More a Maharashtrian now
When Neeta Mangesh Ulhare relocated to Pune for a job, little did she know that this would be her home
Originally from Amarsar, Rajasthan, Neeta Mangesh Ulhare, spent most of her life in Delhi, before moving to Pune 13 years ago. After completing her Engineering degree she moved in here in search of a job and then she made it her home.
While talking about Pune, she says, “When I moved in here for the first time, I wondered if Pune could ever feel like home. But I have settled down here pretty well. I got married in 2008 and gave birth to my daughter Shakti in 2010. But when I look back, it feels like I have been a part of Pune forever. There are so many aspects that make it a perfect city like the climate, culture, food, beautiful hill stations for weekend getaways etc. And I don’t think I need to talk about the gigantic Ganesh festival!”
Ulhare feels that Pune is a perfect blend of cultures. “Also, I find Maharashtrians straightforward and helpful, and they are loyal to their culture. If you visit places like Shaniwar Peth or Narayan Peth, you will get to know many local traditions,” she adds.
When she thinks of Delhi now, Ulhare feels that Pune has an advantage. “I reconnect with my Rajasthani roots when I visit Delhi once or twice a year. Both the cities are beautiful and vibrant but Pune is more safe. The mindset of the people is very different here and I admire that. But one thing that I miss is the metro. Delhi has a better transportation system. The buses in Pune seem to be from the ’80s and the autowalas are marzi ke malik’! Uber and Ola have solved the problem to an extent but owning a vehicle is the best option,” she says.
Being married to a Maharashtrian, she gets to know the place and culture even better. “I get to know every small detail. I really enjoy it. Even the exclusive authentic cuisine of Maharashtra is wonderful. My favourite dishes are Misal Pav, Bhakarwadi and how can I forget the delicious Puran Poli, Aamti and Rice! The fact that I love Maharashtrian food so much has made me pick up skills to cook many of those dishes. So I would say I am more a Maharashtrian now than a Rajasthani,” she concludes.