-speed, access controlled tolled expressway. It spans a distance of 93 km (58 miles) connecting Mumbai and Pune. Driving on the expressway after driving on the pot-holed roads of Pune during rains is a big relief and a welcome change!

Various treks are organized to the forts built by the Peshwas - Sinhagad, Torna, Pratapgad, Rajmachi, Rajgadh, etc. The trek to the top of a fort during the rainy season with your friends is an ideal way to spend a rainy weekend.

Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani-Mapro Farms:
Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani are famous hill stations near Pune well known for their strawberries. Mapro farms in Panchgani is an ideal place to spend a couple of hours with friends to have cheese-burst pizzas / cheese laden sandwiches and strawberry with fresh cream ... slurrp! Sitting at a corner table at Mapro's that overlooks the pristine green valley and catching up with friends is a perfect way to unwind the week's hectic schedule.

These are some of the things I love about Pune during the monsoons. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I shall enjoy doing them :) I would also appreciate if you add your own list of things that you like about Pune in the monsoons!