Where are you from?
I hail from the city of royals — Gwalior. The city is about 1,000 km from here and has a lot of history just like Pune.
Why did you move to Pune?
I moved to the city for my first job in marketing in 2000, after I completed my MBA from Indian Institute of Technology and Management, Gwalior. But I knew Pune from before because my sister was already residing here.
How “outsider- friendly” do you think Pune is?
I have found the city very friendly. In the last four years, I have been able to set up my own companies — Mindbowser Infosolutions and Mindful Academy of Learning. We employ close to 50 people. However, the downside is that as a migrant, I am not able to bargain at shops and with vendors. They recognise me from my accent, however hard I try.
What do you miss the most about Gwalior?
I’m a big foodie and I miss north Indian dishes — samosa, jalebi, aloo chaat, kachori etc. Of course, you can find these items in Pune as well but that authentic taste is missing.
What are the changes you would like to see here?
There are two major issues that I notice everyday and would like them to be changed or resolved. Firstly, there are several illegal hoardings on every road. The municipal corporation should act on it. Second, a lot of road work is yet to be completed and the authorities need to do a quality job so that no more digging is required again. On a lighter note, I’d like it if some shopkeepers kept their shops open in the afternoons as well; the shops in Pune stay closed in those hours.
What do you like about Pune?
The weather, as anybody will tell you. Also, Pune has a lot of scenic beauty. I’d like to especially mention the Pune running group, which is a thriving community, and helps me keep fit.
What are you hoping for in the future?
I hope that the metro line starts soon so that there is less traffic on roads. Also, the public transport needs improvement.
Do you think Pune is a good place for an outsider to settle?
It’s a great city. I love Pune! It’s less chaotic than any other metro such as Mumbai and still offers all the opportunities a metro can provide.
City Seekers: A series on migrants in urban India.