Right up your Rue

Mediterranean fare.  

The last few days have been unpredictable with the sun, wind and rain taking turns to intimidate and charm residents and travellers. Pack a hat, but carry your sturdiest umbrella too.

Tourist ticker:

If you bring your pet pooch along with you on holiday, you may have to keep him on a tight leash, and away from the Promenade, during the hours when the seafront is closed to traffic and transforms into a pedestrian-friendly zone. Dogs can be walked on the Promenade only between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or after 10 p.m., according to a new diktat issued by the municipality, after nuisance complaints from walkers about pets and strays, and fights between them.

Later, hawkers were relocated from the area and now we have the ban on pet dogs. Good news, if you are a walker. But, if you are one of those who tagged along your pet Boxer or Lab to the beach, tough luck!

Tuck in :

Choose from the land of olives and grapes: It is the breeze from the Mediterranean that blows over here this week. Favourite dishes from the world’s best wine countries, including signature dishes from Greek, French, Spanish, Turkish, Lebanese and Moroccan cuisines are on the menu at Hotel Accord this weekend. The buffet also features two live counters. Open only for dinner from 7.30 p.m to 11 p.m.

Go mad about mangoes: Bid a sweet adieu to May by celebrating the culinary star of summer — the mango. Relish the mango through cocktails, appetisers and desserts — either by the sea at the Promenade Hotel or under a sprawling mango tree in a restored bungalow at the Dupleix.

Kick off with a frozen mango daiquiri, mango iced tea or lassi; make healthy choices with raw mango salad and tofu or grilled paneer marinated in mango sauce; pair the juicy flavours with seafood with the fish and mango skewers, grilled snapper and mango noodles or prawn mango curry. Wash it down with a mango cheese cake or sorbet.

Insider tip:

Rainy-day cravings

The muggy weather and the prospect of rains may send you scurrying for chaat and all things hot. Debarati Nandee, general manager at La Marina Guest House, has a ready-made list for rainy days. “As a foodie, I am always on the lookout for smells and sensations the city throbs with. I love the home-made momos from La casita, the mutton samosas at the corner of the Muslim Quarters, opposite the railway station and dahipuri from Thulasi Bhavan.” Debarati recommends you keep your eyes peeled for Thulasi Bhavan, a small place on Chetty Street, if chaats are your weakness. The panipuri shells are made by the shop and are strikingly different from what you usually find, she says while the dahipuri blends sauces and flavours ‘just as it should be’!

In Pondy:

Pore over poetry if the rain disrupts plans:  If summer showers happen to play spoilsport with your itinerary, what better way to spend a rainy afternoon than poring over poetry? The Puducherry Government celebrated the 125h anniversary of poet Bharathidasan, one of the favourite sons of the soil and revered among the last century’s poets. Visit the Bharathidasan Memorial Museum and Research Centre on Perumal Koil Street in the Tamil Quarter, if you love the language or just poetry. Find out how much Bharathi (who arguably penned his best works during his sojourn in Pondicherry), influenced Bharatidasan, read anecdotes from the past and peruse original manuscripts.

Keep the sun at bay with watercolours:  If the heat drives you indoors, here is a cool place to escape to – Tasmai on Advocate Chinna Tambi Road at Kuruchikuppam, where eco-friendly construction and open spaces are enveloped with aesthetics and a sense of tranquillity. To prolong the aura of coolness, there is a new art show on the walls aptly titled, ‘Cooling the summer with watercolours’. Revel in the splash created by 11 artists from Pondicherry and Auroville through good old watercolours. It can be a respite for the eyes on a summer afternoon. Open between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

  Hum or do a jig to a popular tune on Beach Road: Whether the skies are blue or grey, if you are anywhere close the Promenade beachfront before sundown this weekend, don’t be surprised to find a tune wafting on the breeze. The Summer Cultural Festival has lined up traditional art forms, including koothu and bommalattam, to add some verve to summer evenings. Artists will perform at the Gandhi Thidal.

Visit the new home for contemporary art in town:  If you already didn’t have a picturesque stroll down Rue St. Bazar Laurent in the French Quarter, there’s a new art gallery on the street that invitingly welcomes you to step inside, for an encounter with more colours. Kalinka, the latest addition to Pondy’s calming yet stimulating artistic spaces, opens this weekend with ‘4 Ways’, a show that brings together strikingly varying aesthetics by four women artists- three of them French View Celeste Bollack’s lithographs and etchings; Kirti Chandak’s oil on canvas by Nadee’s drawings on fine Japanese paper and artworks from the Paris studio of Catherine Lescure.


Watch Orissa shake hands with Tamil Nadu: Two Indian classical dances from the South and East of India reach out to embrace this Friday evening at the Aurodhan Gardens in Papamal Koil Street, Vaithikuppam.  Begin your weekend by finding a seat in the illuminated, breezy gardens for a performance that blends Odissi with Bharatanatyam. Swati Raghavan and Aneesh Raghavan perform in ‘Nrityavasantham’ at 8 p.m.


In Auroville:

Spend an evening serenaded by three Tamil bands:  This Saturday, there will be rock, pop and more, but all with a distinctive Tamil flavour at Auroville. Head to the Visitor’s Centre at 5.30 p.m. to bask in the tunes belted out by three independent bands- Jhanu, Oorka, Sean Roldan and Friends.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 10:06:43 PM |

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