The Punekar has slowly grown to be an integral part of the lives of thousands in the city, and Apeksha Khanchandani has been a driving force behind this. We all have fond memories of scrolling through articles talking about the best cheesecakes in the city (mmmmmmm PBC!), the most romantic restaurants in Pune (hello Level 12!), the best breakfast places in the city (hey Yezdan) and a lot more. From being just a weekly webzine to gaining popularity on social media too, Punekar has grown to be an fun place to read content about a fun city! What was it like, heading Punekar with a team of freelancers (interestingly, that’s how I first met this powerhouse of energy) ? How has the growth been so far? What made her believe that Punekar would be loved by one and all in the city? What are the challenges she has faced? I’m going to leave these questions for another time, right now I’m here to show you what a ball of energy the super driven editor of Punekar is. Meet her for a cup of coffee and you’ll leave with 10 new ideas that you’ll want to execute almost immediately. Go prepared.
You’re the name behind The Punekar. What made you join the team?
The Punekar just happened to fall into my lap and I was immensely lucky about that. It was totally unplanned!
What about writing do you love the most?
I love the fact that I can express myself without actually speaking. I’ve always struggled with spoken expressions. Also, there is magic in written words. I can *occasionally* manifest a better world than the one we exist in.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Fighter. Unconventional. Introvert.
Was this always your plan- to be a writer?
Well, I did want to be an assassin until I was around 11 or 12. Post that, yep, very much so. Sometimes, I still daydream about that assassin thing.
What were you like in school?
Shy, nerdy, quiet and bullied. I was the kid who loved studying and couldn’t wait to return home and do my homework. I still remember sleeping with a dictionary under my pillow so I could look up new words every night. #NerdAlert
What social media platform are you comfortable with?
Instagram. I feel like people are the least judgmental and most motivating on it.
Identify yourself with one kind of food.
Sushi. It’s underrated, clean, delicious, sparsely available, vibrant and best of all, RAW. Also, potato. Sorry about identifying with two, but loyalty and all, you know?
3 quirks we don’t know about you.
Lazy, ridiculously punctual (barring emergencies) and I suck at grocery shopping.
(Yes, I love the whole punctuality bit about her. Whenever we meet, we give minute by minute updates on our progress and whereabouts)
If you were given a chance to travel back in time, would you go back to change anything?
No, ma’am. I am where I am today because of everything I’ve experienced. And where I am today is the most peaceful I’ve been. *sniffs and chokes back tears*
Your celeb crush.
Chris Hemsworth. I once dreamt of shopping with him at Shivaji Market for fruits and vegetables. Whatte nice dream. Whatte nice.
(BRB, looks like I’ll take time to get done with this laughing)
Your thoughts on freelancing in Pune.
One thing I particularly like about it is that there isn’t as much of a cutthroat competition here. We’re all here to help each other out. At least that’s what I have experienced. But yes, I do wish Pune had more scope for freelancers in our field. It’s nowhere close to larger metros.
What do you want to be remembered as?
Surprisingly, even for me, I don’t really care. I simply want to live on my terms; be genuinely happy, tick things off my bucket list and be at peace. After I’m gone, I don’t think “ghost me” would care either.
I repeat- meet her for a cup of coffee and watch this energy take over you <3