Pondicherry : Give Time a Break


Give Time a break, says the Pondicherry Tourism tagline.

Indeed a fitting tag to define the place far-south, that once used to be a french colony and yet maintains some of that flavor from its past. A two-day vacation (16th-17th August), all alone on my first-of-many travels, began on 15th August. Pondicherry or Pudducherry has always been on my places to visit, and finally it came true.

Rock Beach

On the one side of the town is the Rock beach, also referred to as Promenade or Gandhi beach. Its clean, scenic and comes laced with great places to eat along the beach.

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Auroville:

After waking up the next morning, it was time to start off towards Auroville. Lucky enough to get my hands on a rented Vespa, I went on. Roughly around 10-km towards Auroville, on amazing roads without much traffic, it was simply amazing. I was literally in love with the roads.

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Auro Beach

Located on the road leading to Auroville, is a public beach. The beach is like other beaches across India, with more pebbles coming along with the waves.One small divider separates the beach and THAT part is really different and scenically amazing.

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Boat ride, beautiful and Paradise Beach

This one takes the cake in terms of beaches in Pondicherry. Maintained beautifully and gives you a feeling that you’re in some foreign locale. Best enjoyed with lots of friends and very cheap water sport facilities. Ensure that you visit it during the early part of the day to avoid long queue at the entrance. the road to this paradise is a long sweaty hell, and i was the unlucky one.  

 

 

 

Buildings, Architecture and Pondicherry

The architecture has a distinct French taste to it. Churches, Mosques, Temples can be seen everywhere. Some of the captured ones are here. But, the whole aura of the place is in experiencing it yourself.

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 Food and Pondicherry

 Understanding a place is incomplete without letting your taste buds not take a dive into the flavour. The place is full of Cafe’s and most of the places I ate were cafe’s only. Here’s a little sneakpeak into the food from Pondicherry.

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Streets, Roads and the Pondy rides

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Pondicherry, apart from beaches, made me realise what effect travel can have on you. (Apart from the tan, as a result of no-sunscreen :P )

Fun, Randomness and Pondicherry

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Best thing about travel is, and travel alone is, you get to take a lot of photographs with the virtual badge of being a “tourist”. Also, lots of selfies were clicked as well.

Pondicherry, it was lovely being with you for two days. I went there to get immersed and yes I did, but more than that, it was an experience that I’ll cherish for a lifetime. You’ll be like the first kiss I had, Memorable.

Happy B’day Api :)


The other day I was at Savoury in Dairy Circle, the first thing came to my mind was, that I was there with you.

Had gone to Jayanagar the other day, ate at Kedia’s, had coffee at Maiya’s and another time went for a steak at Flamenco’s too. 

Although visiting theaters was for a long time a regular affair with me, now it isn’t, I still remember going there with you and your friends. 

Most of the things I do, Bangalore serves as a reminder of you. ( Believe me, now it seems really really boring. )

I remember our late night little drives. Just when you felt like having coffee moments, or even walks around your apartments sometimes. 

Still remember getting scolded about watching too many Tv series’ even on weekends, on being called “Gadha”.

Miss watching you do all your decorating DIYs and being so excited like kids in showing me all the new ones every weekend. 

There are a whole lot of things that I end up recalling you for, (You know I’m bhulakkad like you), can’t recall all of them here at this point. 

I simply cannot imagine my life in college without weekends’s at your place. 

It’s not that only these years that matters. Right from the time i was a child, to this very day, you have been my most loved sister. I can still visualize myself crying near the door, whenever it was time to go back home after summer vacations. 

I remember how we used to dance, me on that little sofa and you taking me in your arms.Still remember your college chronicles that you used to describe before we used to sleep. 

Out of the many things I wanted to do when I got my salary was to take you out for a big fancy dinner. Sadly, can’t afford to go saath samundar paar for that now :P 

It feels so amazing to see you happy and jovial as always, doing things which you wanted to. 

