Puducherry

Busing south from Chennai, I passed walled plots of coconut plantations, pine trees and an occasional rice paddy field and gained a taste of the old India. But resorts were encroaching on this farmland to the point where some farmers had signs plastered on boundary walls, “This property isn’t for sale.”

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Inner courtyard of a Puducherry building

After hectic Chennai, Pondy seemed like heaven. I didn’t need a police escort to cross the road as I had on my escape from the Tamil Nadu capital and few buildings needed painting as they had in Chennai.

There were old neglected buildings, but most were well-maintained. And even though a sign read, Clean Pondicherry, and I sarcastically thought, good luck with that one, it was way cleaner. The beach appeared to be swept daily of litter and I spied city workers sweeping streets.

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