Pondicherry | A French corner in India

Pondicherry is affectionately known as Pondy, and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry since 2006. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture, virgin beaches and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied city. Pondicherry was designed on the French grid pattern and features…

Auroville | The City of Dawn

Auroville — an ashram named after Sri Aurobindo — is situated in Tamil Nadu just near to Pondicherry. Auroville also has its origins in the French language, "aurore" meaning dawn and "ville" meaning city. It was founded as a project of Sri Aurobindo Society on Wednesday 28 February 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, "The Mother", a disciple of Sri…

Tarangampadi | The Land of singing waves

We visited Tarangampadi, a port city on the Coramandal coast, about 135 km from Pondicherry. Its original name was Sadanganpadi. Tarangampadi (or Tranquebar) is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu near the mouth of a distributary of the Kaveri River. Its name means "land of the singing waves". This picturesque coastal town…

The Grande Dame of Chowringhee

We were returning from our Maldives and Colombo trip to Ranchi in April this year. Due to our flight connections, we had to stay a night in Kolkata. We decided to stay in a hotel. I have grown up watching the magnificent building of the Grand Hotel in Kolkata. I had attended a few official…

Harmony, Peace, Universal Toleration and Acceptance

Swami Vivekananda (popularly known as Swamiji), a great Hindu monk delivered his famous lecture on September 11, 1893 during the Parliament of World's Religions, Chicago, USA held from September 11 to 27, 1893. It was for the first time that the message of universal Brotherhood and its proper understanding was given to the western world. Unfortunately,…

Dubai Desert Safari

Three years ago, I was staying in Dubai with my sister before joining the bank in Iraq. Because of curfew in Baghdad, the air port was closed. I had to stay back in Dubai for 5 days. On one afternoon, I went for desert safari. My brother-in-law arranged a ticket for me. The driver picked…

Twin explosions at our office

Sunday, the 20th June was a normal business day — a beginning of a new bright week. We were busy in our work at the Head Office of our bank. My office was at the basement of the building. The head office building was on the main road near Nissour Square, which rose to infamy  because…