Mumbai Memoir 96- ‘Speed Breaking’ beyond Mumbai borders!
Shraddha Sankulkar visits the city of Pune
After juggling with the urban stresses of an ever-evolving city like Mumbai, its obvious to feel like one is tipping off balance. Serving the tax filing deadlines, bearing the cabbies through the snail pace traffic situation and dodging the road construction sites in pouring rains, drains out most of Mumbaikars these days.
Besides experiencing all of the typical urban stresses, my health too stressed me out in the month of July & August. I urgently needed a mental de-tox from ‘all the blues’ that the city and my mind was splashing on me! The opportunity to re-boot myself came along when my academy colleagues planned an overnight monsoon getaway to Pune.
Pune is a city located 150 kms away from Mumbai. Due to the Express Highway, it just takes 3 hours to connect Pune to Mumbai. The early morning weekend drive on the Express Highway was an awesome feeling, as scenic views of valleys and mountains exhibited lush greenery and foggy ambiance around.
After reaching Pune it was ‘fun zone’ through out day till the early hours of next day’s dawn. Games, food & beverages, discussions and soaking in the pool, just was the need of the hour for everyone, to feel positively distracted and stay in the warmth of a friendly bonding to temporarily ‘cut the crap’ of a hectic urban life. Next day, after breakfast everyone bid goodbye and headed back, but I chose to stay behind and explore Pune before I returned back to Mumbai.
My first exploration was National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune. I had heard a lot about this Defence Academy (NDA) and how it trains soldiers, fit for entry into various Indian Defence forces. Patriotic vibes were oozing out of me as I passedcheck posts that displayed the words ‘Jai Hind’ (Victory to India) on it. The Academy is situated on a hill top, off Bhugaon, at Khadakwasla area. Here is a documentary on NDA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3GRvy4cSBA It was an amazing ascending drive till the gate of the NDA after which I got back, as I had other destinations in Pune to explore till sunset.
My next destination was Osho Teerth Park situated at Koregaon park. 6am-9am & 3pm-6pm is the time limit to visit this unique park. After lunch I reached the park by 4:30pm. This park is an extension of Osho International Meditation Resort & Ashram, established by Acharya Rajneesh (Osho). More of this meditation centre here: https://www.osho.com/ This centre is very popular among overseas travellers seeking spiritual enlightenment through Eastern philosophy, as interpreted by the founder of the cult- Guru Rajneesh.
Only registered members can enter the strictly guarded Meditation resort, but entry to Osho Teerth Park is open for general public. Besides the lush greenery and sound of flowing water, what I primarily like about the park is the philosophy behind constructing it. The entire park is constructed on a sewage land which Pune Municipal Corporation gave to Osho Centre, when the later expressed its desire to beautify the wasteland. More about the Osho Teerth Park here: https://www.osho.com/visit/facilities-services/osho-teerth-park
Whenever I visit this park it inspires me to turn my dark experiences into positive perspectives, just like the sewage water gets purified by flowing through gravels, sand, stones, mud that has been cleverly landscaped in the park. As I left the park, I felt rejuvenated by soaking into the thought preached by the founder of the Osho Teerth Park which quotes:
“You are a guest. Leave this earth a little more beautiful, a little more human, a little more lovable, a little more fragrant, for those unknown guests who will be following you.”
At sunset, as I walked towards my car to head to Mumbai, just outside the park I saw a road indicator sign board in Marathi language, which read ‘Warning- Speed Breaker Ahead’. I smiled to myself and with a convinced mindset nodded to myself, ‘how the warning sign is a hint to ‘slow down for good and to temporarily curtail the speed’ of one’s life to timely enjoy the little things around us, after which one can speed up again to achieve one’s dream, just like I did over my weekend in Pune!
Photos Courtesy: Shraddha. C. Sankulkar