2012 was memorable in few ways and mute in most of the ways. Few things am wishing for 2013 and am sure with the progress am making about programed-life, hoping I should be able to acheive them. Let me brag about them when 2014 starts.
These days, planning a new year trip becoming bigger overhead – I still recollect, I didnt show progress on planning until the first week of december. Let me get away with the term called “work pressure”. Just not me, rest of the key people were in the same situation. At one point of time, new year seasonal trip itself faced questions – whether to have or not. Options like converting it to a picnic were in place. I silently listened to those comments and had one thing in my mind clear. No matter what happens, I am not going to let this practice to fall. New Year trips are precious and will never allow this pattern to fail.
After brainstorming(??!!) a lot, most of us agreed to have this trip to Pondicherry. I would have considered that as never an option under normal circumstances, but for this trip, I agreed as I mostly people agreed to it. Kannan is a new face who joined this time.
As usual, On the eve of the trip, we had a dinner meet first time in Chennai. Hotel Green Park’s “Once up on a time” and “Tulip” restaurants are my favorites for the ambience they provide. Most the guys including who couldnt make it to the trip joined and needless to say we had lovely time. Little ones had had more fun.
Next day morning, (30th Dec 2012) twelve of us started to Pondicherry in 3 cars (Vijay’s, Kannan’s, Senthil’s). Krish and Valli and me filled Vijay’s, Arun’s family with Kannan’s and Senthil & Kubhi’s families with the third. After couple of refreshing coffees, we were on our way. Our first stop was at Mamalla’s Drive-in restaurant for the breakfast around 10am. It was really early for us to reach there at that time. I see we are bettering ourselves with the times.
Our ECR road drive was not much of fun as it was quick 2 hours drive. My expectations about the views were not met. Its just a normal road which occasionally gives the faint views of the Sea. In no time, we pulled into Soorya Beach Resort. This was one of the resort that was suggested for the families. Seems the night life is too strong there in Pondicherry. This resort is quite decent and the family rooms are really clean and huge. Sea views – just for the namesake. Its more than 4 mins walk to the beach thats not private. Charges were quite reasonable. And the food offered met our expectations and they were quite accomodative when it comes to requests. They really tried to manage to refill the chicken every time we emptied.
We dumped all our lugges in one room for time being and stretched our legs with the refreshing Aircon breeze. I had a plan in my mind and our guys had a different one. I play along with them when I can be flexible. Just 2 of us didnt take bath that morning and they wished to get into swimming pool. That didnt had much of water which led them to the Sea. We soon followed just for foot-wetting and ended up spending good time enjoying the waves. They were strong and wanted to push us to the sand (beach) all the time. After a while, we were back to the resort just not to miss the extended lunch time. After another round of fresh water bathing, we had all the intentions to eat the food like the ones who stranded in the sea for 2 weeks without food.
Should I say what followed that lunch? It was one of the deepest, dreamless sleeps. At 5pm there were few calls from the restaurant and a non noontime sleeper (Senthil) about the snacks. Somehow, we got everyone to the restaurant for an average coffee and tea.
As per the plan We decided to go to the Promanade and Sunday market.
Promanade beach is on the beach road which was a typical sandy beach until a while ago. After the harbour work started, Sea started eating this beach and one point of time, to stop this any further, it was turned into a sea wall guarded. Its a stretch of 1.5 KMs that offers nice views in the evenings. Generally its crowded and when we went more than 10000 people were there. As the traffic is closed after 7pm, road is quite full. We really didnt want to be a part of that crowd, hence moved on to the sunday market.
On Sundays, shops are generally closed near Jawaharlal road which enables a Kilometer of shopping possibilities for the platform shop owners. Generally clothing shops. Prices were attractive but the quality wasnt that impressive to be honest.
That gave enough for the day and the tired legs wished just one thing! The Bed.
Auroville – City of Dawn
Auroville is one finest themes for a city I have ever visited. I didnt even get the chance to explore in detail but the hints made me to yearn to get a place like. This is an experimental town – founded by Mirra – The mother. This place is considered to be nuetral ground irrespective of country, religion and any other biased reasons.
Right at the center of Auroville, a dome like structure sits. This requires permission to be obtained specially 2 days prior to visit the dome. However, public can go to the visiting are almost 100 meters near to the temple. This place is quite and beautiful. This almost lookslike a golf course and at the center a huge golden ball fitted with golden buttons. Its architecturally stunning by all means. The Heliostat placed on top of the temple reflects a ray of sunlight down into the Chamber to touch the crystal at center. This travels straight down throught the different levels of the structure to touch the lotus pond below completing the link between sprit and the matter. Around the structure rise the twelve petals, in red sand stone circling the matrimandir. Twelve gardens will emanate from where the Petals taper out linking the matrimandir, the Banyan and the Amphitheatre to create utility.
Followed by lunch, we had plans to go to Paradise beach from Chunnambar boathouse. However, due to new year celebrations, paradise beach was restricted to public.
Half heartedly we left the place.
We utilized rest of the evening by visiting the Aurobinda Ashram and few other places.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
This ashram doesnt need any introductions – one of the richest and well known. This was founded by Sri Aurobinda Gose who is the spritual guru for 12 of his disciples including Mira Richard also known as The Mother. We loved being in this place. Its small quick visit but am very sure its mandatory to anyone who goes to Pondicherry.
Manakula Vinayagar temple
Just 2 mins walk from the ashram and from the beach road (Promanade), the famous Manakula Vinayagar temple can be found. We didnt enter the temple as we munched enough chicken that afternoon.
After spending little time at the promanade again, we had some cat and mice games with Kavitha & Valli as they went shopping while we assumed they lost and sent a team to search them. Finally we found them in the Titanic a casual attire shop near the JN road. Fun time!!
Unlike other new year eves, we didnt have 1) a camp fire, 2) a round of talk about the year. We managed to get a cake and Krish got the chance do the honour.
Had to start early on the first day of the new year morning to home as our granny passed away. am not gonna get into details.
Other than that, trip didnt go bad and cant push to the failed list. Many of us agreed that a complete private homestay evevn without electricity could have given more joy than a Beach resort on the highway with satelite TV connections.
Anyhow, we will be back!.. 2014 is not that far!!