Where are you from?
I am originally from Mangalore, but I have lived my whole life in Bangalore.
Why did you move to Pune?
I moved here when I got admission to the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts. Even though there is a Symbiosis in Bangalore, I wanted to live independently for a couple of years and learn to do things on my own. I have been here for almost three years now.
How outsider-friendly do you think the city is?
This city is known for its college life and there are students here from across the country. Maharashtrians are very welcoming and open to new cultures. Unlike cities such as Chennai, it is easy to move around the city even if you are not fluent in Marathi. I have faced very little discrimination as an outsider. As a south Indian, I am usually regarded as a Madrasi/Tamilian, not as a Kannadiga.
What changes would you like to see here?
I would like for the people to be more aware about different cultures in India. South Indians are often clustered as Tamilians and north Indians as Punjabis. I would like it if we were all acknowledged as Indians first. Secondly, I wish there were more pocket-friendly places for students to hang out at. What I hate the most about Pune are the autorickshaw drivers swindling us. They rarely charge students according to the meter.
What do you like the most about the city?
Everything from the food to the people here reminds me of home. The weather is mostly pleasant and there are a lot of places for one to go to and unwind. It is a very safe city too.
What are your hopes for the city?
I hope Pune doesn’t go through rapid overpopulation and over-pollution. There is already so much traffic and the rivers are so polluted.