July 11, 2004

Rue Sadness - Le Pondicherry

Forgive my French! Crassly spoiled French - right?
Pondicherry is as good as my French!
Pondicherry now has mere subtle remnants of a French colony, but more of an extended colony of Chennai.
The affluent people of Chennai through their contant visits to Pondy have set the cash coffers of Pondy business men ringing. What it has amounted to is crass-commercialization, and as a result, throw the French culture, respect and heritage into the sea, and adapt new-age mantra of consumerism.
The Pondicherry beach road, 5 years back, had just one restaurant - Le cafe - run by PT&TDC bang in the centre of beach. Opposite to that, across the road, was an open space where like a typical village fair, some art form would be on display. And petty vendors selling groundnuts, ice creams and the short snacks.
Any other restaurant or eat-out was not within easy vicinity of beach.
The Pondy beach road would be so peaceful, with people thronging the beach to enjoy the cool breeze, drink something at Le Cafe and generally sack out.
But today,
So many eat-outs have been opened on the beach road. No proper garbage disposal, lots of litter.
Noticed a couple of old buildings representing old colonial architecture have been pulled down. Am sure they will be replaced with high-rise fashion apartment or showroom (read: lacking creativity and strength to withstand sea-wind carrying high content of salinity).
Current state of Pondicherry beach was a big eco-shock.
Even within city limits, the infrastructure has not taken a dramatic improvement, but the place is being burdened with so many incomplete, unfinished big structures. The density is thick.
Sad to see that the cancer is proliferating from Chennai into Pondicherry.

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