‘Pune has everything that one could wish for’

Ambika Shaligram
Wednesday, 11 September 2019

​Nikhil Rathi has all too soon become a part of the city’s biking community. He shares his thoughts on living in Pune

From Indore to Chennai, he travelled on his Yamaha FZ 16. And, when he got the opportunity to relocate to Pune, he just kicked his bike into action. 

“I have my saddle bag which contains my formal office wear. That’s all I need when I reach a new city and have to join work the next day,” says Nikhil Rathi, who graduated from Indore. 

In Pune, for the first two or three years he stayed at Phursungi, where his office was located. “There would be many cheap places to eat. My food and accommodation was taken care of. I didn’t have to spend much,” says Rathi, who has now shifted to NIBM. 

Comparing the two neighbourhoods, he says, “Phursungi wasn’t such a hip place. NIBM is. Here you will find lots of cafes, expensive stuff and a cosmo crowd.”

However, what has strengthened his bond with the city is the biking group, the very active xBhp biking chapter. “I got my first Yamaha when I was in Indore and that was the time when I had to join my office in Chennai. It was a new bike and I was reluctant to get the bike transported by train, fearing that it would be damaged. So then I rode my bike from Indore to Chennai. By the time I relocated to Pune, I had completed four solo rides,” says the 27-year-old. 

A member of the xBhp group, he found the Pune chapter ‘always buzzing’. “The group has these offline meets and I just showed up one Sunday and became friends with some of the city bikers,” he says. 

“The automobile industry’s manufacturing units are located around the city. Pune is known as ‘Detroit of India’ for a reason. Being a part of the biking community here helps, you can go for test rides of new machines and all that,” informs Rathi. 

Rathi, who has spent nearly seven years in the city, loves going out on weekend rides in the outskirts. “We go on breakfast rides on the weekend. There is something to see, visit in the 70 km radius of the city — Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Kaas Plateau, Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary and so on. Within the city though, I have not seen much. I have seen Shaniwarwada from outside,” he adds. 

With all the pluses of the city, he just wants Pune to be a little more clean. “Indore, my hometown, is the cleanest city in the country. Whenever I am there, I can’t help thinking how clean it is compared to Pune. Apart from that, Pune has everything that one could wish for — the brands, the stores, the food outlets,” says Rathi making a point. 

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