I’ve said it way too many times already: I can’t resist the sunrise.
So much so that I left my hotel room at 6 am to watch the sun rise into the sky.
This happened in Pondicherry, the go-to city for cheap alcohol. The city’s got that vibe — like Vegas. You go there just to get wasted.
I went looking for the high too.
Except, my definition of “high,” is different. My high is in nature, and the most I have to do to get it is either wake up early or stay up all night.
So I strolled down Beach Road. The government of Pondicherry bans all motor vehicles into the road from 5 pm to 7 am. It was the safest place for an over-enthusiastic nature lover and amateur photographer.
I stepped on to the road, and a chilly, salty breeze brushed my hair on to my face. I started walking and went right past the Gandhi statue. Because a few more yards away was the only thing I cared for: The Le Cafe.
It’s the most beautiful and well-maintained 24-hour, governmnet-run cafe. The staff welcomed me with warm smiles, and smiled wider when I told them I was just looking for photos. They saved the bitterness for the coffee. (We went for the coffee afterward.)
When I left the cafe, the sun had risen, but without heart. It was still half into the clouds when I pointed my camera at it, and it remained so for about an hour. I did too. And all the while, my hair danced in tune to the waves, and sea spray clouded my glasses.
Unlike the city I’m used to, there were too many people out basking in the sunrise. They were tourists staying in hotels nearby. And they went about their routine of morning yoga, slow walking, some of them jogging, and even a few kids on a sprint.
Despite the crowd, it didn’t feel crowded at all. In fact, it didn’t even seem like an Indian city to me. Everything was so alien, so neat, and so peaceful. No one bothered about what the others were up to. No one gawked at each other, making judgements. For once, everyone minded their business.
It was one of my most productive mornings.