We left you last time on Dhanteras night at Parvati Hill as my team and I along with our Wegos' gazed down on the city as the lights came on to welcome the goddess Laxmi into the homes of the people of Pune.
It was during this very moment, we also realised, the best way to multiply your happiness is to share it with others. After a deep discussion and consultation with our Pune friends, we decided to give Maher Ashram, a home for destitute women, children and men, a #Wego moment.
A small note on Maher Ashram: Sister Lucy Kurien conceptualized and founded Maher in 1997. Maher strives hard to identify and understand the root causes of violence and despair experienced by women and children in India. Maher is committed to addressing these issues in villages and slums, so women and children are healthy, happy and self-reliant.
Here #Wego Bringing Joy To A Few Precious Lives.
While on our way to the ashram, we made two stops at two of Pune's iconic spots. Our first halt was the 1950 ‘Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale' where we helped ourselves to some Bhakarwadi, a traditional spicy Maharashtrian condiment.
Our second stop was an elderly phal-walla (fruit vendor) who claimed that he was in possession of the freshest fruits in all of Pune. We took his word for it and purchased as many as our Wegos could handle. At least in our minds, he is as iconic as they come!
After having loaded our scooters with goodies for the kids, we were off to the ashram. Whilst on our way, we were pleasantly surprised by the Wego's body balance. Our #WegoExperience was different and the Wego seemed to handle the task of carrying extra luggage quite well.
The children of Maher were excited, hyperactive and a tad bit curious upon our visit. We were attacked with questions about who we are, what we did and why we were visiting them.
It is said, silence is golden... unless you have kids, then silence is just suspicious...
We attempted to answer their 20 questions, which, funnily enough, included questions on the Wego. "What colours do they come in?", one asked. To which another replied, "can't you see? There is the red one, the blue, and white." This eventually led to a group debate on whose team was better — red (girls) or blue (boys). We played it smart and ended up on the red team.
It wasn't before long that we were asked for rides on the Wego and forced to explain how fast the Wego could go. We were left wondering who the speedsters really were, us or the kids!
Fun aside, more than anything else, it was essential to explain the safety features of the Wego and the importance of wearing a helmet irrespective of which scooter/ motorbike they would ride someday.
After a long, well-spent day with the kids, we decided to call it a night. But fate had other plans for us. ‘Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit', we've read somewhere. And that is exactly what Pune had in store for us.
Maher had given us a lot to think about. Sleep had slipped away from us and conversations about our little visit had occupied most of the night. Pretty soon, dawn was upon us. Deciding not to throw away what was left of the night/day, we hopped onto our Wegos' and headed straight to Sarasbaug to experience Deepotsav firsthand.
We were welcomed by the magnificent sight of hundreds of burning diyas and floating sky lanterns, which gave the former lakebed turned park an ethereal gleam.
With the sky lanterns matching the sky-high festive spirits of the land, the festival of lights drew to a marvelous end. The TVS Wego proved to be quite adept at handling the city streets of the cultural capital of Maharashtra during Diwali.
So, here comes an end to part two of our Wego Diwali adventure. With #WegoKolkata and #WegoPune checked off our list, we look to bring in the season of giving — Christmas — at another spectacular location. God's own country, here we come! Or rather, here #WegoCochin.