A little while back, I started to get pretty intense pain in one of my teeth (top rear right).  It spread to the gum and jaw and my first thought was “root canal”.  Farhana’s family has a dentist they swear by – a friend of the family – so I went to visit him.  He looked at the tooth, but said he wanted to get a full X-ray before making any decisions.  So he sent me to another place to get the X-ray.

The X-ray place was state of the art, and the machine was pretty cool – it kind of looked like a transporter from Star Trek.

I stood on the transporter pad on the right and prepared to beam down…or rather, I bit down on a plastic mouth piece and stood still while the panels swung all the way around my head.  It took about a minute and I had a full-mouth X-Ray in my hand about 10 minutes after that.  The charge:  300 rupees (less than $5).

I went back to the dentist and he took another X-ray in his office – a focused picture of the specific tooth giving me pain – and still wasn’t really sure what was going on (though he was leaning towards root canal).  A colleague of his was coming into town a few days later, so he proposed waiting in order to get his opinion.  I agreed, thankfully, because over the next day or two, the pain almost entirely disappeared.  There’s still a bit of sensitivity, but nothing like what it was.

When the pain was intense, aside from Ibuprofen, I was trying a few things that were suggested to me.  The most effective was chewing on a clove, which seemed to have a numbing effect (or perhaps a placebo effect?).

Either way it was helpful.


It’s tough to find public playgrounds in our neighborhood.  There are play areas in individual societies, but not in ours.  There are lots of parks in Pune (below are some pics from one we visited a little while back), but none within walking distance.

So we were excited to see a playground recently being built near the kids’ school.  I wasn’t sure if it was going to be open to the public or not, but then today I saw an article in the paper about it.  It is public, and it opens on Monday.  And while the picture makes it look like a garden only, there’s a lot of brand-new playground equipment being installed.  I’ll post some pics after we visit.


There are a couple of places in the city (usually near water) where I see pigs rooting around – not sure if they’re wild or if they belong to someone.  I often see crows standing on their backs, though whenever I stop to try to get a picture of that, the crows fly away.  I guess they think they’re too good to be photographed with pigs. For the last few days, though, I’ve been seeing this mother and piglets right around the block from us on my daily walk.

The little ones are really cute, but the mom is pretty scary.  I’ve seen her stop a few dogs in their tracks with just a look.  Needless to say, I keep my distance.


I finally found an open ATM recently – the first in weeks!  It was a bit hard to believe, even as the money was coming out.  It felt like I imagine it must feel to hit a jackpot on a slot machine.   The result was my first ever new 2000 rupee note:

I even went back to the same ATM the next day and got another one – though it’s been empty since then.  The funny thing, though, is that it’s almost as hard to get someone to accept a 2000 rupee note as it was to find the open ATM.  The government hasn’t yet gotten around to distributing the new 500 rupee note, which  means the biggest thing around is the 100 rupee note.   So to change a 2000, vendors have to basically empty their cash drawer – which, of course, they’re reluctant to do.  Especially if you’re not spending much of the 2000.  I’m not sure why the 500 rupee  notes are taking so long to distribute, but so far they’re as elusive as, well…functioning ATMs.

Tonight I saw this story online – hoping it applies here in Pune:

Snapdeal is now delivering cash to people in India so they can avoid ATM lines

Baba Update

Farhana’s father has been back in the hospital this week, though as usual he’s fighting the good fight and keeping his spirits up.  He  had been moved into the ICU due to serious breathing problems, but he is now back in a private room mostly breathing on  his own, with a shot of oxygen when he needs it.