Month: December 2008

Puducherry…

There are places you visit and then there are places you visit. Pondy is one of the places I can visit a zillion times and still not get bored. This was my second trip to the land where you ‘give time a break’… thats just what we did!

24th December
My journey started from Hyderabad with some friends who were headed to Ooty, they were traveling via Bangalore and were dropping me. I could have joined them for Ooty but by the time they planned I had already planned with Jatin and these guys in Bangalore. We left at about 9 from Hyd and it took us about 12-13 hours to reach bangalore. The roads were bad and the drive extremely exhausting. Prateek drove most of the way, our driver was sleepy too soon. We had our merry christmas yellings at midnight. Prateek had made aloo puri, we had to admit he is a good cook.

25th December
We reached Bangalore around 10 in the morning, got to Jatin’s place and hit the shower. My friends went ahead for brunch and drive to ooty. I stayed back, finished some work in bglr and then met Jatin’s friends who by now are my friends too – Meetu, Neha and Souvik. We left for Pondy around 1 and it was one of the most fantastic drives. The highway was good, we had a good driver and most of all good company! Stopped over at a ‘Panjabi Dhaba’ which we had not much hopes of finding good food at but to our surprise they it was good. After some amazing anda bhurji, chicken n roti we moved ahead on the drive between the very green trees. On our way, we saw some beautiful lakes, hills at a distance, a famous temple town and the clearest sky with stars shining bright like they were painted. And we had some amazing music playing in the background by the in house DJ Souvik.
We reached pondy around 9ish and after me diverting the routes with my over confidence we finally found way to our abode for next 3 days – Lotus comfort suites. We went to the Lotus Comfort Hotel and then they directed to the suites – apartments where we were to stay. We all got quite sceptical as the road to our suite was a bit shady but the apartment was nice and we had it all by ourself 😀 We had three rooms, two with attached bathroom and a third bathroom in the lobby, three TVs, two in rooms and one in lobby and kitchen with some cutlery, though no stove. Didn’t matter much as we got tea every morning. Highly recommended for groups, its comfortable and nice. You would need to call the cleaning guy as they don’t turn up by themselves.
We dumped our luggage and head off for dinner. On the way we crossed the Pondy coast line, the rocky beach probably the most peaceful place I’ve been to. Dinner was at Hotel De Pondicherry. I again lost the way but I’m always right the third time and we found the garden restaurant. Since I was new to the group and we only had very few members of the group this time, the conversation stayed around stories about everyone in the group. I had heard everyone’s name and by now had most of them on my orkut/facebook by now. It was awesome. We got to what we needed the most – daru 🙂 Meetu and I with our Long Island Ice Tea, Souvik and Jatin with Beer, Neha tried Virgin Mary but it wasn’t made well and she couldn’t go beyond two sips.
We got some nice starters and french fries. French fries was a staple order wherever we went, Souvik couldn’t do without them. As we were enjoying our drinks with me listening to inside stories about everyone… we saw another part of this group walk in. Urmilesh, Garima and Rashmi. They had planned Pondy separately, we knew they were here but didn’t know they were staying at this hotel. We chatted for a while and then headed to the beach. We walked around and sat there for a while and then the police came in… not allowed after 11.30. We headed back to our suite, talked for a while and then slept off. Good drive, good food and sleep deprivation helped me doze as soon as I lay on my bed.