Happy B'day api :)

Happy B’day api :)

Wishing you a very happy birthday to you Api :) 

 

Happy B’day Moisha :)


First of all wishing you a very happy birthday Moisha Jain. :)

(Maybe this would let the secret out, that it’s your b’day :) )

You are a nautanki for sure. The first thing that pops up in my head is, you knocking on the library window before your evening walks :P, the kind you make your face in the picture. (of course, not in the first one) , while I’d be busy in getting my grades in order. (CGPA :( )

Of course that’s not the only thing. Life for two years (especially the drama that mine had :P) wouldn’t have been easy without you and the other kameena by my side. Miss both of you.Although both these pics were taken at the same time, yet if you see it this way, when we started Xime and when we left it. (And yes, even I did too :D )

Also, since its your b’day I’ll kick him out. Waise bhi dilli me aish maar raha hai Manager banke.

The only reason I’ve kept my Xime notebooks is because of the crazy chit-chats/doodles/etc we had. I even remember fighting over silly things (don’t even remember on what though), and also miss eating chocolates every morning in the class. And yes, even our “gossips”.

Okay, since I would be posting this on a public forum, not letting too much out. (Secrets are still safe: P ).

Wishing you a very happy Birthday, may God bless you Moisha Jain :)

 

Travelogue: The Chennai Chapter


Technically, this was my third time @ Chennai.  in case you’re not familiar with my accidental trip to chennai, you can read it here :P . But then a city hasn’t been “visited” if you don’t immerse in it. So, on a Monday afternoon while returning back to Bangalore, a 5-hour wait for the next train turned out to be the perfect getaway to explore.

But then a city, whose language I didn’t knew, it was tricky to decide where to head. It was all thanks to the PMIT group (for the uninitiated this is the Put me in Touch Facebook group) which came to my rescue.

And hence the trail began.

Not the one that I boarded, just an illustration :P

Not the one that I boarded, just an illustration :P

From Chennai Central Railway station to the electric train platform across the road and a ride towards Indiranagar  followed next. Met this young fellow, who didn’t understood English, yet tried making me understand in his Tamil about where to get down. Kept on saying, he’ll “solraa” (that he’ll tell perhaps).

A 15-minute walk, an auto towards Besant Nagar beach and a long walk along the beach. There’s something with the beaches that a walk along the horizons, on the sandy shores just makes you lost in it.

besant nagar beach

besant nagar beach

Took some time out to take the gun and shoot some colorful balloons. The lady probably forgot to count and ended up shooting more than 20 rounds. Got a lot of them busted too. :P

Shot a few rounds and couln't resist a selfie in the coulorful background :)

Shot a few rounds and couln’t resist a selfie in the coulorful background :)

What followed was a hasty trip to Murugan Idli, where I had one of the softest idlis ever. But the best part were the chutneys over there. I’m not a big fan of chutneys as such, but surely these were amazing to say the least. Even before the idlis arrived, I had licked half of the chutney. Although the coffee at this place wasn’t that great to my liking, compared to other times, when I’ve tried the filter kaafi.

Murugun Idlis: The chutney's were the best, while the Idli was on the expected lines.

The other end of the beach had many more outlets for food. But as time was short, could only go to one. One of them was Amma’s Athho noodles. The name sounded interesting, so tried the noodles, but it wasn’t that great. More so, cos the weather and food, both were really hot.

Attho's noodles: The guy said, it's a burma dish. Was hot for sure, didn't suited my taste buds though.

Attho’s noodles: The guy said, it’s a burma dish. Was hot for sure, didn’t suited my taste buds though.

A direct bus back to the Central station wasn’t available as I would had hoped. Had to shell out a lot for the auto, but the road towards the station was filled with many of the notable spots that I had heard of. The MGR memorial being one of them and well, it looked great from outside too.

Apart from the heat, there was hardly anything that I didn’t enjoy even in such a short time. Even the auto-guys were really polite and when verified, didn’t charge me that high too.

