After a total of 229 days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi first announced a lockdown in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, residents in Pune are eagerly waiting to cash in on the Diwali vacation.
Some are looking at an opportunity to escape from work while some want to exercise caution by staying at home.
The general public is looking at different ways which will balance Covid norms and stress-free vacations.
Children have also reported fatigue and tiredness with attending online classes and staying at home for the entire day.
“We are a group of eight cousins and in Diwali, we generally plan a visit to Mahabaleshwar or Goa. This year we are staying at home but we have organised a carrom championship,” said Rugved Sharma, a Pashan resident.
Sharma said, “From the next day of Diwali our self-organised tournament will start. We will keep it a knock-out format. The first round will have four matches, then two semi-finals and then final. This will continue for three days (one round a day). Evening sessions will be spent by playing cards.”
“Self-drive is the new theme for the Diwali vacation as people are even ready to travel by road for 12 hours and reach their destination. Goa and Mahabaleshwar are on high demand and most of the inquiries and booking have come for these two places. Even people are ready to go to Udaipur by road,” said Ashwin Kardekar, director of My Travelogue Holidays Pvt Ltd.
Flattening of the Covid curve has given a fresh lease of life to people as travelling agencies are getting more queries.
Mihir Laghate, a commercial artist has planned a six-day trip to the Andaman Islands with his brother and parents.
“Last seven months were too hectic at home. Now, with relaxation in place, we have decided to take a trip for breaking the current routine,” added Laghate who is travelling by flight via Chennai.
“I have done a complete enquiry regarding hotels and we have decided not to travel in a group for sight-seeing but we four will prefer a private cab,” added Laghate.
Kiran Shinde, an avid traveller and trekker has different plans this time.
“My son Varad is 9 years old, so I am not making any plans for this Diwali vacation. Even trekking is not allowed completely, you can walk and go to Sinhagad but via vehicle it is still not allowed. With restrictions for below 10-year olds in place, I prefer to exercise caution,” said Shinde.
Dr Sumit Mandale, an ayurvedic doctor, summiteer of world’s third highest Kanchenjunga and sixth highest peak Cho oyu will be doing various Ghatvata in three days.
Ghatvata are the ancient routes among hills which are between the Deccan plateau to Konkan which were used when there were no roads. Trekkers are exploring these routes for expeditions.
“I will be going for a trek along with Omkar