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Today’s been an eventful, exhausting day in Pune – my last day here. I have a morning flight to catch, so I’m not quite sure what I’m doing blogging this late at night, but I’ll set those thoughts aside.

T’was the last day of Punjabi wedding festivities, and I’m glad I attended. Continuing on from yesterday’s reflections, today was in the Gurudwara, and I had my Chickappa with me – who’s been to Punjabi weddings before, therefore enabling me to gain more insight and understanding of what was actually going on.

I’ve been religious as far as I can remember. As a child, my mother inculcated strong Hindu values in me – in terms of conduct, festivals, religious observations and superstitions, as I grew up in a Muslim majority country. While values began at home, I was lucky enough to explore religion in several forms and shapes. My best friend is Christian, and I have been to Church on numerous occassions – understanding the basis of his religion and his belief systems. More importantly, as I grew older and my reading expanded, I began picking up books on the evolution of religion, trying to gain a nuanced understanding of the distinction between organized religious groups.

All in all, I’ve reached the conclusion, thus far, that all religions ultimately propagate the same set of core values – in different shapes, and margins of appreciation.

Exploring the Gurudwara today, was therefore a source of joy for me and I cannot wait to read up more about it.

That aside, I got to eat incredible food today, interact with more new faces, and then come home. After which I headed out to meet individuals without whom my Pune trips feel very incomplete.

The day concluded with pizza and Dora the Explorer with my little cousin. Safe to say, I was yelling out “Swiper no swiping”, but stealing pieces of pizza off his plate. He didn’t notice. My cravings were satisfied. His parents were happy he ate his food. Win-win everywhere.

Tomorrow, I fly to Bengaluru for a bit of spontaineity. So, I’d like to thank you, Pune. This trip has been the perfect change of pace post examinations. You’ve shown me a lot of new things, helped me get away from the internet, but still make a new friend (really, it’s true – my social circle is expanding) AND you’ve gotten me to sleep a little more.

What I’m most grateful for, though, Pune, is that you haven’t changed much.

I’ve come back here year after year, but you’ve stayed the same. And that’s a welcome change, where places like Bengaluru have fast lost large chunks of their charm.

Stay this way. Please.

 

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