It was luck or our timing (end of June) that the sky was clad with monsoon clouds and a mild sea breeze was blowing our way like a clarion calling us to its shores. At Koyambedu, a muddy area washed by rains and nearly an hour away from the city’s iconic Marina Beach, we boarded a state bus to Pondicherry. The drive, we found out, was worth a lot more than its paltry Rs 250 ticket.
As it turned out in the next three hours, we didn’t need the Tamil movie blaring inside the rickety bus for entertainment; the view on the ‘Scenic East Coast Road’ was distracting enough. Our ride was accompanied by an overcast sky, trees and bushy foliage that stared defiantly at the waves crashing ahead. Flanked on one end by the seamless sea, the other side was bathed in hues of coastal life – a whiff of fish, stray boats home to nets, heaps of salt towering over large water puddles and roofs of tiny houses made of coconut leaves. The realisation dawned somewhere along the way that the dry summer of Delhi was far behind.