HOW TO LOAF – Musings of a Veteran Loafer


Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

Spending Perfectly Useless Time in a Perfectly Useless Manner 

Musings of a Veteran Loafer By VIKRAM KARVE 

Nostalgic Memories of a Day of Leisurely Loafing in Pune 10 years ago (circa 2006)


Many people do not know how to enjoy their leisure. 

In fact – in the so-called busy world of today – many persons do not have any genuine leisure.

I love leisure.

Throughout my life – as a student – during my working days – and now – after retirement – I always made sure that I had plenty of leisure.

In fact – I believe in having leisure every day.

A short vacation every day – is better than a long holiday once a year.

There are many ways of enjoying your leisure – indoors and outdoors.

Indoors – you can read – watch TV – lie down and daydream – meditate – surf the internet – write – blog – play indoor games like cards, chess and scrabble – you can do so many things.

Outdoors – one of the best ways of enjoying your leisure is LOAFING.

I love to loaf – to loaf around.

I have loafed throughout my life  wherever I lived. 

I try to loaf every day. 

And – whenever I get a chance  I go on super-long loafs – like the loaf in Pune I had 10 years ago – that I am going to tell you about in this story.

I had my best moments of loafing in Mumbai  where I spent the best years of my life. 

Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore are wonderful places for loafing too.

Now  I enjoy loafing in Pune. 

I particularly remember a thoroughly enjoyable day of loafing in Pune – on a lovely winter day in December 2006 (around 10 years ago) – when I used to live in a back-of-beyond place across the Mula River called Aundh Camp (aka Sangvi). 

I enjoyed that loaf so much  that  I wrote about it – and posted the story on my blogs – in order to record my travelogue for the benefit of posterity. 

So  Dear Reader  once again  here are my nostalgic memories of that carefree day of loafing in Pune. 

Please relax and read this leisurely. 

And – do remember – this happened 10 years ago – in 2006 – but not much seems to have changed in Pune.

Please tell me – Dear Reader:

What is the definition of LOAFING…?
Idling away your time on useless things…?

Or – does Loafing mean Aimless Loitering…?


Sounds a bit derogatory, isn’t it…?
Okay let’s say it is aimless wandering – Perfectly useless time spent in a perfectly useless manner…!


That’s how I would like to define the the term loafing.

Loafing is spending perfectly useless time in a perfectly useless manner.


Yes – that is the meaning of loafing.

And what – My Dear Reader – is food-walking…?
Loitering – or rather walking – in search of good food.

Loitering with an aim – loitering in search of good food – not so useless loitering!
That is what I did once – long back – on a wonderful winter day.
I loafed in Pune – I loafed around.
I spent a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner – “loafing” in Pune.

I still have fond nostalgic memories of that glorious day.

Let me tell you about it.



It’s a beautiful morning.

I try to furtively slip out of my house unnoticed.

But – I am stopped in my tracks by my wife’s piercing voice: “Where are you going…?”
“I don’t know…?” I answer truthfully.

This adroit answer probably precludes the next question she is about to ask me: “What time are you coming back…?” for she knows I will again truthfully answer: “I don’t know”.

It is true – I really don’t know where I am going – and I have no idea when I am going to come back.
“Take the mobile phone with you…” she shouts.

But – I pretend not to hear – and I make myself scarce and disappear as fast as possible.

When I loaf – I do not carry my mobile phone.

I do not want the manacles of technology to ruin my day. 
Dear Fellow Loafer: If you want to truly enjoy a good loaf – beware of the technology trap.


It’s a bright winter day.

The morning sun is comforting.

I feel good.

Flush with a sense of carefree irresponsibility – I walk with a spring in my step.
Yes – I am going to enjoy my leisure.


I walk out my house onto the main road.
Should I turn left…?

Should I turn right…?

Should I cross the road and go straight ahead…?

I am free.

I am free to go wherever I desire.

I am free to enjoy my day as I want.

Yes – I have true freedom – I have the freedom to travel at my sweet will – with no destination to reach – no task to complete – no deadlines to meet

Freedom to loaf.
Pure Leisure.
Freedom to spend a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner. 

