Just back from a trip to Mumbai-Pune. Phyan ji chose the same time to visit as us, so that was a dampener, but that's ok. As the idiots say, "All eez well".
Pune is no longer the city I used to live in. There are malls everywhere, and wherever roads are not wider, they are one-ways. All that is very nice, except that the things one would hope to see changing alongside the development are not doing so at all. The public transport, for instance. I remember the difficult time three-wheeler wallahs used to give me whenever I would go to the airport to pick up or drop someone. Not only would they charge exorbitantly even though it was a 2-way ride, they would refuse to help with the bags, even if it was my mother who was travelling.
This time, we were able to brave the rains only because of taxis, and we accepted the fact that they would charge full fare for the day even though we needed them for a couple of hours. But when after that, the driver coolly sat in the cab while we got out in the pouring rain at the airport and were forced to pull our bags out ourselves (while he chanted "ohho! Kitni baarish hai" and sat pretty) I really lost it. This same gentle-my-foot-man demanded to know our plans in advance so that he could break for lunch, even though he knew that in any case he would be relieved by 1pm. I don't believe the vahanchalaks (vahan chaalaak rather) of Pune have heard of customer service or dignity of labour. It is very rarely that I feel like slamming the door of the trunk of a car down on someone's bare neck, and this was one of those days.
Compare this with the smartypants cabbie in Mumbai who refused to accept exact change that I popped under his nose one nanosecond after he stopped, since he gathered from our conversation that we were visitors and our friends were hosting us. Grrrr at him, but a big grin at his tribe!