This weekend was one of the nicest ones. An short trip to Pondicherry, a quaint but cute town on the South Coast, beginning and ending with an overnight train journey, always bringing back the many wonderful train journeys of the past, and the time to marvel at the vastness of India- even with a long train journey, barely crossing the southern tip of this vast peninsula.
Pondicherry- a little town, home to the French very long ago, with a small French colony still alive within. Queer and quaint, but enjoyable always. The little French colonial houses, the Promenade- reminiscent of the South of France, preserving in so many ways its culture, in such a foreign, yet far away land. Loved every minute of it, soaking in the unseasonal rain, walking by the Promenade, feasting on the local sights and smells.And buying an iron. An iron, of all things? Yes, an iron, or "Istri"as they call it, coincidentally rhyming with "stree", the female gender. Could be something to do with the fact that it can be super hot and scalding at times, and cool and soothing at others, much like a woman. But why an iron?
An iron, ostensibly to be used to carry out mundane tasks such as iron clothes, but maybe with the vain hope that it would somehow, magically, iron out all the wrinkles of my life. At least that's what I wish it would do. Smoothen out the creases of existence. The creases of worry that had built up over the last many weeks. Of a daughter leaving home for the first time, to study in what seemed a faraway land now, Pondicherry. A transition point in life, the time when a young one left an enconsced existence, taking flight like a bird, to find a new place in the world. And the pain that came with it, the pain of being left with a half- empty nest, at best.
And so it came to pass. That I shall, hopefully, visit Pondicherry more often, now that part of my nest and heart has moved here. And perhaps spend time again- looking for an iron, and not just looking, but trawling through multitudes of them, studying their shapes and colours too(specifications nothwithstanding, to indulge the senses). This time round, a plain one will just not do, for a fancy pink I hope to find, to bring back the rosy pink colours into life, and banish the blues from the sea of existence.
More about Pondicherry again- i return to it next week!
Aina Rao. The amblingindian.