I see a bus.

I stop the bus – and – I hop in.

“Where do you want to go…?” the bus conductor asks me.

“Where does this bus go…?” I ask him.

“This bus goes to Pune Railway Station…” the bus conductor says, with a curious look.

“Okay – one ticket to Pune Railway Station…” I say, holding out a 10 Rupee Note.
The conductor gives me an amused look.

He hands me a ticket and a rupee coin.

I sit down on a vacant window-seat.

I think interesting thoughts and I enjoy the view through the window.

On these carefree wanderlust trips of mine I prefer travelling by bus – and – of course – I love to walk on foot.

Driving my car on the terrible potholed, crowded and chaotic roads in the terrible traffic of Pune makes me go crazy and fills me with stress.

And – at my age – I dare not venture out too far on my scooter – lest I land up with broken bones in hospital – or – worse – lifeless in the Vaikunth or Kailas crematoriums!
So that’s what I sometimes do on these glorious trips of mine.

Just jump into the first bus that comes along – and let the bus take you wherever it goes.

Just go where life leads you.
Try it – it is fun.
Last time – I landed up in the heart of Pune – near Shaniwar Wada.
In Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi – loafing is even more exciting – as there are so many more bus routes and travel choices – trains, buses, trams, walks – and – you can serendipitously explore so many new and exotic places you would not dream of going to in normal course.
The bus reaches the Pune Railway Station.
It’s been a smooth ride.

I get down from the bus.

I admire the magnificent heritage stone building of Pune Railway Station.
I stand in the porch and I look inside the railway station.
Trains, crowds, announcements, horns, cacophony, and chaos – I love the “railway” atmosphere.

On impulse – I enter the railway station – and I stroll on the platform – panning my gaze all over – and – stopping once in a while to feast my eyes on any attractive object that arrests my attention.
“Want a seat…?” a porter asks.

“No…” I say.

“Where are you going…?” he persists.

“Nowhere…” I say.

“Waiting for someone…?” he asks, probably in anticipation of porterage.

“No…” I say.

The porter stares at me for a moment – and then – he walks off with a look of perplexed dejection.


I look around the railway platform.


Everyone is waiting to go somewhere – or waiting for someone.

I am waiting to go nowhere – and – I am waiting for nobody.

So I walk out of the station and head for Shiv Kailash Milk Bar – bang opposite Pune Railway Station – on the other side of the road.
If you arrive at Pune by train on a hot morning – never make the blunder of heading for the auto rickshaw stand.

You will get all stressed up waiting in the never-ending queue and haggling with the rickshawallas trying to fleece you and con you.


Just cross the road to Shiv Kailash Milk Bar – sit under the shade on one of the stainless steel stools placed on the pavement – and – invigorate yourself with a tall glass of cool refreshing Lassi (which is guaranteed to banish the depleting effects of the tiresome train journey).

Then – tell the waiter to hail a rickshaw from the many rickshaws hanging around.

They will know that you are a regular…!
This is what I have been doing for so many years – during my numerous homecomings – ever since the days when Pune was called Poona – and when the Deccan Queen was the best way to travel from Mumbai to Pune.

Shiv Kailash serves the best Lassi in Pune.
It’s almost as good as the one at Pehelwan at the end on Lanka near BHU in Varanasi.
The Lassi freshly made in front of you – topped off with a generous dollop of soft fresh cream.
The sumptuous fulfilling soothing Lassi is thick, lip-smacking, nourishing – and gives me a heavenly feeling.
I sip the Lassi slowly – relishing every mouthful – almost eating the delectable fluid after letting it perambulate on my tongue – as I watch the world go about its business outside.
People come in a jiffy – gulp their glasses of Lassi down the hatch in a hurry – and they rush away.

But I am in no hurry – so – I blissfully savour each and every drop of the delicious creamy Lassi.
I walk leisurely towards Pune Camp.

