Mumbai Memoir- Exploring beyond Mumbai’s borders!
As the year started rolling, Mumbai’kars started ‘seeing light at the end of the tunnel’, given the pandemic situation. The vaccination drive in India has started since 16th January 2021. There is a ‘feel good’ sentiment among Mumbai’kars that life would soon return to normal. For almost 10 months every one was confined to their respective homes and were heading to severe ‘burnout’. As soon as the city opened its border, many Mumbai’kars visited nearby tourist destinations to break the monotony of pandemic routines and particularly to de-tox from boredom. One such nearby destination is 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. An early morning weekend drive on the Express Highway is an awesome feeling, as one witnesses scenic views of valleys and mountains that exhibit lush greenery and foggy ambiance around.
One of the place worth viewing is the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune. The academy trains soldiers fit for entry into various Indian Defence forces. Patriotic vibes are bound to arise as one passes the check posts that displays 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
Yet another tourist destination to explore in Pune is Osho Teerth Park situated at Koregaon park. 6am-9am & 3pm-6pm is the time limit to visit this unique park. 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 is most appealing 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 his 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. The park is symbolic of 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.”
Photos Courtesy: Shraddha. C. Sankulkar