Sunday, December 28, 2014

An Amazing Holiday in Pondi

I just got back from a grand vacation in the Union Territory of Pondicherry with my good friend, Tarun, about a year and a half after another such wonderful trip to Amritsar in my final days in Roorkee. This vacation comes at a very different juncture in life though: my MS is almost over and is working out to be quite a good thesis thus far, but the time to choose on a path for a PhD is coming soon and with it, the paraphernalia that comes with a PhD. Cutting to the chase, this will be my last vacation in at least 24 months (it already came after 15), which is why it was so important. The half-marathon has been successfully completed, but the real marathon is just about to begin.

I had a couple of options to choose from for this vacation - staying at home, visiting people in Delhi, or going to Pondicherry. I chose the last, for this is the most time-tested friendship I have and one of two that I most cherish from Roorkee. Moreover, it was a perfect opportunity to further explore the South. And of course, I hate Delhi.

Pondicherry was a beautiful place, taking me back to my childhood by the sea, in Goa, Mumbai and Kochi. The sea has a magical effect on you - you can spend hours counting the waves, losing yourself in the process. But then, there was more to that in the former French colony: great food, the famous Auroville colony, the great drive along the ECR and much more. Not that everything is perfect there - the storekeepers do try to swindle you of your money and if you're not Indian, it can be very easy to fall for it (even being Indian can fail you many a times); the many beautiful statues are all marked in Tamil, which is not at all friendly for tourists from outside Tamil Nadu; and the police is in general rude and unfriendly.

But aside from the usual tourist spots, we did find some truly unique gems: Sasirekha Residency and the nearby idli stall to name just two. More posts on that soon. 

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