I just returned from a business trip to Pune, India. Pune is a couple hours east of Mumbai and is a bustling city for business. I had visited India in 2005 - though not Pune - so was mostly prepared for what I experienced but it is still overwhelming. The trip was short and heavy on business so I did not get much of a chance to get out and about but so it goes.
As the Air India flight started to descend into Pune, the sun was coming up and the cabin was filled with orange light.
I arrived in the Pune airport after traveling Boston to Amsterdam to Delhi to Pune (over 16 hours of flying and about another dozen of waiting) at 7AM local time with the sun already bright in the sky. The weather was beautiful with temperatures that morning in the high sixties moving in the seventies. The ride to the hotel instantly transported me to a brand new reality where lanes don't exist, the horn is used constantly and amazingly, it all works.
You definitely see sights along the road in India that we don't get in our small town in Vermont!
The pollution in Pune is bad though nothing like what I experienced in New Delhi and Noida in 2005 when it was hard to see the lights of the city as the plane came in for a landing because the smog was so thick. As a result, many of the motorcyclists making the morning commute ride with their faces covered.
I did get a tour of part of downtown Pune near the end of the week to do some shopping. Just walking around and observing all the color and bustle was quite an experience.
After walking down the alley above, I passed a flower shop where men were creating these very cool hanging flower arrangements. India is an extreme olfactory experience, sometimes sublime, sometimes revolting and the scent of all these flowers was yet another chapter in that experience. It was delightful. Flower Shop
Another street scene complete with fresh fruit.
On the way back to the hotel after the shopping excursion we sped past these ladies crossing the street, one of them blocking for the other who carried some serious cargo. I think this was the only time I ever saw a pedestrian even acknowledge the cars and motorcycles speeding past them. The normal course of action is to completely ignore the traffic.
I wish after traveling all those miles I'd had more of a chance to get out and about but sometimes that's the way business travel goes. Regardless, I think India is indeed too Incredible not to return someday.