Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pondy without its soul

I am a firm believer that magic created in certain destinations should not be replicated else where. With magic I mostly refer to food. For example, I would never order a Goan fish curry and rice outside Goa, similarly there are many street food joints in Goa that are known for Wada - Pav but I have never had the courage to have them there. Some how Wada - Pav is synonymous to Mumbai and how ever good the taste it is not complete without having it on a busy road in Mumbai, with lots of crowd, noise, honking and chaos. Certain dishes and delicacies are complete only at certain locales.

In our annual visit to Kerala (our home town) the early morning's I look forward to Kattan Kappi (Black Coffee) also known just as "Kattan". Some how the urge to have them never kicks inn while at home in Goa or Mumbai. It is not all about the coffee but the whole package of having a hot glass of kattan while watching elders reading Malayalam Manorama and discussing the news in the thinna (Balcony).

Thankfully my obsession about certain food at certain places is limited only to a few dishes and experiences. I will never have bun maska and chai at a 5 star lounge or even at a udupi restaurant even if theirs tasted better or they gave it for free but I was more than willing to experiment with a Tunday Kabab joint that opened close to my house in Porvorim, Goa. I thought it was good until my friend pointed out that they were average and no where close to the ones you get in Lucknow. I had never been to Lucknow so far and tunday kabab was not yet magic for me. I might change my tunday kabab strategy once I have had them in Lucknow and if the magic happens.

When in Tamilnadu or Pondycherry, the experience is not complete without a hot frothy cup of filter coffee. Here again it is the entire experience of the latest Tamil film songs playing in the background, along with posters of actors and politicians staring at you from different angles of the street, the dark and handsome coffee maker working in symphony to the demand of the market, the TVS mopeds zipping by etc. This time though I had very less idea of what I was heading into.

 As soon as my bus reached Pondycherry in the morning, I was in the look out for the coffee. No better way to start the first day at this erstwhile French colony. As the bus reached quiet early, there weren't many options available, dragging my luggage I found a street side shop serving tea, coffee and crispy samosas, I thought I was in the right place, but as soon as I ordered the coffee, I knew it was all wrong. I later realized that all others were ordering tea and I was the only one who ordered coffee. He made coffee the way we make at home and to top it all it was not filter coffee.

The experience put me off to the extent that I did not have coffee any where else in Pondycherry through out my stay. There was a fear psychosis that I will have as bad a experience every time. However through this experience there was another positive, I realized tea was not bad in Pondycherry as well. Mostly I am a tea drinker except when in Tamilnadu or Pondycherry, here it is always coffee. This visit changed it after all. I am back from Pondycherry after having coffee only once where I should have had at least 12.

Pondy will never be the same again for me, next time what would I look forward to have tea or coffee, I don't know yet and till I get back to my coffee ways, Pondy is without its soul.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. Pondicherry is blessed with some of the best beaches of the country and the pleasant weather here certainly accentuates the beach side experience here. Explore these amazing Pondicherry tour packages also.


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