While going home we saw the banners announcing the Independence Day Million outside the RWITC and decided to drop in and take a chance of finding a free table. It has always been a dream of mine to watch the races from the verandah of the club house and while having a leisurely lunch . Lady Luck was smiling on us and we did spend a delightful afternoon downing chilled beers and Bloody Marys , chomping away on grilled fish and chips and shooing away the fat old dog who barked crazily when the horses sped past. With the flag up the flag post, the dark clouds in the sky, the fan whirring slowly overhead, a light mist of rain occasionally coming onto our faces, it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon .
After listening to a rousing speech by our Prime minister we decided to celebrate Independence Day rather differently especially since my California cousins were visiting. It was fun catching up with family history, general gossip and just relaxing, enjoying the weather in Pune that was wonderfully grey without being gloomy. The lush greenery all around and a crispness in the air that was refreshing even at mid-day encouraged us to move out of our comfort zone in the rear verandah and visit the Temple of the Ganpati in the Pond at Saras Baug. My last visit to this park was when I was all of eight years old, in a bright yellow dress, accompanied by my dear friend M who had specially come to help celebrate my birthday. At that time the highlight of the visit was an elephant ride and a train ride but this time round we wanted to visit the temple.
We just about made it before it was shut for the afternoon and discovered a quaint Ganesh museum at the back. While some of the idols were lovely/ unique there were many which seemed distinct donations from someone’s unwanted collection. But with stunning reproductions of paintings from the Peshwa period outside and a mural flanking the staircase , this park is worth a quick visit for a brief taste of Peshwa history. Legend has it that the Peshwas hid their Ganpati idol in the pond hence the name.