Bon Voyage to Puducherry by Aparna Mukherjee

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“Don’t listen to what they say, go see.”

Hi! I am Sania, a 25-year-old girl lives with my roommate in the City Of Dreams, Mumbai. Usually, on a Friday evening, my room mate, Sonal, goes out with her friends at a disc. I like solitude. Hence, either I spend my weekends at home or I explore Mumbai all by myself. Today,

I came to Chowpatty beach. It is one of the famous beaches in Mumbai. The beaches are my favorite hangouts. I often come to this place to seek solace from the crowded city life of Mumbai.

The sunsets, crashing waves, the hordes of tourists, the children’s noise and the roaring business of vendors fascinate me. As the sun was setting below the horizon, my mind took me back on the day when I had been to the sterling beach of Puducherry.

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I remembered the day when my mind was clogged upon facing the irritation of humid weather. The daily chores at home on weekends and the job at the workplace were prodding me to take a break and go at a place where no one will disturb me.

I was exhausted and was resting on a couch when my mobile phone startled me with its ringtone. I saw on the mobile screen the name of my aunt who used to stay in Puducherry. My aunt had her family in Canada. She came to India for some months. She had an official meeting at Puducherry. She called me to take me along with her in that beautiful place. Her invitation to Puducherry had gave me a reason to take flight from the hectic life. I grabbed the opportunity and flown away with my aunt to set my feet in the surprise land Puducherry.

My aunt left for her conference on the day we landed in Puducherry. I did not want to get bored in the hotel. So, I went down at the reception counter and asked the staff about sightseeing of the place. The staff suggested me to have a stroll on the beach nearby the hotel. They helped me book a tourist guide who would help me show the captivating land.

What a mesmerizing site it was! My eyes had been fortunate to witness breathtaking scenic beauties of the beach. As I walked along the seashore, the blue water, the fresh air of tall coconut trees, sparkling sand, roaring shores and the foamy waves soothe my tired mind. While I was walking along the beach, I learned from my tour guide that French had established its colonial rule in this place. It was indeed a fascinating sight to view a gigantic tall lighthouse on the seafront.

One can be thrilled to feel the blend of the East and the West in this exotic location. The entire afternoon I spent sitting on the beach. In the evening, I explored the silent streets of Puducherry. My eyes caught sight of the French names that were engraved in the colonial bungalows and on the clean pave blocked streets which will give you a feel of the past century. That evening was wonderfully spent as I delved into the French heritage while I was exploring those spectacular beach and streets.

Next day, my aunt and I were all set to dig in the rich art of the place. The Aurobindo Ashram is an acclaimed tourist spot where I got to see spiritually inclined people. It is a tranquil place where the abundance knowledge from the learned people in the Ashram will enlighten your soul.

Not the fluttering sounds of feathers of birds can be heard inside the Ashram. I have seen countless tourists flocking at the Auroville to attain spiritual salvation. I found a meditation centre in the premise of the Ashram. I booked a ticket to see the enchanting golden color globe of Matrimandir which is a meditation centre.

My tour guide told me that you need to have a serene state of mind before you meditate inside the Matrimandir. I saw many tourists were sitting in the garden of the premise of the Matrimandir. While sitting in the garden and watching the petal globe from a distant, I was feeling peace inside my soul. For the time being, I felt detached from the materialistic world.

In the evening, we tasted sumptuous meals of Puducherry. The food joints dished out a variety of cuisines ranging from Tamilian delicacies to lip-smacking French delicacies. I was elated to find the blend of the East and the West in the cuisines served in the food courts.

The next day aunt was about to fly back to Canada and I was getting ready to fly back to Mumbai. Leaving the bewitching place was tough for me. With heavy heart, I left Puducherry. My body flew back to Mumbai, but my mind stayed back in the spellbinding land of Puducherry.

The story first appeared in Storizen Magazine July 2018 Issue. You can read it here.

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