People visiting Pune from outside have a numerous issues which they cannot reslove when they come for the first time, and in case of some mumbaikars, for ever. One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked when I go anywhere, and a serious one it is too, is about the raaz of Puneri Girls.
You see, of the few girls in the world who can do maaz and carry it off, 99% of them are living in Pune. But there is a mystery behind the maaz of puneri girls. Its an eternal enigma. an enigma that covers the very face of this feminine form of maaz.
You must have guessed it by now. I am talking about the reasons why puneri girls cover- literally cover the whole of their faces with scarf when they go out. Its not that they are not good looking! Puneri girls are best in the world(Looks wise). They are very very pretty indeed. But then, why do they hide their beauty?! Passers by like us, when riding on our bikes often wonder what did we do to deserve this sort of punishment! being robbed of watching something beautiful, with no fault of our own.
I have been pondering about the reasons why Puneri girls hide their faces. I got a lot of help from my friend Nikhil Sugwekar- the dream drummer of Pune who goes on a lot of world tours regarding the same. Here are a few theories including those that were dismissed as fictitious for the reasons for hiding behind the cloth masks.
1) They think that they arent good looking. Well, they are. Masta distat khup. no reason to hide behind a scarf.
2) They think that boys stare at them: again a rubbish theory. We have unscarved girls in our lanes, colony, vadaas etc to stare and look at.
3) Girls think that people will complement them on roads: they are obsessed with self-flattery. they think that everyone will praise them for their looks wherever they go, and so to avoid unwanted attention, they hide their faces. On the contrary, while outside, and especially if we are with friends we have no interest of praising or looking at random good looking girls.
4)Girls think scarf gives protection against accidents. Fortunately, most of the girls in pune are educated and so do not suffer from such hoccum syndromes. However, there are some dumb ones who unfortunately believe that to be true. Some have even come up with arguments- A sardarji is protected by his turban, similarly girls are protected by their scarves. Well, i tend to agree with this explanation- it comes from girls living in newly developed areas like baner, aundh, wakad etc. And to be frank, it applies perfectly to them. they are so thick skulled, that a thin scarf is sufficient to prevent any brain damage!
5) Puneri girls are scared pollution and sun will harm their skins: absolutely true. With the kind of roads and zero public transport system, Pune has a lot of pollution. On top of everything, the ill deeds of idiots like suresh kalmadi and all who have bribed the rains and clouds to not arrive have increased suns intensity, and people are going dark. This is an absoutely valid reason for girls to wear masks.
6) It gives them a hidden Identity- when they are roaming around with their boy-friends when they should be at their ajis place, they are relatively safe from their meddlesome relatives who are always ready to catch them red handed.
7)People wont recognize them- likely, but after a while when you get to know their vehicle numbers and posture while driving the vehicles, you can tell who is who.
8) They think they have put on too much fair and lovely. A valid reason. Some girls put so much fairness cream that they become snow-white and attract startes as a lot of fairness change has occured over a short period. Blame fair and lovely and shahrukh khan for his ladkiyon vaali cream for that.
9) Sivya deun palun jayla soiskar padata. Ive seen it happen. I have a few friends who swear like crazy when they drive their bikes. To prevent the return wrath of Punekars, who will remember who swears randomly, they cover their faces.
whatever reason they may come up with, I think the only valid reason is below.
10) Puneri girls, like all punekars are full of maaz. they have so much maaz about their looks, behaviour, all possible aspects that it overflows. And it overflows the most from their faces. It literally spills out from the face. To prevent this maaz from being showcased outside, to supress it within them, they hide behind their scarves.
However, there is a twist when it comes to that point. When legendary punekars like Chinmay Datar(me) and Nikhil Sugwekar(sugya)come across a maaj utu janari mulgi, they come out with terms like "ticha thobadyaavar maaz lihilay". Girls are scared of this sentence. If they get branded by it, especially by an elite set of true Punekar boys like ourselves. Our word is sort of an authority, and spreads far and wide Once scarred by this sentence, their prospects for having a Puneri married life is in tatters. Puneri boys prefer girls who are "sojwal". A maazurdi mulgi is not desirable. "Maaz karnari" is different- everyone should be able to do it. But someone overflowing with maaz, publically is least preferred.
In short, when puneri girls go out wearing those scarves, they are doing so to hide their real selves, for if we brand them with the tag "Hicha thobdyavar maaz lihilay" her dream of living in pune is over, and for sure, the only groom she will find is a Mumbaikar or an Americakar! So finally, after much discussion, me and Sugya have finally come to conclusion about the maaz, the raaz and the khauff behind the scarf!