“I’m going to Pondicherry!” Yep, that was me yelling this practically every day for two weeks before my planned trip. Where should i go? What should i do?
Well, all I knew about Pondicherry (which wasn’t much) was that it was a quaint little town, heavily influenced by the French culture and the colonies still very much alive and kicking. I’ll admit, this does not throw the best light at my research or negotiation abilities, but this information was enough for me to buy in on the idea and book the tickets! All the other information I got was from a couple of friends and my sister who had visited the place.
Now i should probably warn you, this is not a typical travel blog, so if you’re looking for “best hotels to stay” or “ how to plan a trip on a budget” you might as well tune out right now (Future blog idea alert!). However, If you’re looking for how the place may make you feel and come alive, this is the right place for you.
For what was found in Pondicherry was more than the pretty little famous cafes, or delicious croissants or amazing hotels – though you will find these in abundance too -. And i’m going to try my best and lend you my lenses to help see the place through my eyes.
The real essence of Puducherry isn’t just in its cafes. It is in the intricate design of the wooden doors. In ramshackle buildings that once must have been the envy of the street. In the kind smiles of strangers, all too willing to help. It is in the peace you find walking through the woods in Auroville, or interacting with strangers just as out of place and yet as at home as you.
Old people on a trip with their friends and family, striking up a friendly conversation while you all wait for your reservation at the hotel…and making you realise that they are, infact, younger at heart than most people you know.
And when you’re done with all the touristy stuff -visiting the famous cafes during the day or chilling by the pool for the vibe, or getting a gazillion picture clicked for social media – and after you’ve had that very fulfilling dinner, might i recommend sitting on the rocky shore of the promenade beach? Where you can, only faintly, see the waves in the wane moonlight, but the can hear their sound echoing all through your being, drowning every insignificant worry away.
Sit in silence with your thoughts while the feeling overwhelms you or have a conversation with your friend. I promise it will be one of the most insightful and wonderful conversations you’re going to have. And if you’re chowing down on some ice cream, that’s even better!
Wake up early one day and watch the sunrise. If you’re anything like me, you won’t want to lose sleep…but do it anyway. Not because it’s one of the boxes on your list, but to feel that warmth of the young sun on your skin or be inspired by the fishermen toiling in the sea everyday to feed their families, all the while engaged in a cheery banter with their fellow boats. Or maybe to feel nothing but complete calm.
One typical tourist to do i would recommend is to go Scuba Diving. Nothing makes you feel more alive than the complete calm of the sea with fishes swirling about you. Where all you can hear is your own breath, all you can see is the brilliant blue and all you can think is – “wow, this is some work of art”.
Well, this is just my point of view, however, if what you read above sounds like you, i’d highly suggest you pack your bags and head to Pondicherry. Maybe you’ll tell me something I missed?
P.S. I do love a good croissant!
The Millennial Cult