26th December
Next morning we woke up late and went to hot breads for breakfast. The plan was to go to auroville and then to auro beach. Neha suggested we hit the beach, take a shower there and then head to auroville which made sense to all of us. We left from breakfast at 12.30ish and after going back and forth on where to go and what we went to the beach. Breakfast was some egg platters and a chocolate croissant for me. We wanted to get hash browns but since they were not available it was french fries.
Its not the best beach to get into water, its not even a proper beach. We couldn’t go too far in the sea as it wasn’t too shallow, the waves were high; the sand was grainy, all of us had scratches by the end of the day. There was no place to shower or change so we decided to stay at the beach and then back to our suites and a nice evening dinner. I had already marked ‘Rendezvous’ for our dinner, the food was the best when i was there my last visit. Sitting in the sea is the best thing to do on earth. We got back to our suites around 4 ordered for beer, breezer and food. Took shower, ate and after resting for a while we decided to walk on the Pondy rocky beach. I was a bit depressed by this time for no apparant reason and may be some reasons that are not for this blog. At the beach it was already getting dark, we went a bit ahead on the rocks and sat there for a long time. Jatin singing, Souvik trying to sing and Neha Meetu and I mostly listening. We then went to Rendezvous around 8ish, they made us wait for a while but then Souvik worked his magic to get us a table right before I crossed my irritation threshold. Jatin was initially not sure if he would like the food, Meetu wasn’t sure of ambience and Neha was mostly busy smsing. Well after Hotel De Pondicherry, the ambience can’t be likable. Jatin and Souvik went overboard with drinking, we girls ordered for lots of starters. The food was killer, it was the best cheesy garlic bread, the best prawns we ate. The Tiger Prawns with garlic butter are the best order. Even those who don’t like sea food will love them, they didn’t smell, were clean, cooked just right! And yes we had french fries again!
We went to the beach again before heading back. Jatin and I taking a stroll, Souvik and Neha sitting on the rocks and Meetu busy on the phone. When we got back, it was Uno time. I’ve played Uno before but never saw this serious a group. We had a competetive streak in the group. Late at night Urmilesh, Garima and Rashmi dropped by. We had a round of uno with them. Slept late around 2.30-3ish. Next day we had planned mahaballipuram.

27th December
We woke up, went to Rendezvous for breakfast – eggs, sausages, pancakes and I think we skipped french fries this time. Mahabs is always fun – five ratha temple, caves and photography. It was amazing, somehow I was a bit cranky.
Evening we went to the crowded beach where we took shots at balloons and clicked pics. We then headed to a fishermen beach in the market area and found a small family run restaurant. The food was okay here – veg spagheti, prawns, fish and french fries.
The beach had many boats next to the sea. It was out of the world experience to sit there. the waves were gorgeous, the sky was clear with stars shining bright. The stars shone like they were painted into the sky, the waves coming together, white on the dark water. The water looked black with shades of gray where the waves formed. As the waves rose to join hands with each other combining their strength they turned white and then fell into the darkness again. The waves came till the boat we were sitting at. We kept playing with the waves, the sea wanted to wet our shoes and we lifted our feet by the time they got to us.
It was a perfect evening. Meetu, Jatin and I were there for a long time with Jatin’s guitar and singing. It was our last night in Pondy and Souvik wanted to go on the Pondy rocky beach as well. So we left arnd 10ish to the Pondy city sat at the beach. We all then wanted icecreams. Jatin went for a walk to Meetu, Souvik Neha and i were sitting on the rocks. Neha was cold so we had to head back. I went looking for Jatin and Meetu and it seemed like they had disappeared. I kept walking endlessly desperately looking for a hint of them when suddenly a car stopped behind me. And it was Jatin and Meetu with Urmi, Garima and Rashmi. They found each other while walking/driving and went ice cream hunting in the area. We found a 24 hour cafe by the beach and went for icecreams while Souvik and Neha went back. Well the keys happened to be with Jatin so they had to wait till we got back. Once we were back it was uno time again till 3 in the morn. All of use slept verrryyy late and had a slow next morning.

28th December
I was sad this morning, didn’t want my vacation to end. Today was auroville, I had to shop there =) We had a late start, went back to Hotel De Pondicherry for brunch – strawberry lemonade for me, sea food platter, roasted pork (which was too bland and not quite tender), french fries and pasta. I tried my hand at photography, got some amazing shots of meetu at the restaurant. We then headed to auroville.
We had only about an hour and half at Auroville. Meetu and I went big on shopping and then another goofy photography session later it was time for chennai or i would’ve missed my flight. As we got closer to chennai Meetu got bored of the same songs and we switched to live music from all of us in the car. They dropped me at the airport at 7 and were on their way back to Bangalore. My flight was delayed by an hour and I reached Hyderabad around midnight. They reached Bangalore around 3.

This trip was just what I needed, a break from my monotonous boring life with useless stress. I hope the next trip is soon and as much fun and relaxing as this one.

What stays with me the most – Jatins guitar and live singing, Souvik’s singing (smtimes out of rythm), the evening at the Mahabs beach on the boat playing with the waves so that they don’t wet our shoes, the long walk with Jatin where he spoke about the many things that were probably in his head and he wasnt able to let out, Souvik’s humor and concern for everyone, conversations with Meetu – someone I could relate to and be myself with, Neha’s gentleness ever so caring and for pouring our morning tea.

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