So we went to Pondy (first everyone calls it that and then they snigger! People, I tellya!). The first thing that hit us, apart from the highway fog and the uncontrollable urge to pee, was the Pongal preparations everywhere. Where we stopped for breakfast (at the driver Sri Murugan's orders), we saw one of many rangoli color stalls:
And then there are the ropes.... I've come to the conclusion that the smaller the settlement, the more the proportion of shops selling ropes of all kinds....and it can't just be because of all the coir...coz this is definitely for local retail... so is rural life held together by ropes? The sample below is skewed because it seems to have lots of cattle jewellery as well, but you get the picture.
And then there were these mountains whose strange rocky formation seems to have only one explanation: Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Mount DinoPoop:
There was an imposing fort at Gingi, but we sped past, and reached here:
Now Pondy is nice and all, but as the Sistah said, veggie teetotallers are not really the target audience. We got to do some anthropological study, though. Check out out conclusions on beach etiquette: The gora way versus the bhoora way.
And then there was this sadistic take on the thirsty crow's story....notice the hole in the jug:
The French architecture was all very pretty, and very easily copy-able, as many under-construction buildings showed. The Bharat Sarkar office, however was a "site for sore eyes". So here's the French one only( Wee, Vella France :P):
After ogling at the expensive silver jewellery and designer clothes in town, we finally ended up at our home-away-from-home and did some token Pongal shopping!
And of course a visit to Auroville: mostly for the bakery, and also for the hype. Nice place, but this mandir really scares me, especially the desciption of what's inside. Too scifi baba!
And finally, what I've been avoiding all this while: the hotel we stayed at! Please avoid Tata ki hospitality ka azeem-o-shaan namoona: Ginger Pondicherry. Whoever came up the 2 room colours idea totally appropriated the privelege of setting the tone for your holiday: Check it out. Which room you get surely determines how you feel, doesn't it?
Stuck in the blue one, we were also plagued by three men trying to repair our AC at 10pm (we had woken up at 4:30am to beat the traffic) crazy kids banging our door and running at 11, a call from the reception to please return the keys for some random room at 11:30, and a drunken dude knocking and asking me for his keys at mignight. Add to that the cold and exorbitant buffet and the already falling apart room accessories, and you have the Hotel from hell:
Ginger is a crap name for a hotel anyway! So when Sri Murugan decided we must leave before the Rahu Kalam on Monday Morning, we were more than happy to get out. The holiday was good, but it made us love Bangalore more!
Sober version of the tale here.
Signing off with my newly-acquired Tamil Nadu manners: "Vanakkam and Nandri to all and sundry"