Phone calls and sms text messages pouring in gave the result a good two hours before the TV announcement - (I discovered that the Grand Finale was not quite live) - and Darjeeling was rocking and celebrating way into the night. Brilliant news!
Apparently Darjeeling is going wild as I write this - Prashant TAMANG is in the final two of Indian Idol and being from Darj the place is going ballistic as the final is being screened...........
This takes me back over four months to when hubby J was away doing 11,111 korua (circumabulations round the stupa) in Belakyppe Gompa (Monastery), near Mysore. He phoned every day to give me the day's total and I would keep the tally. This was actually really important as J has a tendency to fast forward everything and fast forwarding korua would be really bad for his karma so I was circumambulation counter in charge! Increasing though, our telephone conversations became increasingly focused on Indian Idol which was gathering momentum even back in May. The funniest thing was that apparently the hot topic of discussion in the gompa was who to vote for that evening in Indian Idol and the lamas were all lobbying for their own favourite!! Apparently the evening korua was when the discussion reached its peak and when the air was filled with their om mane padme..... text 2525... om .....for prashant... mane padme......no, no vote for Amit .....om mane.... - what a wonderful image it conjured up!
So now that Prashant is in the final, (and we are Tamang) it would be pretty amazing and fitting if Prashant is indeed the winner..................
As promised earlier, here are some impressions of Pondicherry.
Pondicherry is a Union Territory in India and was formerly a French Enclave. This means that the town of Pondicherry is a fascinating mix of India and France which can actually can verge on the disconcerting. However, it makes a lovely break and a total change from Chennai for a weekend away. The architecture is distinctly French, and there is at least one French School (Lycee) and other signs of French Administration. the French Quarter feels quite Mediterranean and so the sight of autos, rickshaws and saris feels quite strange. The street signs are standard issue French street signs, in Tamil and French.
There are numerous vestiges of France transposed on top of typical life in India in evidence in Pondy. For example, the Ambassador car below, outside one of the heritage houses, complete with French Tamil Street sign.
The Policemen have funky bright red French style caps and uniforms.
At the seafront you can see Indians playing the French game of boules
But despite all these French features, it is definitely India! There are lots of giveaway signs - like this Temple elephant
Evening gossip and mango stalls on the seafront .
Bikes and bananas in peaceful co-existence.
and random shops selling organised rows of underwear.
One of the best things about Chennai is Pondy Bazaar. I think it must be best possible shopping street in the world - where else in the world could you find a street lined with stalls, shops, roadside outlets - and even cars selling cuddly toys and tigers!!
anything you can ever imagine in stainless steel
All manner of fruits and vegetables, and even sugar cane
and don't worry if you don"t have a spot to sell your wares - just find a few bikes and set up stall on top off them.
I think you can probably get anything you could ever possibly need or want in Pondy Bazaar!
Living and working in Asia (Nepal, Mongolia, India, Sri Lanka and now Myanmar) for the past 9 years. Mostly (but not always) thriving on the challenges, always marvelling at how privileged I am to be here.
Life took a huge turn in a different direction in October 2009 - and this has its own space due to connection limitations in our new location. You can follow this on http://feistybluegeckofightsback.wordpress.com/
Thanks for following the Feisty Blue Gecko through thick and thin, good times and tough times!