ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Insider’s Pondicherry

The unique blend of silence and vibrancy characteristic of Pondicherry is slowly disappearing as locals grapple with rapid development.

As I pack my bags to leave the city that I have called home for the last 10 years, I realise that my personal history is inextricably linked to this place in ways I did not imagine before. Being a celebrated international destination, there are as many claims on Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry) as there are visitors. But, the heart of the city opens only to the insider when the milling crowds leave. As the sweltering summer sets in with its breeze-laden evenings, those who have nowhere else to go remain. It is then that Pondicherry opens up in quiet contemplation like a late summer flower, drawing in the sinewy bonds of community forged between neighbours from all over the world. Then, it is not just a place, but also a state of mind.

Every summer day, I begin my morning walk through the wide-angled cobblestone streets of the French town, with building façades crowned by the bright bougainvillea and golden blossoms of cassia. The friendly street dogs approvingly growl at my passing and the odd flute song wafts across along with the fragrance of freshly baked bread. Familiar faces dot the promenade, and the sea-side is a motley mix of solitary contemplation, and various forms of fitness routines, socialisation and cultural expression. Here, the mystical seamlessly flows into the natural and the social.

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Updated On : 17th Feb, 2021
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