I walk past Mira College, GPO, Zero Milestone, Police Headquarters, Nehru Memorial Hall – where I cross the Moledina Road – admiring the imposing Lal Deval Synagogue – and then – I turn left – and I walk past the place where the imperial Dorabjee Store Building used to be once upon a time.
Now – there is a huge shopping complex – and a glitzy mall opposite.
I reminisce.
West End Cinema – with its soda fountain and cane chairs – New Empire Cinema – all the adorable landmarks are long since gone.
Now there are Malls and modern places like Landmark.

(This story was written 10 years ago in the year 2006 when Landmark Bookstore existed at the same place where Dorabjee Departmental Store exists today)
Landmark – you know it don’t you…?
Landmark is Pune’s swanky new music-cum-book store.
Like Crossword – giving competition to the grand old Manney’s, International, Popular, TBS and the bookshops at Appa Balwant Chowk.

(Manney’s Bookstore has since closed down – and – Landmark has shut shop too – after relocating for a few years across the road to the Mall).
I walk into Landmark.
The place is swarming with chic salesgirls and sales-boys.
No one pays any attention to me.

Maybe – I blend well with the surroundings.
I realize the tremendous advantages of obscurity and the benefits of anonymity.


Had I been a successful person – rich and famous – or someone with a striking personality – people would notice me – and – I doubt I would have been able to enjoy myself with such carefree abandon.
Only “non-achievers” like me can truly enjoy a life of carefree irresponsibility – and savour the unadulterated joys of genuine leisure. 
I roam around the ground floor music section.

There are no music stations where you can listen to music – like they have in Rhythm House at Kalaghoda – and Planet-M opposite VT (CST) – in Mumbai.

So – I go the first floor bookstore.

The bookstore is spacious, neatly laid-out and looks impressive.


The books are arranged subject-wise – clearly visible from anywhere.

There are cushioned stools to sit and browse – and also two long sofas below the huge tinted windows towards the far side.
I start from the left side.
Food, Philosophy, Self-Help, Travel, Coffee Table, Erotica, Classics, Fiction, Computers, Children, Indian Writing – there are books on every topic you can think of.
The tranquil ambiance is so soothing and conducive – that I browse to my heart’s content – loosing myself into that wonderful state of timelessness I experience sometimes when I am totally immersed into doing something I love.
By the time I leave Landmark – cerebrally satiated – it is almost 3 in the afternoon – yes – it is 3 PM – and – I am hungry.

After intellectual satiation – I am now in desperate need of gastronomic satiation.
So – I walk past Manney’s and West End and turn right on Main Street – cross Aurora Towers – turn right – walk past ABN Amro Bank – and then – I turn left on Dastur Meher Road – and I walk leisurely towards Sarbatwala Chowk – till I reach Dorabjee and Sons Restaurant.


I dive in through the low entrance of Dorabjee’s and look around.
The eatery is crowded – with noisy families bashing on regardless – greedily devouring the heaps food before them.
The mouth-watering aroma – and the sight of the appetizing food – creates in me such ravenous pangs of hunger – that I quickly sit on the only vacant table – and I order a Mutton Biryani – the signature dish of Dorabjee.
As is the hallmark of authentic speciality cuisine restaurants – the menu is select – just a few choice dishes a single page.
There is Sali, Curry, Masala and Biryani in Mutton and Chicken – Kheema, Brain, Eggs – and combinations thereof – cutlets in gravy – and a few Veg dishes – for appearance sake.
On Sundays – you can have Dhansak – maybe on your way to the races in the season.


Pune may have changed – but heritage institutions like Dorabjee still preserve the flavour of yesteryear Pune.
I spoon some Biryani onto my tongue – seal my lips, close my eyes, turn my senses inwards with full consciousness – to imbibe and savour the unique medley of juices released by the succulent piece of mutton – the bitterish-sweet taste of the slightly burnt crisp fried onions – and the spicy flavoursome rice.
It is superlative delicious authentic cuisine at its best.
Dorabjee serves the best heritage mutton biryani in Pune – no doubt about it.

Yes – Blue Nile and Good Luck serve good heritage Biryani too.
The fervent atmosphere of the place and exquisite quality of the food is such that one eats enthusiastically – with wholehearted zest and gusto – not apologetically and self-consciously – as one tends to do – trying to be prim and proper – in highfalutin fine dining restaurants.
At Dorabjee – you can enjoy every morsel of your food with passionate ardour.


