Thank you Melbourne!


First night in Melbourne was as usual in very new city – spent on railway station. It was very cold for me. Fortunately, few cops allowed me to get into waiting room, even though I had no rail ticket. I didn’t know that Rajesh Pawar stays in same city. Just like that I dropped him text saying whether he has any bachelor friend in Melbourne so I can stay with him. His reply was, where are you? Welcome to my place. I was waiting for him at Hungry Jack restaurant at Southern Cross Station. He came early morning 8.30am. He identified me, may be I was only Asian there. He said, “Hi! My name is Rajesh.” I said, “One moment” and ran to washroom. For hours, I could not go to washroom leaving my bags unattended. I came in a minute, expressed my apology and introduced my self, “Hi, my name is Vishnu.” He laughed. My accommodation tension was disappeared so I also launched. We put bags in locker and I went to take round around the city and he went to office. In the evening, I went to home with them. Next day, we had party of Kojagiri Pornima.


Paranjape family and Sathe family had come to Rajesh’s house. In early evening they started cooking. Unlike India, men took lead. Rajesh made puri and Prasad fried them. Neha and Arti ma’am did other preparation. I was only culprit who did nothing. I was working on computer in other room. Umesh Sathe had brought kheer (milk pudding).


After the dinner, famous Puneri game started: Leg Pulling. My stomach started painting because of laugh.


Over the period of two weeks, Paranjape family invited us for dinner on more than a few occasions. They cooked indian dishes like pani-puri, dahi-puri and dahi bhat.


One day, Nagarjuna Vajrala invited me to his home. It was Sunday and mega block on Melbourne local train. I was supposed to reach for lunch but reached in evening. Unlike Mumbai local, during the block, bus was free and railway gave spring to passengers. Nagarjun said he wanted to take me to a dairy farm. I told myself that I have little interest in dairy because I am son of a farm. We had cows and buffaloes at farm. But this farm was difference story, worth to visit. Everything was automatic. No labour work.


Then he said he would like to take me to Penguin Parade. It was raining and temperature was low. I was feeling cold. I politely told him that I’m not well and have no interest in  penguin. He said, “Its lifetime opportunity. We will not see penguins again. We must go. If you don’t feel to go then sit in car. Lets take decision there.” I felt sorry for myself because I was not courteous with him. He realised it but he was smiling, like true friend. We reached there one hour before arrival of penguins. Those were very different penguin. Very small animal like big rat (ghus). Before the sunrise they go to sea and after sunset comeback. They walk in lines so it is called penguin parade. It was raining. Few hundred tourists, bearing rains and cold were waiting for penguins. After the dark, penguin started coming out of sea. We saw penguin closely. Both of us got wet and it was really worth. It was really great fun in Melbourne. Thank you very much for your kind hospitality Rajesh Pawar, Neha Tambat, Arti Paranjape, Parasad Paranjape, Umesh Sathe, Indira Sathe, Nagarjuna Vajrala and Harshada Sahasrabudhe


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