Right Up Your Rue – Your Weekend Guide to Pondy

Linger over weekend gossip and plates of bite-sized starters, without burning a hole in your pocket.  

By the time you read this, regally outfitted gods and goddesses, would have taken a stroll down the seafron,t flanked by devotees and daytrippers on Masi Magam. But the festive air lingers in the Tamil Quarter with its many small but brightly lit temples, and incense-scented niches and streets spread with clay dolls. The air in some pockets of Pondy is a merry swirl of Holi colours. Add to that, International Women’s Day falls on a weekend. There’s no better time to round up your gang of girls, for an all-girls trip!


Thirst quenchers: If you’re on the look-out for a trendy watering hole, where you can linger over weekend gossip and plates of bite-sized starters, without burning a hole in your pocket, Labourdonnais Street has a few options. LB2 Lounge, the swanky spot that makes up for its size with its interiors, fruity drinks and seafood, has just jumped on the bandwagon of ‘happy hour’ spots with the slot from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays. Down the road, Umami, which mixes wacky flavours and spirits, hosts a Ladies Night on Friday from 7 p.m. onwards. Tapas and pizza are takeovers on Saturday and Sunday.


Fabric under the foot: Why limit ethnic prints to your skirt or kurta, when you can show them off your feet, is Puducherry-based brand Vasthra’s take on footwear. Your feet deserve a soft landing, while walking around the city in the summer, believes Ashwini Ramanisankar, who helms the brand. Vasthra’s new summer line of strap-on sandals and flip flops are made from soft handloom fabrics. Handmade in Auroville, the footwear with leather straps is draped with Kalamkari, ikat and Rajasthani block prints. Brocade silk is used for limited partywear. Find them at their store, nature’s Touch at 6, Rue de la Marine or visit for details. The fabric range is priced at Rs. 830 upwards.

Five things to do in Pondy this weekend

 1.  Hunt for treasure on two wheels: Pondy’s famous grid of streets becomes your terrain to explore on Sunday morning, before the city is fully awake. If your two-wheeler is in good shape and you’re confident you possess a passing knowledge of the city, gear up for a spot of snooping at The Hindu’s all-woman treasure hunt. Weave in and out of tree-lined lanes, tracking down clues that will take you to heritage buildings, landmarks and popular outlets. Apart from an awareness of the city, the competition will test driving and navigation skills. Presented by the Department of Tourism, the hunt begins in front of Le Café on Beach Road at 7.30 a.m. For details, call 9894756601 or 04132227111.

 2.   Get drenched in herbal colours

  The Indian Kaffe Express (TIKE) on Rue Dumas has satisfied the cravings of many who hanker after North-Indian cuisine in the city. It’s also one of those places where you can take forever over a lazy Sunday breakfast with waffles, parathas and sandwiches to choose from, for a start. This Sunday, follow up breakfast with friends by dunking them in colour. The Holi celebrations here are kept eco-friendly with the café stocking up on herbal and organic colours. Leave your own colours at home — there will be plenty on hand between 10 a.m. and noon.

 3. Experience a Moroccan night in Auroville: Get a feel of sultry nights in the deserts of a country known for its couscous, carpets and spices at Well Café in Auroville. The café that occasionally organises world music, dance and cultural evenings brings together art, food and dance from Morocco on Saturday at 6 p.m. Listen to landscape artist Achva Stein talk about installation of the Moroccan Courtyard at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, watch traditional dance performances; tap your foot to music by D.J. Mouhsine and follow it up with Moroccan food. Call 0413- 2622219 for details.

  4.  See trash turned into life-sized art: Toothbrushes, water bottles, CDs – all go right into the garbage bag after they’ve served their term. A group of Pondy artists have been on the lookout for materials that get tossed into the trash easily and have used them to create life-size art installations. Visit Art Beat, a small gallery located in a serene Tamil house on Perumal Koil Street, to get tips on upcycling garbage. Disposed plastic, crushed water bottles, packaging material all find new life and aesthetic appeal in the ‘Up-cycled Art’ exhibition by Shilpataru from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.. There’s beauty in broken glass too! To get more ideas on upcycling waste materials into artefacts for the house, attend a workshop in the gallery at 3 p.m. on Sunday evening, which is followed by documentary screenings.

  5.  Rewind to family photographs before the selfie era:  Pout, pose, click and apply Instagram filter — taking a selfie today is a matter of seconds. Not so long ago, getting one’s photograph was a big deal, which meant dressing up to the nines and walking up to the studio at the centre of the town or waiting patiently for the studio photographer to set up his paraphernalia.  The pre-selfie era of family photographs is recorded on the rear wall of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), which has turned into an interesting spot to hang out this month, with passers-by and visitors intrigued by the black- and-white exhibition on the wall. Organised by the institute and Pondy Art, the ‘Heritage of Family — Tamil Studio portraiture’ chronicles sepia tinted photographs from 1880 to 1980, of families in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. As amusing as it is to observe forbidding glances and stately bearings of people in the photographs, they are also a trove of information on society, culture and fashion of the period. 

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 12:21:24 AM |

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