There’s nothing quite like it: Standing on the sandy shores, sipping warm comfort, and staring at foamy waters crashing into rocks.
And that’s how I remember the city of Pondicherry. With her manicured streets, fresh-brewed coffee, and a view that demands attention, the city it still one of my all time favourites.
The beach played a major role, of course, but so did the no-vehicles policy. Every evening, the police ensure that no vehicles enter the beach road. That time’s for the tourists to walk along the beach, get a cup of cocoa, or a bite of corn, and retreat to a fancy restaurant for dinner.
The entire area is built and managed in favour of the visitors. No wonder people love it there. Plus, it helps a lot that Pondicherry is a French colony. The street we stayed in — the Beach road — and a neighbouring streets were all so well furnished.
I stood in the street looking up at the looming concrete. They were unlike any other building I had seen, and it was obvious the government wants to please their tourists.
The infamous Aurobindo ashram is a huge attraction as well. So many Europeans have made the ashram their life, and the city their home. Even the shopping sites in the city seem to favour the their tastes. Wool, cotton, linen, and hand-loomed — it was such a pretty display of material and colours.
Oh, and the food. Since it’s a coastal city, there’s no short of fish, and all things sea food. And, the city’s a bit relaxed in alcohol rules. With the best of both worlds, most restaurants serve alcoholic drinks throughout the day — something the south of India never approves.
Pondicherry welcomes modernity in moderation. From where I come, however, people frown even at the idea of drinking in social conditions. It’s sad that folks sometimes look at the city as a bachelor’s haven, a place of mischief and misconduct.
But when I bit into those fish fingers, the sauce tingling my tongue and the steam seeping through my teeth, I stopped caring about what the world says. Pondicherry is a great place. And I’ll never pass an opportunity to go again.