Bastille Day in Pondicherry: Part 3

By Reita Hutagalung, Global MBA student 2013-2013, Indonesia

Here comes the last day in Puducherry! People split up into sub-groups, as several people had different interests for how to spend their last day here. After having another brunch at the French bakery, some of us set off to explore the city.

We started by going to one of the gardens in the city. Unlike Bangalore, which actually has cool weather, Puducherry is very – once again, VERY! – hot and humid, as it is next to the sea. While the city itself is not very large, the walk to the garden seemed long due to the heat of the sun. Once we arrived, I walked under the shade of the trees and rested. The garden itself was not large and, though it was pretty, it was unfortunately poorly maintained. From there we headed for the art museum. Unfortunate again, as along the way we wanted to see the Ashram (which was closed, probably because it was Sunday), and we arrived at the museum as lunch hour approached for its staff.  We went to a Hindu temple instead, which was dedicated to the worship of Ganesha, the elephant god. We were told that there would be a real elephant in front of the temple, but only at 4 PM, so after taking photos we left in search of lunch.

We came to a nice place with rooftop dining that served French-Chinese-Italian food; although we were a bit puzzled about how they all could fit together, we decided to give it a try. The ambiance was good and it was a cooling place after walking under the sun the whole afternoon. However after waiting for quite long for the food, the food was just ok. One learning point: specialization is true not only for companies nowadays; it seems to apply to restaurants as well ;)

After the long lunch and rest, we headed back to the temple to see the elephant: Lakshmi. It was interesting to see people lined up to give her coins and then Lakshmi would put the tip of her trunk on the head as if she blessed the people. After watching how it went for other people, we decided that it looked safe to have your head flashed by an elephant’s trunk (:P) and we decided to try it. We got in line and put some coins out.  It was funny to see how Lakshmi inhaled the coins and stored them in her trunk; after some time the keeper would ask for the coins and Lakshmi would pour them out of her trunk. When our turn came, one person tried first while the others were ready with cameras. In between our excitement and anxiety, every person needed several ties and several coins before they were satisfied with the pictures. When it finally was my turn, I was excited, but it turned out I was quite scared and I kept dodging my head away from her trunk’s path. Well, at least the picture looked as if I wasn’t scared (haha…).

At the end of the day we went back to La Maison Rose and had good dinner with most of the interns. Unfortunately, some of us had booked our return train that at 8.30 PM. Why unfortunate? Remember our initial plan: Bastille Day celebration? Guess what, it started at 8.30 PM! So after going all the way in India to get a little glimpse of Bastille Day, I just have to live the fact that celebrating Bastille Day was not to be for me in 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for great journal about Pondicherry. It was nice to know about the experience you had with Pondicherry.