Hope to visit Chennai again soon, and this time with more planning and for a little more time.

The Broken Window : The scars


The flower-lady was back. The ritual of spreading out her shop on the pavement continued. Carefully placing the basket down from her head and a small broom wrapped around in a polybag and as soon as she could get the dog clear away her area she started cleaning the place.

Settling herself down in the place, she started off arranging the flowers in a particular sequence. Nothing had changed. Nothing appeared to be any different from what it was before. Probably I was in my reverie again when that happened. Or did something actually happen?

I finished my cup of coffee, which didn’t taste the usual, probably because of the milk, or God knows what it was.  I had this urge to go and talk with the lady, not sure why, but I just did.

On the pretext of buying flowers, I went. This was the first time, I actually went there. Of course, she was a regular in my having-a-cup-of-coffee-and–staring-outta-my-window schedule, yet it never occurred to me to go and talk to her. To satiate this sudden urge, I went ahead.

flower garland jasmine

I just handed her a 50 rupee note and took hold of a garland which was arranged in sequential order from the time she had arrived. All I could see were jasmine flower garlands around, wondering for a moment how beautiful they looked. She looked clueless, handing the note in her hand, and staring back at me with an answer. Her faced asked a question but I got lost into thoughts of the scars on her face. I got back from that when she finally asked, “Bhaiyya Change nahi hai ?”  But again, I didn’t have any change.

I showed her my room through the same broken window and told her that I’ll come and get it the next morning. I thought of asking her, how she got those scars in her face, but couldn’t. Way back to the room, the only thing I thought of was those scars.

Only to be reminded of something else from my past, memories which I had always tried to forget.

“Leave Her, please leave her” I shouted as much as I could. Helplessly just hitting him with my little hands. Gathering all the strength I had, lifting whatever I could and throw at him, but only to find that his tall bulky body would resist it all with a hearty laugh.

My cries to the monster fluctuated from being one for being helplessly pleading to him to shouting with rage. But for kid like me, it all looked just like a cry.

I tried brush aside the flashback. The childhood memories were something I didn’t want to recall. Some things are better left forgotten, and this was definitely one of them.

I went inside and lock the door closed.

 

Read what happens next, in the broken Window in the next post.

 

In case you haven’t read the previous ones, here you go!! 

Part 2 : The Broken Window: and she stood there 

Part 1:  The Broken Window

 

An alternate Kick


An alternate “Kick”
By now most of you would have spend either loosen some weight on your wallets or bandwidth in watching the Salman-khan starrer Eid-bonanza titled “Kick”, a remake of telugu blockbuster with the same name starring Ravi Teja.
The storyline runs about a guy with an adrenaline rush who is always in search of a “kick” in everything he does. From how he answers nature’s call to beating up eve-teasers to everything that has the remotest possibility of serving him with a kick.
He meets a girl, impresses her, shocks her father, has a fallout, becomes “robinhood” and the story unfolds like any other. Simply put, this is not something which you would have never seen before. Yes, stunts, dance moves, are good and Jaquiline looks ravishing and gorgeous, while Salman is at his usual self.
There is one big element in the Hindi-kick that wasn’t there in the original, the presence of a main villain. Here we have, Mr. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, our very own Faisal khan from Gangs of wasseypur. He is the kind of villain that in a bollywood fan-fare, you’d hardly come across. The quintessential part of the movie, scenes graced by him, is a treat. He could have very well been the joker of the Dark Knight, or a Rauf Lala of Agneepath, only if his role was a little more.

