The best maintained buildings in Puducherry were both the churches and the main temples.
Ganesh Temple radiated in all its grandeur as if it had recently been painted every colour of the rainbow. Inside was more eye-popping than the exterior. As I wandered the perimeter ogling at the freezes, a queue waited to enter the inner sanctuary for blessings.
Outside however, was another matter. It was business as usual. I had bypassed the hoards of beggars and hawkers but the shoeman was another matter. He wanted a million rupees for minding my shoes (yes, he actually asked for a million) when he didn’t even have to get off his bum to retrieve them.