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Poemas del río Wang: Pune Encounters

I sleep well in the cool January nights, and by sunup, re-energized by the hotel’s instant coffee and margarined toast, I am ready to brave the streets of Pune once again. I use the morning for a visit to the 8th-century Pataleshwar Caves temple, to the north of the Peths, about which I previously wrote, on the other side of the river Mutha. Wandering the district, I first wonder if I can be in the right place for such a venerable site. I am surrounded by concrete high-rises and new construction sites, and an exuberant flow of traffic fills the broad multilane thoroughfare at the precarious edge of which I walk. …