Monday through Friday I go to work for the Digital Operations Team at Pratham’s Pune office. The team consists of four women in our office daily: Rohini, Jyotsna (two interns), Prajakta (our boss), and me. Every day, I commute one hour to, and one hour from, work. This commute is often the highlight of my day because it is so interactive with the city here and because I get to walk with Rohini, my fellow intern who is my same age. Here is my commute to work:
It’s about 7 kilometers, but traveling by foot, two wheeler, rickshaw, and bus, it usually takes a little over and hour to get there. It is quite an interactive experience, nothing like riding in a car. Today I even had the exhilarating experience of riding half on the bus, half off, gripping the door with one hand and feeling the warm morning breeze as we weaved in and out of traffic.
Rohini has kindly and patiently been guiding me through the commute although I think by now I could do it on my own and get lost maybe once.
I first walk a mile down from my house and get the bus after crossing several busy streets. I take the bus to a fork in the road and then we take a “six-seater” which is a bit of a misnomer because they usually try to fit at least nine into this tiny rickshaw. I ride on that for about 5 very slow miles and here I get a front-seat view of Baner Road, where a lot of the tech lives in Pune. It’s fun to watch the crazy traffic and the diverse scenery from the rickshaw. Then we get off about half a mile from our work and walk the rest of the way.
Rohini and I make small talk about our families, the future, and our favorite food. And that’s 2.5 hours of my day.