After a lazy breakfast at Baker Street ( Read review of Baker Street) on our 2nd morning at Pondicherry, we decided to head to the beach. Not that you can go into the sea and play in the water. There are signages that warn people from getting into the sea, since it gets deep abruptly. With sea-bathing out of bounds, we decided to explore the area around the Pier. More curious we were of the fishing activities, since, on both mornings we had seen fishermen in the sea, casting their nets for the morning catch.
It was drizzling by the time we got out of Baker Street. Not to be dissuaded by the South-West monsoon clouds, we hailed down an auto and went up to the Pondicherry Promenade, took shelter under a tree until the drizzle that had now turned into rain, subsided, and then, walked up to where the pier was. Clearly, you couldn’t get on to the pier without the permission of the port authorities. We didn’t want to get into all that. We simply walked up to the rocks. The sky had turned a dramatic black and grey, but the horizon promised that there wouldn’t be a downpour. So we held on and soaked in the little drizzle, in the drama of the sea and the sky and in the beauty of that moment.
The ominous clouds had kept the regular tourist away, adding to our joy. Our joy of discovering Pondicherry beach. To our right, just under the pier, were a few fishermen untangling fishes from the nets. We were excited. We wanted to see them do that up and close. Climbed down the rocks, disregarded the overpowering stench of the fishes, and walked up to them, excited. The sight of fishes always excites us. We are the notorious fish-loving Bengalis, after all!!!
It was beautiful under the pier. The turquoise sea kept coming back to the shores in creamy waves, bringing a shell once, a crab next, sometimes a fish too. We squealed in delight. Started picking shells and stones for our aquarium and garden back home, chased the waves and got chased back, explored the colourful fishing boats, played hide and seek with the pier pillars…
Every once in a while, it is nice to have nothing to do, to not have an agenda, to not have an itinerary. Only then do you discover pleasures that would have otherwise been lost in a regimented, in a schedule-driven day. Pondicherry beach was one such discovery….