Trip to pondicherry

There is so much to write about this trip…….but these days I became so busy at my work place that atlast I found some time today (after a whole one week after the trip) to write about my pondicherry experiences.

Let me start from getting the tickets to pondicherry and back to bangalore. One lesson that all of us learnt was that be it to any place, its really really difficult to get tickets from bangalore to travel over a weekend……thanks to the IT boom 😀 . We were totally 5 guys and our plan was to start on friday night and reach bangalore by monday morning. We could not get direct tickets to pondicherry and we had to go to chennai and then to pondicherry. Even for the return journey, we had to come via chennai. And the next thing we tried was for hotels. Here the situation is still worse. We almost called all the hotels in pondicherry and the standard reply that we got was that they were full or the cost per night would be 3000 plus 😯 . So, we decided to go there and then find some place to stay.

For the journey from bangalore to chennai we took a volvo sleeper. And that’s a big mistake….never travel by a sleeper bus…the seats and all were so dusty…the maintenance was not at all gud…but anyways I could sleep properly and by 6 am we reached chennai.

One thing which will never change in chennai is the language problem…even in the bus stand everything is written in tamil……nowhere we can find even english….this is the only thing that is really bad about chennai….luckily among the five of us there was a guy who knew tamil and our problems were solved 🙂 . So, one piece of advice if someone is travelling to chennai is that its better to have someone who know tamil.

Chennai to pondicherry bus journey took us around 3 hours. From the bus stand we took auto to find a hotel. We asked him to take to a hotel that would be at walking distance from the beach. On the way to the hotel, the first impression that we got about pondicherry was gr888….the roads were too gud…even the bylanes were properly made….the place was planned very well.

We took 2 rooms in hotel soorya international…its abt 10-15 mins walking distance from the beach. The rooms were Rs.1250 each per night. Non-AC were for around Rs.750. The hotel was good. One thing we came to know that many of the hotel ppl do not book over phone and its better we reach pondicherry and take rooms according to the requirement.

We were all ready in almost one hr. and after having breakfast the first thing we wanted to do was to see the beach 🙂 . The beach was at walkable distance from our hotel…..went to the beach road first. And believe me the first sight of the beach was awesome…..this beach had only rocks (just like marine drive in mumbai) and no sand. The whole of the beach road (as the name suggests) is alongside the sea. Then we had a nice motor boat ride in the sea. Those guys just charge Rs. 50 per head and take us for a ride into the sea. It was too gud and worth the money. From there we went to the port entry point over there. Generally no one is allowed into that place but somehow we could manage to get in. There was only one ship that was docked over there. We went till the end and we were actually far into the sea. The view from that point was too gud.

We were all very hungry by the time we came back from the beach. We went to a typical tamil restaurant to taste some tamil cuisine. Didn’t like the food except that the sambar was good. We thought of trying some crabs also over there. Struggled a lot to eat the crabs as they were very hard from outside and we need to eat only the soft part inside.

Then I thought of taking a break for an hour and in the mean time my friends went to chunnambar boat house. They said it wasn’t that great place. From there we went to aurobindo ashram. It was a peaceful place and we bought some story books in the library over there. From here we set off to auroville beach. This is the place where we wanted to spend lot of time as this beach had sand. But by the time we reached the place it was pitch dark and there was no one except patol police 🙁 . After coming back we had dinner and went back to the beach road. Its a very happening place over there as you can see many people even late in the night.

The next day we thought of going to the beach early in the morning to see the sun rise. But none of us could get up early and we couldn’t make it by sunrise time. After breakfast we started off to mahabalipuram. On the way we wanted to go to a paper handicrafts factory. But after reaching that place we came to know that its closed on sundays 🙁 .

From pondicherry bus stand we took a bus to mahabalipuram. It took us around 2.5 hours to reach mahabalipuram. Here we went directly to the beach. Had our lunch in a restaurant on the beach. I was surprised to see that there were many foreign tourists over there. The food was not bad. After seeing the temple over there, we spent some time on the beach and started back to chennai.

The bus journey from mahabalipuram to chennai was too tiring. Thought the distance was only around 60 kms, we couldn’t get a seat and the bus was over-crowded. Had a tough time standing in the bus along with the bag. We reached chennai station by 9 pm. Then had dinner in a nearby restaurant. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant exactly but one thing that surprised us was that the waiter over there was taking the order in his pda 😯

We reached the station just in time to catch the train back to bangalore. On the whole the trip was gr888…enjoyed a lot…only if we had time we could have spent some more time on the beach 😀

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

A friend of mine told me about this book Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. The book has just 3 parts ( around 39 pages) and its all about a seagull jonathan livingston who is different from the other gulls. He loves to fly not just to find food but to learn what all he can do in the air. Its about not following the same daily routine as the other gulls would do but to do something that he wants to. In his efforts to learn flying he was outcasted from the community. But still he would continue doing the same and then one fine day he finds himself in another world. Here he learns many new things and ultimately he comes back to the flock that had outcasted him. He comes back only to teach the other gulls that also wanted to learn flying. I am not going to talk about everything in detail….but I would definitely recommend that everyone has to read it.

The book basically tells us that everybody can do everything provided we don’t give up hope and trust ourselves. Its about not just doing what everyone else does ( I would call it a herd mentality), but rather do something that we really want to. We should listen to ourselves more often..and that said I don’t mean we have to be selfish….. what I mean is to do what our inner mind wants us to do but not just to satisfy our selfish needs. One more thing that this book tries to tell us is that there is nothing like attaining perfection… there is always so much to learn in this world.

jetLite woes contd…

Recently I wrote abt my experience in jet lite ….this is in continuation with tht..

Today I took the same flight from hyd to blr again…and one thing tht surprised me was tht they just have a single coach to take passengers from terminal to flight…tht too tht coach had starting trouble :)  🙁 even many of the LCC’s are much much better in this regard. Indigo has got air-conditioned coaches and deccan if not air-conditioned atleast have sufficent number of them…but today jetlite has surprised me…I see the same coach shuttling 5-6 times to fill up the aircraft…this was really really bad….and atleast when its now merged with jet airways, why can’t they use the coaches together

And coming to the cabin crew…no sign of smiles anywhere…I don’t understand one thing..I think the first thing that might be taught to anyone who is in hospitality industry would be to smile…and thts wht is missing here…

And lastly the snacks….the same old stuff…they don’t even care to change it…in my previous blog I got a comment on this and thts 100% true.

After all this ppl might ask me why should I at all fly in jetLite if its so hopeless…and the answer is thts the only option I have bcoz….though kingfisher and air deccan have got flights at the same time…the kingfisher flight is an ATR and I don’t want to travel in an ATR and coming to deccan, maybe for the same price it would make sense to travel in jetLite only 🙁

I guess jetLite’s current situation is just because of sheer negligence and its high time now tht something has to be done to make things better…