PLEASE NOTE : I wrote this post Monday morning, January the 16th 2012 ..
Two days later .. during the late afternoon of Wednesday, January 18th, during a walk through an area of the city of Puducherry (Pondicherry) that I have not here-to-fore visited ..
I WAS SHOCKED AND SADDENED TO DISCOVER .. FOR THE FIRST TIME .. SOME OF THE HORRIFIC DAMAGE WROUGHT BY CYCLONE THANE .. December 30, 2011 ..
On my photo web site .. http://bobbacaps.blogspot.com .. FWIW (PONDI).. 147.. January 19, 2012 .. I have posted thirteen (13) photos of the damage I saw firsthand Wednesday afternoon the 18th ..
So .. part of what I wrote below about my having seen NO damage whatsoever .. is NO longer correct ! ..
Two weeks ago last Friday .. on Friday .. December 30th 2011 .. Cyclone Thane slammed into the southeastern coast of India below Chennai with winds approaching 135 km/hour .. the major India news services reported 42 people dead and power outages widespread with a severe water shortage .. transportation chaotic .. in short .. a real disaster unfolded along the southeastern coast of India..
Since the inception of this trip .. I planned to visit Pondicherry (Puducherry) .. which is located just south of Chennai !
In fact .. in November when I was in New Delhi to book a trip .. it was almost literally a ‘coin toss’ as to whether to go first to Pondicherry or to Goa .. the railway reservations agent in New Delhi suggested I first go to Goa and later to Pondicherry .. and so the die was cast .. for no other reason than the opinion of the ticket agent .. I went to Goa NOT to Pondicherry ..
Now.. in 20-20 hindsight (which.. as you all know.. is perfect) .. going first to Goa was absolutely the best decision .. Goa is an entire State .. ‘Pondi’ is one city .. even though .. Tamil Nadu is almost an entirely new State to me .. and Chennai was an entirely new City to me .. as is this entire southeastern part of India (basically new to me) ..
In FWIW.. 98.. January 2, 2012.. I wrote that BECAUSE OF THIS STORM DISASTER .. FOR THE TIME BEING .. I AM NOT EVEN CONSIDERING GOING SOUTH TO CHENNAI AND PONDICHERRY ..
Today’s $64,000 Question Is Threefold: (1) Why did I change my mind and come to Pondicherry and (2) what have I found in the way of storm damage and (3) am I glad I made the trip to ‘Pondi’ ..
As I have written .. I had wanted to and planned to visit ‘Pondi’ .. this could be my last trip to India (don’t bet on that but it could be..) .. so it was a now or maybe never situation ..
When I got into New Delhi from Goa on Thursday .. January the 5th .. I immediately began to ‘ask-around’ about the conditions in Pondicherry .. I would just ‘pop into’ a travel agency and ask .. I also kept asking other travelers .. and all I got was .. “As far as we know things are OK in ‘Pondi’..”
I continued this process receiving absolutely NO negative feedback about ‘Pondi’ .. and so when I was back in New Delhi from Agra Cantt on January the 10th .. as I wrote in FWIW.. 103.. January 10, 2012 .. I pulled the trigger and decided to come to ‘Pondi’ .. so that answers the ‘why’ part of the question ..
What have I personally and individually found in Pondicherry as regards damage from the Cyclone Thane ?
NOTHING .. absolutely NOTHING obvious to me ..
I have ‘heard around’ it was one heck of a storm .. I have ‘heard around’ that in a village up-the-coast North of ‘Pondi’ that from 50% to 70% of the coconut Palm Trees are down .. I have ‘heard around’ that a lot of local villages outside of ‘Pondi’ are still without power .. I have ‘heard around’ that the cost of damages from Cyclone Thane are high ..
But .. what have I personally seen here in Pondicherry .. regarding any storm damage from Cyclone Thane .. zero .. zip .. de nada .. NOTHING ..
Go figure .. what about the 42 reportedly dead persons .. no one has disputed that figure .. maybe Cyclone Thane totally missed ‘Pondi’ .. I don’t think so .. too many people here in ‘Pondi’ are telling me things that happened ..
Am I glad I came to ‘Pondi’ .. oh Y E S .. I am SO VERY happy I came to ‘Pondi’ ..
So .. being at a bit of a ‘loss-for-FURTHER-words’ about this .. I will sign off with much love .. cap..
of course i am still wondering what happened at the turn-of-the-century.. the so called .. taa-daa.. Y2K .. but what do i and a bunch of bobbseys know about anything anyway .. giggle ..
- JAN 14, 12 .. ARRIVAL INTO PONDICHERRY ON JANUARY 13th
- JAN 17, 12 .. PONDICHERRY