I am from Chennai but living in B’lore…so as usual we went to Chennai to celebrate the festival. Man…was it a blast ! My daughter is a handful who always insists that we go out. She literally pushes us out of the door. To satisfy her, we ended up having day trips to Pondicherry and the zoos. We ended up having as much if not more fun than she did :).
I have been to Pondicherry before and I have never been impressed with the place. Too hot, and slow, and nothing to do. But, I must say that this time we really enjoyed ourselves. We started off a bit late from Chennai, and I was concerned that we would have barely enough time to do anything. But the East Coast Road is truly amazing, and you can just zip by at a very decent speed. Reached Pondicherry by lunchtime, and went to this really nice Continental restaurant called Rendezvous. At first, I was a bit disappointed that the place wasn’t air-conditioned (Pondicherry was extremely sultry), but later on settled in and was feeling quite comfortable. They have really nice food and a really pleasant and laid-back ambience.
After lunch, we did some antiquing at a store close by called Geetanjali. They had some beautiful olf furniture, including some lovely antique doors. Kalyan was very interested in the doors and got talking to the owner. The doors seem quite expensive (about 65000), and I am not sure how practical it would be, but they sure are beautiful. It turned out that the owner is opening a store in Bangalore (Indra Nagar), and he gave us an invitation for the opening.
Kalyan’s friends had told him that there are plenty of stores that sell foreign-reject clothes. So, off we went to have a look. There are plenty of such stores and Kalyan scored a few really nice shirts and t-shirts. Not much stuff available for women though. They have really cute children’s clothes, but Jahnavi was quite restless and we had to leave without getting her anything.
We also went to a store called Casablanca (this was more a shopping and eating trip rather than sight-seeing). This store is like a department store but fashioned to look like a sophisticated middle-eastern market. Really a beautiful shop to hang out. They also had some really nice stuff and a coffee shop. Hidesign (the leather store) has an outpost there, and I ended up buying a really nice red leather bag, as well as some agarbathis for my grandma who was unable to come.
Janhavi and Kalyan navigating the stairs at Casablanca
After that, we went to Auroville. Only, we got lost and by the time we reached, they had closed for the day. Got a nice shot of the Matri Mandir though. It looks really beautiful from the outside. But, I think it’s good that it was closed. It is supposed to be a meditation center, and I don’t think people would have done much meditating with my daughter wreaking havoc everywhere
Shot of Matri Mandir
On the way back, we had this impulsive idea of having dinner in Fisherman’s Cove (a beach resort). They had a nice buffet and we all indulged. The price was pretty reasonable too, I was quite surprised. Anyway, we had such a nice time at Fish Cove that it is definitely on our to-visit list the next time we come to Chennai. Only, then we will spend the day here… All in all a wonderful day. Next up will be our trip to the Vandalur zoo.
Dinner at Fisherman’s Cove
Janhavi Playing Cricket in my Parents Living Room