Monday, October 1, 2012

Pune Visit: Should I buy a Pepper Spray?

Last week, I had an unexpected two day trip to Pune. This was my first visit to Pune and with God's grace, a very memorable one. I reached very late at night and for me, it was a learning experience.

First Time Pune Visit at almost Midnight
Having grown up in a traditional family, the truth is that I haven't ventured out on my own like that in all these years. After marriage, I go to see places with my family and I don't go out on solo adventures of my own. I don't enjoy being without my family. That's simply not my way of enjoying life. However, this trip was work related and therefore, a necessity than a luxury and I was determined to learn something from the whole experience.

How safe are Indian women who travel alone? 
You know, I remember a friend from the US telling me, "I will not accept India is a developed country unless the women can travel to any part of India with a feeling of safety at any time of the day or night."

Day in and day out, we read headlines of what happens to some women who are picked up from airports by radio cabs and over time, we don't even give such headlines more than a passing glance.  I recalled all this when I was on my way to Pune.

Nervous wreck that I can be, I had a zillion questions zooming in and out through my mind like:

1. What are the risks reaching so late at night in a new city?
2. Can i take a taxi to the place and reach safely?
3. Should i carry a pepper spray just in case? (don't laugh, i am serious!)
4. What will I do if I am taken to the wrong place?

At the same time, I wanted to outgrow these fears as well. After all, i am not a kid to be made to feel fear. But again, this has a lot to do with the way I have been growing up. Always sheltered, protected and yes, a traditional Indian family set up doesn't easily approve of girls traveling alone. Now, thankfully, this is changing.

Pune Radio Cabs are safe to travel in
Anyway I reached at 11.45 pm and got into the taxi that I had booked. As we passed through some very deserted looking places, I kept praying inside my mind to God to keep me safe. I reached safely and there was no need for me to take a pepper spray...not that I had bought one :)

And from there, the interesting part of the whole journey began. Next morning, I went to the hotel where the conference was being held. I liked the coffee shop at The Marriott Hotel, located at Senapati Road. Two clicks:)


The atmosphere was welcoming and serene. I enjoyed it.


That was Day One special. Didn't go too badly, right? Cheers! :)

4 comments:

R. Ramesh said...

haha good post swapnaji..honest post...and hey the bad guys know that u have good friends like us..so they wont play mischief haha...

Shilpa Garg said...

I know what you mean, Swapna! Have experienced this unease and fear when travelling in a new city. Thanks to smart phones, I always use the GPS and keep looking at the map and the landmarks en-route to confirm that we are going on the right route and call up hubby and the hotel/guest house too! I feel this kind of paranoia only in Delhi somehow!! :|

Mom with a Dot said...

Wow! wonderful day one, I'd say. Keep it up and stay safe :)

Anonymous said...

but you never know when u need one....always carry a pepper spray,call 7350986969 when u wanna buy it in pune!

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