Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Changed Opinion and Pondicherry Ahoy...

Yeah, I know. After a rather cryptic post I seem to have disappeared putting doubts in your head about what's happened to me. I have been deluded with phonecalls and emails asking me what I meant by the post. Touching though it is to hear from so many (2) well wishers, let me assure you that the blog would be the last place I would open up my misery and spoil your day. If I was miserable, that is. Which I'm not.

In fact the reason for my absence is anything but sad. I was travelling for pleasure over the last weekend and since coming back i've been vegetating before I finally managed to write a small piece here.

I'd gone to Chennai and then proceeded to go to Pondicherry over the weekend. My love for Chennai is well known and I personally feel that every minute spent there is probably a minute too much. Before this I had been there for exactly one day and six and three quarters hours and it felt like eternity. However, this time I sort of changed my opinion of the place. AG is staying there for the time being and he showed me around all the hotspots of the city. Fortunately the weather was simply brilliant so the hotspots weren't exactly 'hot'. As in any city it is the company you have that matters the most. All cities have 4-5 nice places that you can go for good food, ogling at girls, relaxing, pubbing etc to offset all other standard problems of commuting, traffic, terrible weather. And this time I really had a good time there visiting the former and ignoring the latter.

Then we went to Pondicherry and my luck and the brilliant weather followed us till that extremely picturesque town. The 9 square kilometre town influenced heavily by the French is one of the serenest places I've ever been to. The sea is gorgeous and the beach has to be the cleanest i've ever seen in India.

An old bachpan ka dost P (childhood friend for non-hindi readers)is staying in Pondicherry itself and it was great to meet up with him after a long time. AG and I rented out a bike and zoomed around the town. (As an aside, I sometimes regret not knowing how to ride a bike well. And this was definitely one of those times. Now the thing is that I could ride a bike a decent bit while I was in college third year but then I got a car from my parents and since then the necessity of transporting a large number of people whenever we went out meant that I had to take the wheel rather than the handlebar. But definitely I would love to get a bike and get the heavenly feeling of the breeze blowing through my hair as I streak down the country road, at peace with nature - er..except for the clouds of poisonous exhaust that I would be belching into the surroundings)

We landed up at P's place and then quickly went out to the beach on our bikes. The weather was awesome by that time and the grey skies were looking magnificent as they reflected on the sea. The gradations of grey culminating in white surf breaking near the shore was a melancholically beautiful vision. The man-made beach interspersed with a small french style bistro and some shelters to avoid the sudden torrential rains common on beaches is a great place to just walk around pensively with no fear of bumping into cootchie-cooing couples like in Mumbai or Goa.

After hanging out at this small restaurant and bar there for sometime we went back to Ps place where I tried my hand at the Xbox he had. Admittedly the games he had were antique but as I haven't ever played on a gaming console it was fun.

And then came the highlight of the trip. P in his wanderings and craving for good homelike food discovered a dhaba being run by that most enterprising of all indian people - a sikh. This Sardarji ka dhaba had the MOST AWESOME paranthas. So in the heart of South India, under the influence of French culture (the roads are named like Rue de Marine) we had good ol' north indian Delhi's paranthes. Oh, they were sinfully good and made me remember mom's paranthes (well, almost :))

A great trip, probably AGs last as a bachelor and though he may have preferred spending more time on the phone as opposed to with me, i'm sure he'll also look back at the trip wistfully later.

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