Thursday, January 14, 2010

Alone @ the eastern coast

This is the first post of this year, and starting with a small travelogue. I was looking for a break to spend some time with myself, my unfed soul for some time, and the time came when a meeting was scheduled in Chennai last week. Just at that moment I decided to spend couple of days in Pondicherry and be talkative to myself.

My journey started around 7 PM in a state transport bus from Chennai bus depot. Thanks to the driver, I got a lone seat just at the front of the bus – I guess not being able to communicate in Tamil helped here. The East Coast Road was an awesome drive, and I’m sure it would feel hundred times better in day-time. Perhaps I’ll try it next time.

I had booked a place to stay which is absolutely a backpacker’s accommodation with basic amenities, but I’ve no complaints. Manoj Dixit – owner of the house is an artist and what can be better staying in mid of hundred paintings?! Next day morning I started my walk by the sea of Pondy and then a visit to the famous Aurobindo Ashram. To my surprise, I found a violin & guitar concert will be performed at the ‘Hall of Heritage’ there. I didn’t want to miss that – hardly have I got a chance to listen to a concert on a Sunday morning in my city life, and it was fascinating!

After that I started my tour on a rented bike – the best vehicle one can have in Pondicherry. I drove down to Auroville, but it was more of an over-hyped place I found. But the Auro beach is beautiful with its golden sand and loads of fishing boats and nets. I inquired with the fishermen there and came to know they usually go to the sea by around 3 in the morning and come back by 8 with the day’s catch. Right there I decided to come back to this beach next morning and I was sure it would give me some good shots on the life of fishermen and I wasn’t wrong.

Pondicherry is a place of some authentic continental food. Le Terrace, Le Club are the 2 restaurants I tried and both of them served some fantastic beef steak & barbecued chicken – though priced on the little higher side. Also, if you Chinese food lover, don’t miss ‘Chinatown’ on the canal road, located above ‘Hot-Breads’. They had made an awesome black-peeper chicken.

Thanks to the 24x7 bus service to & from Chennai, I was able to catch my early morning flight to Mumbai from Chennai even after leaving Pondicherry at 11:30 on the previous night. These couple of days is really well-spent and helped me to come to terms in many ways which actually went haywire for some time. Certainly few hundred trips more to Pondy will never be boring; am in love!

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