Monday, August 29, 2011

The Promenade - I

Prologue

I heard somewhere that there are 2 kinds of happiness in this world, and my friend added one more type.
  The kind you feel when you're remembering a pleasant past incident is one, 
  The kind you feel when thinking of an inviting future/ moment in the future,
and finally, the happiness you feel at the moment.The  peace, bliss, contentment and lightheartedness that spreads from within the core of your being till the tingly sensation you feel at your fingertips. This kind will probably eventually turn into type 1, after the moment has passed. But that moment, it feels like that's what we live for - Moments like those. 

We all make plans, build up expectations, imagine the future playing out perfectly in our heads - things we see, dialogues exchanged, looks passed, feelings felt. All wonderfully choreographed and directed a thousand times - attention given to every minute detail - before the moment arrives.
Sometimes, what we end up with is a grave disappointment (Like the classes me and a friend of mine planned for, forever) At these times, just the planning and imagining was so much fun, that it's easy not to feel too disappointed.
At other times, what we plan / expect isn't even the shadow of what is to come, that we're blown away by it's sheer awesomeness!

The plan: Go to Pondy for lunch
Expectation: French food, souvenir shopping, fun 2.5 hr bus ride with lots of time to yap
Day: 27th August 2011

Chapter 1
The East Coast Road

Since both of us lived pretty close by, we met at 9ish last Saturday morning, after cancelling plans of last minute shopping for the trip. We had a plan. Simple enough: Go to a French Restaurant at Pondy and eat yum french food. Since the restaurant options had already been googled, we felt we were all set for the trip.
Expected travel time was 2.5 hrs. 
We entered the big big bus station and got into the first bus that had the name of our destination on its route. We realized later the silliness of our idea when we started to wonder if the bus could really win the race, if we were running along side. Nevertheless, the climate was perfect (Nothing too special if you're from the regional hillside areas, like my friend with me :P), and the entire stretch of travel, after leaving the city was along the coast. I LOVED it !!


Every time my school friends (a girly bunch of 6 of us) met up, we make such a ruckus that after a point  we started hunting down not-so-crowded hang out places. This, so the chance of us getting kicked out on the grounds of disrupting public peace reduced.
Unfortunately, on a bus that was slowly getting jam packed, our voices still felt the loudest. But caring about that lasted all of 8 seconds every one hour, when we suddenly noticed someone (new) looking at us.

The sea was blue blue blue. And the soft green of freshly washed leaves everywhere swayed peacefully as though dancing to a soft melody only they could here. The mildly cold breeze never stopped throughout.

At 12, 2 hours after boarding the bus at 9.43 AM, the bus stopped for a tea break. We got cookies merrily, and that's when noticed a board that said 101 kms to go.
If there had been background music, it would have gone from ta da ta da da da to twoooooiiiiinnnnngggggg.
We settled ourselves much more comfortably in our seats and set our minds for 2 more hours on the bus.
You know what the best part of travelling with a good friend is? You never really can run out of conversation! I remember back in our college days, we (my friend is from my coll ) used to spend hours yapping after hours, and then meet again the next day and start like we'd been apart for ages! It was just the same, the fact that we had been apart for a while gave way to that much more conversation!
We spoke about the her upcoming wedding, work lives, future plans, dream houses. Planned out bits of our dream houses from random houses we saw along the way. We conspired on easy ways to go up in life :P Jackpots that are easiest to hit.
I mini checked out this cut guy who was in the same bus ;) But he was 99% younger than us. So just made do with the fact that he was wearing a giant huge watch, which was in my line of sight. Hey ! A girl can always look :P
Before we knew it, we were at pondy!

Chapter 2
The Beach Side

Once we reached (finally at 2 pm), we realized that we should have got a bit more information, rather than just names of the top 3 french restaurants. Pondy was a mini city, and we had kinda envisioned a small beach side place with the restaurants lined up like RIGHT THERE. Umm... silly, I know.

We asked a few people, who looked most like natives, where any one of those 3 restaurants could be. We'd decided on Le Cafe. (I admit, around 1 pm we were both so hungry that we were ready to eat anything anywhere. Maybe for the heck of it, look for restaurants with Le/ La/ L' in their name. But since we'd reached, we thought, we're so close, we can make it. Yaayy for that decision!)

Everyone we asked told us its possibly along the beach, to be more specific "At the beach side!"

We had become quite skeptical by then thought. All the restaurants we'd passed didn't have Frenchy names. And Pondy didn't look like the tourist filled, activity ridden place I had imagined. (In my defense, I don't think I've been to pondy
Our driver was a very sweet yappy guy, who was telling us quite openly that the most famous thing in Pondy is the Alcohol. He was certain there wasn't much else we could get as souvenirs. He left us off at "The Beach Side", gave his number for when we might need a ride in the future and left.
"The Beach Side" is an awesome place!!! So very beautifully picture perfect. It was a row of Victorian era architecture, interlinked naturally with modern architecture - over looking the deep blue sea. The sea starts abruptly after a rocky wall, but that added to its charm. 
The road was wide, traffic scarce, and temperature perfect.

Chapter 3
Le Cafe

This is a very short chapter.
We entered. Found that its an out door restaurant. Pretty looking, quite crowded. 
But not even the teensiest bit close to the sophisticated French Restaurant we had in mind.
Hey, I don't know what exactly french cuisine constitutes of, but I do know that french is almost synonymous with sophistication. So a casual outdoor restaurant is NOT what we traveled 4 hours and 200 kms for!
We politely excused ourselves, and left in search of a more french french restaurant.
Before we move, I'd like to take a moment to explain something about Le Cafe that caught me. This was the only building that was on the beach side. The rest of the buildings were on the same road, but on the other side, facing the Beach. But Le Cafe was on the Beach Side. It looked like a house that had been converted into a restaurant, and a good look around showed how charming a home it would have made. Uncomplicated, simple and sweet. 

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