Monday, April 5, 2010

One hell of a trip it was....

I had never been to Pondicherry. I suddenly got some urgent work there this Saturday so had to rush there. It was on a very short notice so I didn’t get direct tickets, had to go through Chennai. So I started my journey on Thursday night. I was supposed to catch a bus to Chennai from Shanti-Nagar bus stop. There was this guy in the bus. All through the way to bus stop he was crying out loudly while talking to someone on cell about the build he gave and it got failed and he was supposed to finish his work by Monday and now he won’t be able to deliver it and this is appraisal time and the mail got escalated. Now I was expecting some peace when I left office but I had to hear all this crap. Finally I reached the bus stop and boarded the bus to Chennai.

I was happy that finally I am getting out of this IT crap and will get to enjoy life for a few days. But there was something else in store for me. I must have done some sins in the past and the almighty chose this day to punish me for my sins. There was a group of 4 girls and 2 guys. As Friday was off thus making it an extended weekend, they decided to encash the opportunity like everyone else and planned a quick visit to their native places – Chennai. As they got settled down in the bus they started complaining about their company. They started with how they dreamed of getting into development and ended in testing; how bad their appraisal go; how they were transferred to Bangalore in spite of opting for Chennai etc.etc. They were discussing on how to shift to development and grab an opportunity to go on site. Now there was this a**hole sitting behind them. He was listening to them. As they paused to take a break he started his own story. He had a 4 plus years of experience into this IT industry so he thought it was his birth right to jump into someone else’s discussions and give them free gyaan at the cost of the comfort of other poor souls who were desperately seeking a way out of this IT and were trying to get some sleep. He started saying that the freshers are like raw material, you can mould them into anything and you all are freshers, should learn new technology and get knowledge blabh blabh blabh…. I felt like stabbing him to death or hacking his mail account and sending his resignation letter to his lead. But I was helpless. Somehow with great difficulty I got sleep.

I reached Chennai in morning and immediately got a bus to Pondicherry. I was happy that finally I am out of all the noises; or so I thought. First hour of the journey was ok and then the bus came out of the city and hit the highway. Now the driver of the bus was a bit old and was driving carefully and at a moderate speed. There were these 3 jerks that started complaining to the conductor about how slowly the driver is driving even though it is a highway. The conductor ignored them and went at the back of the bus and sat down there. Those 3 were getting impatient and after 10 minutes started shouting at the driver like crazy asking him to drive fast. One of them was sitting next to me and the other two were exactly behind me. They were shouting in my ears. The driver stopped the bus and he also started shouting at them. It felt like they would kill each other over the speed of the bus and will make me go deaf by shouting out so loudly. My head was aching badly with all the torture I had been through right from the moment I had started my journey from my home. As if all this was not enough, a dust particle went into my eye and caused a lot of irritation. I tried everything to get it out, washed my eyes several times with water but all my efforts went in vain. I finally gave up and thought of going to some doctor in Pondicherry if the problem persists.

Finally somehow I reached Pondicherry, alive but with a head ache and irritation in eye. It was around 10 A.M and it was scorching hot. One of my friends had done all the arrangements. I directly went to the hotel and the first thing I did was to wash my eyes again with cold water and it was gone; the dust particle was no more stuck in my eyes. I felt relaxed, checked in the hotel and after taking bath went to bed with a bad head ache thinking how bad my journey was. I woke up after some 3 hours and zappp – head ache was also gone. I was normal now. My friend had arrived a day earlier and got a bike on rent. Now it was the time to explore Pondicherry.

It is a nice but hot place. The very first thing one should do is to get a bike on rent because it’s very difficult to commute through bus and auto guys will rob you of your cash. I had lunch in a café. There they have this special Italian pizza which they will bake on wooden bricks and in a weird kind of oven. They don’t use microwave. Then there is a bakery. The rates are very less. You can get fresh breads, cakes, pastries at a very low rate. Going forward on the same road you can go to the ashram. I am not so much into ashram so I didn’t go there. The ashram is famous and people who come there do visit that ashram. My friend didn’t find it interesting and so I also ditched the plan of visiting it. Also it gets closed in evening and there is about a km walk from the parking to go to the ashram so all the interest of visiting that ashram vanished in a second because no-way I was in for a km walk in that sun. It was very hot there.

As it was hot we came back to the hotel and went to the terrace and sat there under the shade. I had seen this kind of view only in movies. We were facing Bay of Bengal. For a moment I was stunned, there was nothing but just water in front of my eyes. There was nothing beyond that. The waves were hitting the shore, creating a soft noise. One can spend hours sitting at a place like this.

In evening two more people joined us. One of them told that there is a beach somewhere in Pondicherry where we can see lots of foreigners and that too in the proper costume. He was not sure about the name of the beach so we made him call his friend who was his source of such valuable information. His friend gave us the directions and we reached there within half hour. The name of the beach is Auro beach. This was the second time in a day that I was stunned. Again I have seen such things only in movies. What a view it was, not the beach but the people out there. I forgot to admire the beach and was just admiring the people who were in their proper costumes. There was a small building on the side of the beach where all foreigners were going after taking bath in the beach. We also try to enter but were stopped. We were told that Indians are not allowed inside so we couldn’t enter. I think it was some place to stay only for foreigners. After spending some quality time on the beach we went to the market.
The market is also huge and it’s mainly for clothes and handicraft materials. Then we went to Pondicherry beach for some time, had dinner somewhere came back to hotel and slept.

Next day I finished the work for which I was there by 12.30 P.M. Went to the market again and then went to Pondicherry beach. It’s a beautiful beach. There is a café on the beach by name Le Café which is open 24*7. One can easily sit there and spend hours. We spend some time there and then had lunch in the India Coffee House. It was awesome. My friends had to buy some stuffs for their girl friends so we did some shopping. By that time it was evening and we again went to Pondicherry beach. The beach road is blocked after 5pm and we cannot take our vehicles to the road. We can park it in parking and just walk on the beach and the road. It was even more beautiful in the evening with the lightings on one side of the road and the beach on the other.

There are also many good churches. I went to just one of them. We returned the bike at night and caught the train back to Bangalore. As a whole it was an amazing trip. Pondicherry is also famous for cheep liquor but since none of us drink, it wasn’t of any use for us. Well if someone is fond of food, booze, beaches it is surely a place to visit.