I'm back :)
My trip was super-duper awesome, and I soooo didn't wana come back!
Obviously, had to... There were people, things and events waiting for me in Pune-land.
Well, I don’t really know where to start and what to avoid when I tell you about my expedition. It was the height of awesomeness; everything was perfect, and all that wasn’t was made up for by my peace of mind and enthusiasm.
But leme begin by telling you a few points to note:
1. Carry an umbrella if you plan to roam around in/around Chennai and Pondicherry.
2. Bargaining and negotiating is a given anywhere you go (at least in India) and if you don’t do it, you’re a fool with no sense of efficiency.
3. Keep an open mind when you travel. Be willing to explore new places, meet new people, eat new dishes, do things out of the ordinary and just enjoy everything without criticism or evaluation. Of course, don’t compromise on issues pertaining to your safety.
I’m gona keep adding to that list as an when I remember more stuff… But until then, this is good enough.
So, to put it in a nutshell, I left for Chennai from Pune around 6 am on Sunday the 7th of February. The Indigo I took departed on time, and was a shaky flight, but we landed well before the scheduled arrival time. (They say the journey’s 2 hours long, but it doesn’t take over one and a half.) On reaching Chennai, I took a cab to Pondicherry. The pre-decided fare was Rs. 2300/- and the driver promised to take me to sightseeing attractions on the way. This included a breakfast halt, Dakshina Chitra, Crocodile Park and Mahabalipuram. (More details later.)
When I reached Pondi around afternoon, my room at Ginger was ready. It was a dream fulfilled. A little rest and refreshment later, I set off for Rock Beach - the only beach inside the tiny town and the hub of all activity and tourism. The next few days were spent in combing the entire union territory and relishing all that Puducherry had to offer – beaches, churches, restaurants and Auroville. Frankly, there’s not much to see, so if you’re the compulsive traveler who needs a list of places to check out and hopes to see tons of innovative and exciting places, then you’ll be disappointed. Yet, there is so much to experience – the culture, natural beauty, people and most importantly, the tranquility.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there, which lasted exactly a week : Sunday through Saturday. And not once did I feel that I was bored or that it had been too long. One reason for that could be that I was only looking out for some relaxation and change. The other is, well, I prefer a calm pace during my vacations; I don’t enjoy getting up early and running to catch one place after the other. So I did things I wanted and saw places I wished, at leisure.
When I returned on Saturday midnight, I was baked brown and tired yet rejuvenated at the same time. The horrifying news of the blast at German Bakery in Koregaon Park greeted me, and I couldn’t believe it. I’d always thought of Pune as a pristine place that no evil might touch. Turned out I was mistaken. God bless the souls who were killed and injured in that incident. I hope the offenders get punished.
Another news that I got while still on vacation was that our family had been blessed with a baby boy. Not a healthy one, unfortunately, but it’s fighting hard and so are we. I’m sure everything will be fine soon, my intuitions are all telling me that this time it couldn’t be wrong. None of us deserves this, especially my Bhabhi who’s sucha sweetheart…
And yet another news – a great one, which is that I scored a whopping 118 on 120 in TOEFL. I’d been super anxious about the test and had barely studied, but I guess I did extremely well. Just lost a mark in Speaking and one in Reading, but got a 100% on both Listening and Writing. Woo hoo! Happy, Texas? Take me now! And you too, Michigan – I’m waiting to hear from you after the telephonic interview that took place on Feb 4.
That’s all I’ve got time for today. Shall compile my adventures soon, and post them here. Until then, you can check out my vacation photographs on Facebook (if we’re connected there) or Picasa. The link is - http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink
I’m back!! :-)
Betcha missed me ;-)