And – as I reach blissful gastronomic satiety – I realize that a well-filled stomach radiates a kind of spiritual happiness.

The ideal way to end this rich spicy repast – is to cool it off with a cold soothing Falooda.
Falooda is to Biryani – what Mastani is to Mutton Kolhapuri.
So – I walk down Sachapir Street – I cross Main Street (MG Road) – and I head for Badshah on East Street – to down a deliciously sweet and chilled Rose flavored Royal Falooda.
Then – I stroll down East Street to Kayani – to pick up some Shrewsbury Biscuits and Chocolate Walnut Cake – and – not to forget the inimitable Kayani Bakery Wine Biscuits and Cheese Papdi.
I stand outside Kayani – wondering what to do.
Maybe – I can walk down to Manney’s and browse books some more.
If Landmark has got the ambiance – Manney’s got the books…
And then – maybe I can just loiter down Main Street admiring pretty looking things – till I am tired and hungry.
Maybe – I will have some veg sandwiches, a chicken roll and cold coffee at Marzorin.

Or – a macaroon at Pasteurs next door.
Why not a Burger at Burger King – the original burger place of Pune – or a Chopsuey at East End – at the end of East Street…?
Maybe Kathi Rolls at Olympia – Chicken Masala at George – Chana Bhatura at Monafood – Sev Barfi at Bhavnagri – Wafers at Budhani – or Sizzlers at The Place next to Manneys – or one more Biryani at Blue Nile near the GPO.
The possibilities are endless…

Or – should I see the movie at Victory Cinema opposite – or at West End nearby…?
Maybe I’ll jump into the first bus I see – and let it take me wherever it goes.
How about going for a long walk on Laxmi Road into the heart of town…?
Or – an idyll beside the river in Bund Garden – or Saras Baug – or Sambhaji Park…?
Or maybe – I will just head home.
Oh – yes indeed – the possibilities are truly endless!
I am free to do whatever I choose to do…
I can loaf to my heart’s content…
I can continue to spend a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner…
And – I can relish moments of perfect leisure.
You can take my word for it – Dear Reader.
There is nothing you will enjoy more than loafing.

There is no pleasure higher than loafing.

It is only when you cease to do the things you have to do – and you do the things you like to do – and you want to do – that you achieve the highest value of your time.


The freedom to enjoy life is the ultimate reward.  
Why should you defer happiness – waiting for some elusive abstract rewards…?  
What reward could be greater than a life enjoyed as it is lived…?
If you do not find happiness as you are, where you are, here and now – you will never find it.
There is always plenty in life right now to enjoy for one who is determined to enjoy it.  
The feast of life is before you.  
Do you have the appetite to enjoy the feast of life…?

So – my Dear Friend – You must discover the “Art of Loafing” – and you will redeem the art of living from the business of living.
The Art of Travelling, The Art of Happiness, The Art of Eating, The Art of Living, The Art of Loafing, The Art of Leisure – all inextricably intertwined – aren’t they…?
To recap:

“It is only when you cease to do the things you have to do – and you do the things you like to do and you want to do – that you achieve the highest value of your time”
Eureka – Epiphany – I’ve got it:

The Aim of Loafing is to achieve the Highest Value of your Time 


Let me end with a quote from the renowned Philosopher Lin Yutang on The Importance of Loafing:

“The tempo of modern industrial life forbids idling. But worse than that, it imposes upon us a different conception of time as measured by the clock, and eventually turns the human being into a clock himself. Every American adult is arranging his time on the pattern of the schoolboy — three o’clock for this, five o’clock for that, six-thirty for change of dress; six-fifty for entering the taxi and seven o’clock for emerging into a hotel room. It just makes life not worth living.”

~ Lin Yutang on “The Importance of Loafing”

Dear Reader:

Do you loaf…?


Do tell us about your Loafing experiences –  especially your favourite and memorable Loafs.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


  1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised and updated version of my story written by me Vikram Karve around 10 years ago in the year 2006 and earlier posted online by me in my various Blogs a number of times including at urls:  and  and  and and etc

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