Nawazuddin in Kick

Shiv (Nawaz’s character) is cunning, shrewed, manipulative business tycoon, who distrusts everyone around him. Tries to be a step ahead of his rivals, dramatic twists are what he loves and being just simply obvious isn’t his style.
He isn’t the muscular macho-villian but a sharp mind with an army of trained thugs who’ll kill for him, money he has plenty and a public image of a good Samaritan that gives him the mask to fool people around. One-liners, eccentricity and an evil laugh, are what make him the devil.
It’s another thing that Salman is called the devil (or rather he himself calls himself), and Shiv (Nawazuddin) has a charitable trust named “angel”, yet a little more work in building this battle between the conflict of “Angel” and “Devil” could have been something good. But then, who wants to do the extra work? Going ahead with the Sallu-fanfare masala entertainer in the holiday season and bringing in the moolah home, is what everyone needs right?
Bollywood requires villains in their scripts, and a change from the heroes hogging all the space of their own. Even the telugu version was much better than this one, made years before.

For the sake of rating, I couldn’t get the required “kick” to give it more than 1.5/5. And even that is mostly because of Nawaz.

The Broken Window : And she stood there…


(Read the First part of The Broken Window here)

The bell rang. But opening the door, made things even worse.

She was standing right there!!! And it all came knocking down, like a flashback.

We never realize the potential of flashbacks, the age old drama technique used on celluloid, but when it strikes for real, its hell.

The moment froze. She stood there, and I did the same. It was as if I choked internally, only I didn’t. Thankfully, she extended a big “Hiii” to make me skip the continuous live stream of flashback in front of my eyes. Stretching my facial tissues only to form a picturesque smile and to move my jaws in typical fasion, I welcomed her inside.

For her, it was as if nothing had happened. And frankly, Nothing had happened.

Everytime, I saw her. Or even her regularly changing DPs in any of the social networks, it only took me back to her thoughts, which was part of the elaborate stalking exercise.

This one time, she was going on about something, and as always I was only trying hard to concentrate on listening on what her little mouth was blabbering. Nodding my head in between, and mixing it up with the “oooh’s and achaa”.

My eyes would wander around her face, making its way from her wobbling eyes to the straight path down her nose only to land on her moving lips. Then struggling to solve the dilemma of choosing one side to wriggle out of her dimples to rest on those flawless cheeks. Completing a full circle, I’ll wander back to her eyes, which would have grown twice the size from when I started the little trip around her face.

Sun bhi rahe ho ya nahi ?”

And a standard “Haan be” would follow the question, with a little guilt of lying and resolve to listen. Meanwhile, controlling my urge of going on another trip.

Her, bleak little voice called me up. Oye, Sun!!, while I stood there beside the door lost in thoughts.

She looked tensed, but I won’t say that this was the first time; I’ll have to become her sobbing pillow. I had tried my best to stay away from her, from her life and problems. But somehow it would happen that we’ll end up in the very same situation. Call it routine, or destiny, I’ll call it the story of my life.

Anyways, it was something related to the guy which she went on and on about, I tried my best to reason, console and whatever I could holding myself on rational grounds. I wouldn’t say it’s tough to do it, but definitely irritating to the core. Khair, once it was all done and maybe after a few days things were back to being normal for her, life was back to being the same. How would I know of that? Well, No news from her side, meant things were fine.

And the usual would follow. Devoting my time to either penning something down on the laptop or being lost in reveries through the broken window, peeping across the street. Reveries were my true companion. They gave me company, and not limiting myself to times when I’m alone but even when I’m in the midst of a crowd. It’s now part of my identity, finding its way out through my thoughts. My broken thoughts, through windows like these. The broken window.

The Broken Window

 

The window through which children across the streets played football with polythene wrapped like one, the window through which you see countless birds sitting on those tree branches, flying across and the window through which I could see a very different world and Oh, the window through which the flower-woman struggled to sell flowers every day.

Although, there was bheed in front of the flower-woman today. But from what I could notice, it was not to buy flowers from her. I had my doubts on what it was.

My phone rang in the same time. A minutes’ gap to answer the call and when I came back, the woman was not there.

 

Strange!!! Where did they took her ?

 

Read what happens next in The Broken Window in the next post. 

 

Part 1 of The Broken Window Series