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This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Aditi Sriram, a traveler, a teacher and author of “Beyond the Boulevards – a short biography of Pondicherry“
Today’s destination – Pondicherry a.k.a Puducherry
Nearest Airport – Puducherry airport, PNY
Nearest Railway Station – Puducherry railway station, PDY
Prerequisites – Read the book!
Packing – pack light for humid weather
Time of the year – Round the year, summers are HOT!
Length of the itinerary – Depends!
– Aditi talks about the backstory of the book and how she came about meeting the editors.
– After covering how she got the lucky break, Aditi begins be drawing out the orientation of Pondicherry, some of it’s historic milestones, the Arikamedu connection and the conquest by colonial powers, and the journey up until independence and beyond.
– We talk more about the French connection, it’s history and how it has played out in the modern day Puducherry.
– Aditi speaks about the layout of the city, how the city was segregated into the various quarters and the distinguishing factors.
– We discuss about unique identity of the town, some important citizens like Aurobindo Ghose and his journey, Auroville and the mother.
– We also delve upon some of the popular folklore of the city, the Aayi Mandapam and it’s connection to Napolean.
– Aditi wraps up the conversation by calling out how even though POndichery is seen as a narrow strip of land comprising of the French and Tamil quarters, it has deep rooted connections to the history of the city.
Link to Aditi’s book:
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