“Drogon”, screamed Daenerys boldly. “See those red and golden flags? We need to land there!” The mammoth black dragon flapped its deep red wings in response, breathed out fire and lunged over the sea. But suddenly, the coast where the Lannisters were supposed to be, turned into a beautiful beach. Wait, was that ‘Pondicherry’ written with big red letters, like the one in the theme song? Sigh, a beach!! And sand. And coconut trees. Wide smile! 🙂
I sat bolt upright in my semi-comfortable sleeper bus. Are we not in Pondi yet? Oh, that was a dream, I murmur, rubbing my eyes. Blame the HBO hackers for that GoT episode. And wait, what was that horrible jerk and sound?!
I peep through the curtains. Woahh! Our bus driver had collided with a bus standing on the road side. Green glass pieces shattered everywhere. People cornering our bus and shouting in Tamil. Wow! An accident to start the tour. So much for a safe trip promise to mom!
I suddenly hear giggles in the other compartment and rush to discuss this with the other 5, just like a hot piece of gossip on our lunch table. We were 6 girls, 60 km away from Pondicherry at 6 am in the morning, stranded in a broken bus, surrounded by an angry mob, and we were laughing and shooting videos of the moment. This girls trip is going to be one memorable one, I smiled! 🙂
How we managed to reach Pondi is another story, but when we finally got down at the paradise city, we couldn’t stop ‘wow’ing at everything around us. The auto drove us through tiny, squeaky clean streets, lined up with countless beautiful coconut trees (what is with me and coconut trees?!) and surrounded by quaint, colorful houses of bright colors. The town seemed to be painted all over by a primary school kid, there were the brightest yellows and the prettiest teal blues, the lushest greens and the deepest pinks!
And while I could try and take this flush of cuteness in, I spotted that unmistakable sparkle of the sun, the gorgeous sight with the promising salty whiff of welcome, I HAD FINALLY SPOTTED THE BEACH! ❤
We were driving on the beach road and I couldn’t take my eyes off the blue stretch of sparkle. How could a sight be this soothing? And suddenly I felt the auto stop. I reluctantly tore my eyes away from the beach and looked around. ‘Villa Bayoud’, a wooden board read. Our villa was ON the beach? Whaatt?!! *Mental Blogging starts*
All 6 of us went crazy with excitement. I kept on looking at the villa entrance and then the beach, not able to believe our choice of the hotel. We were finally (add more ‘lll’s to enunciate!) in Pondicherry after multiple weeks of lunch table planning, series of Whatsapp group conversations and several beach-shopping trips to Commercial street. We had literally announced in the entire office (and the company’s Facebook page) about our girls’ trip and we were all set to boast as much as we could. It was a trip planned all by ourselves, a trip where we had to spread out the maps and decide where and how to go, and a trip where we were in the company of people who wouldn’t judge you for your craziness and join you in the silliest talks.
The start had been too adventurous and exciting to handle, and now we were starving. So, we left to search for a breakfast place. And Oh My God! White town, the French colony where we were staying, was filled to the rim with cafes as cute as buttons; Le Café, Café des Arts, Gelato café, Carte Blanche, Café Artika, and a trillion-other small, beautiful cafe everywhere. We just couldn’t get over these extremely pretty places set in French décor and painted in lovely pastels. We must have taken a billion pictures here, stocking up for profile pictures of the year. Food was the second-best thing in Pondicherry (First? Beaches, duh!). Both the days, we gorged on finger-licking Nutella crepes, fancy croissants, strong coffee, fresh juices, unforgettable gelatos and cheesy pizza slices, while discussing every topic under the sun.
What made our trip so much fun were the bikes we had rented since the moment we arrived in Pondi. Driving those bright red, yellow and blue bikes all around the town, we felt like Powerpuff girls, independent and fun. I miss those long drives on beach road and through lush forests, those moments of getting lost in random places, those memories of following Google maps and still directing to a wrong turn (Trip group, you know who I mean here 😉 ), that glee on reaching destinations, the journeys spent while singing songs (the Lipishtick song ahem), those irritating catcalls and the feeling of being adults! When I reluctantly gave back the key to my bike while leaving, I soo wanted to tell the owner, ‘Take care of the yellow buddy for me!’
And beaches?! They definitely possess magical powers. We excitedly got dressed in our shorts and shirts and drove to Paradise beach. The satisfying sound of waves, the extreme happiness when the sea touches your feet, the sand and the sun, the surprise splashes now and then, the soothing thoughts in mind, how I wish I could keep this feeling captured in a box. Even now when I close my eyes, I can picture the clean blue sparkling water, the fine brown sand, the salty air, the cloudy blue sky, the tall coconut trees, the cute beach shacks and the boat rides.
The Rocky beach outside our villa was another experience! We would get out of the villa and run to sit on the rocks, not missing any moment while we could. Those 11 pm nights with the gushing ocean and the full moon, and the 6 am sunrise with the sun peeking out of the sea and long walks with cool breeze, are memoirs I would never want to forget. Sometimes you just need a break. In a beautiful place. Alone. To figure everything out! Sitting and looking at those waves beating the rocks and the water splashing up in the air, the deep thoughts in mind and the future contemplation; I was writing a mental blog for life!
Cliché but true, 2 days were over before I could realize. I sat in the night bus, looked out of the window, felt the Pondicherry wind go by and smiled at all the amazing memories! I had a lot of photos, videos, journal entries and sunburns to take back with me, but maybe it wasn’t just enough. Take me back, oh, take me to the ocean!
Lots to say, laters! 🙂