I recently returned from United States after touring the Puget Sound region, Las Vegas, and the San Juan Islands. In true Las Vegas fashion, not only did I lose money but also managed to get my phone stolen. Why is this relevant? Well, while I was in Seattle (the city that claims to be the coffee capital of the world, also famous for being the birthplace of Starbucks), I frequented many cafes and continuously discovered the wonder of micro-roasters and freshly brewed caffeine fixes, almost every day. Embracing this lone-traveler-late-morning-coffee-drinker persona on my café excursions, I’d sometimes feel the urge to ponder and write (rather type) and would often churn out some words, typing away on my phone while sipping a cuppa’.
And then, alas, Vegas, that consuming city of sin, took from me my beloved phone and with it, my many little musings.
Thankfully, the story doesn’t end there – yes, there is hope! Today, as I was browsing through various online forums for some work research I came across a thread that outlines very simply (and in retrospect, extremely obvious) steps on how to restore notes online. I tried it, and it turns out that my phone had automatically backed up a couple of my older notes to the cloud. So even though majority of my ponderings are now roaming freely in the Las Vegas ether, I was able to recover some of my mini reflections, which at this point I’m pretty thrilled about. Here’s a slightly edited version of something I wrote specifically for the blog, while thinking about Pondicherry on one of my aforementioned café jaunts.
“I’ve been gone from Pondicherry a while ago now, and sadly, haven’t put up an update on what was one of the most exciting phases of my life.
I think the reason for this is simply that Pondicherry allowed me to be so many different people, that I didn’t know which “me” to really write about. Let me explain. As things stood, on the one hand, I was the ultimate working hippie (if that’s a thing) – chilling on rooftop cafes with cane chairs, in palazzo pants and able to work from wherever my heart desired. On the weekends, I was a scuba diver, learning things about India’s marine ecosystem and feeling one with the ocean like never before. And my third avatar was that of the female solo traveler – a part time typical tourist, outsider in some ways but an Insider in others, exploring the cuisines, people and overall culture of the Pondicherry and it’s surrounding areas.
As I sit in this quaint Seattle café, surrounded by black and white portraits of mean and women, their eyes all somehow unintentionally converging on me and sipping on my perfectly made café au lait, I can’t help but introspect about the past few months of my life. My time in Pondicherry was transformative, to say the least. Something about the city ignited a creative spark in me – a spark that was raw and simple. I think this was one of the reasons that my writings in Pondicherry took the form of pen to paper, rather than keyboard to blog. The physical act of being able to write, draw, doodle, sketch, (whatever you call it) yields a different (and in my opinion, more fulfilling) sense of satisfaction, one that I wasn’t able to find through blogging.
And so, in my selfish interest – I scribed and scribbled little notes and anecdotes on scraps of paper, napkins and my handy travel journal, rather than on here. I’m still in the process of deciding what to do with my musings: whether they should remain randomly strewn about as they are, whether they are blog worthy, or whether they could potentially synergize into something more – a memoir to make up #ThePondiPages? What happens is yet to be decided, and maybe these morning coffee sessions, world away from Pondicherry, will give me clarity on which path to take. Right now, all I know is that there is much to reconcile in terms of my experiences in Pondicherry, and with time, I’m hoping my reflections come together into something more, something that is beautifully whole.”
P.S. After almost 7 years, I’m back in Bombay for mango season, and have been cooking with these juicy comfort fruits. I put a delicious Mango Rum Tart recipe in the Recipes section (with pictures of course), so if you need some mango motivation, head over and take a look.